- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mexico City council members are mulling whether or not to legalize marijuana sales and smoking — as long as the activity takes place in specially created smoking clubs — as a means of tamping down violence in the nation from drug cartels and traffickers.

Ex-President Vicente Fox favored the legalization of marijuana while serving in 2000-2006, seeing it as a simple way of cutting out the drug violence, Agence France-Presse reported. But whether council members in the capital  will follow suit remains to be seen. Moreover, current President Enrique Pena Nieto opposes legalization of the drug’s sales.

Esthela Damian, a council member with the ruling Democratic Revolution Party, said the proposals at hand would allow for individuals to grow up to three cannabis plants and would also establish a group of “nonprofit private clubs” for smokers to gather, AFP reported. Ms. Damian called the club idea a feasible one, especially if workers kept records of members and their accompanying consumption levels, AFP reported.

But Mr. Pena Nieto said he favors more security policy reforms, including the addition of troops to fight drug traffickers.

Nearly 9 million people live in Mexico City, and another 11 million in nearby suburbs. Currently, residents in the city can have up to 5 grams of marijuana for personal use, but growing and selling the plant is illegal.