MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's Supreme Court on Wednesday backed the right of four individuals to use marijuana in a decision that could prove a major step toward legalization in a country with a bloody history of conflict with drug cartels.

Ruling on a case first brought in 2013 by an advocacy group denied permission by regulators to grow plants for recreational use, the court set a precedent by voting 4-1 that prohibiting people from consuming the drug was unconstitutional.

Production and commercialization of the drug is illegal in Mexico. Still, in 2009, the country made it legal to carry up to 5 grams (0.18 ounce) of marijuana, 500 milligrams (0.018 ounce) of cocaine and tiny amounts of heroin and methamphetamine.