Mexico has moved a step closer to legalising cannabis for recreational use, after lawmakers passed a bill aimed at curbing violent crime linked to drug trafficking.
The country’s upper house of parliament, the Senate, backed the bill by 82 votes to 18 on Thursday.
The Senate said the bill’s objective was to reduce organised crime by shrinking the illegal drugs market.
The bill must be approved by the lower house by mid-December to become law.
If passed, the bill would mark a change of approach to drugs for the country.
Mexico has long struggled with a bloody war against powerful drug cartels, with violence killing tens of thousands of people every year.
But public opinion about legalisation in Mexico has shifted in recent years, reflecting a growing sentiment in Latin America and elsewhere that the current prohibition on drugs should change.