A Mexican court has granted two people the right to carry and use cocaine, though not to buy or sell it, an anti-prohibition organisation has said.
The rulings, the first of their kind in Mexico, would allow the petitioners to "possess, transport and use cocaine," non-profit Mexicans United Against Crime (MUAC), which has for years lobbied for an end to Mexico’s "war on drugs".
The government crackdown on drug trafficking has seen hundreds of thousands of people killed since it began in 2007, and all drug use is criminalised.
The amparos - legal tools that grant individuals freedom from arrest - were granted to two individuals whose names were not made public.
They are similar to those won by people for the recreational use and cultivation of marijuana, granted by the country’s supreme court on the basis of the "right to the free development of the personality."
The court decision has to be approved by a higher court to come into effect.
"This case represents another step in the fight to construct alternative drug policies that allow (Mexico) to redirect its security efforts and better address public health," MUAC said in a statement.
"We have spent years working for a more secure, just and peaceful Mexico. This case is about insisting on the need to stop criminalizing... drug users and designing better public policies that explore all the available options," said the group's director, Lisa Sanchez.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Mexican president, announced soon after taking office in December last year that he planned to move towards a non-prohibitionist model on drugs, with a plan to decriminalise their use, if not production.
His National Development Plan, announced earlier this year, said “the prohibition strategy is unsustainable, not only because of violence that has been generated but because of the damage to public health.”
Few expected this position to impact anything but marijuana and the recent court decision came as a surprise to observers.
Jaime Lopez, a former government security official and now independent analyst, told The Daily Telegraph that lobbyists are playing a dangerous game.
“It's a dangerous stunt that may end up emboldening and galvanizing prohibitionists,” he said.
“These people have managed to draw and equivalence between marijuana and cocaine. Nobody can defend cocaine. It's harmful, non-indigenous, associated with a lot of violence. By using the same reasoning as for marijuana, they are essentially reinforcing the message that to stop marijuana is to stop all drugs.”
The ruling will only take effect if they side with the original decision, and would only apply to the two people who brought the cases.