Animal Politico reported on Friday that the latest draft of proposed legislation from leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) lawmakers in Mexico City would not establish government-regulated dispensaries for marijuana even as it decriminalizes consumption and sales of the drug. The step would be a significant one, but a less radical one than previously thought -- earlier reports said drafts of the legislation would provide for a system of dispensaries much like those recently established in Colorado and Uruguay. Instead, the law would leave existing black markets for pot and other drugs untouched in Mexico’s capital while redirecting law-enforcement efforts previously aimed at the trade.

With a few exceptions -- such as cases involving the selling of pot to minors -- authorities in Mexico City would no longer consider the possession or sale of marijuana a priority for prosecution. Additionally, the law would create a pilot program within the Institute for the Attention and Prevention of Addictions (IAPA) which would be responsible for advising residents on the therapeutic use of the drug. The idea had previously been floated to create “secure supply” dispensaries for medical marijuana which would be regulated by the IAPA.

The relatively conservative nature of the law, at least when compared to the legislation in Colorado and Uruguay which the lawmakers say influenced it, is due largely to federal drug laws still on the books in Mexico. Experts who formed part of the legal advisory team at work on the law told Animal Politico that they hoped the legislation would “promote the discussion of an eventual reform on the national level”. The team is set to release their final version of the legislation -- to be introduced later in the capital’s Assembly -- next week.