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Mexico lower house OKs medicinal marijuana

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico’s lower house overwhelmingly passed a bill Friday approving the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, the latest in a series of legal changes and court rulings that have somewhat relaxed cannabis laws in Mexico.

The measure does not allow smoking marijuana, but directs the Health Department to “design public policies to regulate the medicinal use of this plant and its derivatives.”

The bill passed Friday by a 374-7 vote with 11 abstentions allows growing marijuana for medicinal or scientific purposes. The legislation now goes to President Enrique Pena Nieto to be signed into law.

Starting last year, the Mexican government began granting permits letting some patients import medicinal marijuana products. It has also decriminalized small amounts of marijuana and issued several permits for people to cultivate and possess pot for personal use.

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