In part, it was because legalization was unpopular. One poll found that about 66 percent of Mexicans oppose decriminalization of marijuana. Also, violence around drug trafficking has had a tremendous impact on the country — experts estimate that 100,000 people have been killed in the past decade because of the cartels. The Catholic Church also remains staunchly opposed. “A drug is a drug even if it’s sold as a soft medicinal balm. Bad Mexican copycats emulate the neighbor to put on the table of ‘sane democracy’ a bleak, absurd and counterproductive debate,” the church wrote in an editorial . “Recreational marijuana is a placebo to ease the pain of the social destruction in which we irremediably wallow.” That’s beginning to change, though. Recreational marijuana is still broadly prohibited in Mexico, but the government is considering a measure that would let citizens legally possess up to an ounce of it. In 2015, Mexico’s Supreme Court granted four people the right to grow their own marijuana for personal consumption. The ruling set a precedent that could accelerate efforts to pass legislation permitting broader use of pot. “Absolute prohibition is excessive and doesn’t protect the right to health,” Justice Olga Sánchez Cordero said at the time. Peña Nieto, who once was a vocal opponent of drug legalization, has undergone a similar shift in thinking.