The Latest Cannabis Developments in South America - A Roundup
Legalisation moves forward in South America: Colombia is going green and Chile flirts with medical marijuana.
It’s rumbling and mumbling in the cannabis world. The momentum seem unstoppable, and now South America is looking to follow the footsteps of the big brother up north. Here’s the latest out of latin America:
Colombian Liberal Party Looks To Legalize Medical Marijuana
Colombia’s Liberal Party has announced their support for a bill that would see marijuana use become legal for medical purposes. The support comes a few months after the official request for the government to reassess their drug policy surrounding the topic.
Colombia is a country that has garnered a reputation for illegal drug trade, and has been plagued by decades of drug related violence. By reassessing their position on the War on Drugs, the country is looking to take away the power from the cartels that have wreaked havoc on the continent.
Following the Liberal Party’s support for the Colombian bill to legalize medical marijuana, the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel, has also thrown in his support for the movement. Stating it would be a “compassionate response.“ the president also acknowledged it would be a step in the right direction to take away the business from organized crime. Juan, we agree that’s a good idea.
Chile Wants To Clarify Marijuana Laws
In a recent move to help clear up the murky waters surrounding cannabis laws, Senator Isabel Allende Bussi, President of the Chilean Senate, has introduced legislation that would clearly define the use of marijuana in law.
As things stand, Chilean law tolerates the home cultivation and personal consumption of cannabis. However, there is no legal definition to guide law enforcement agencies on what should be considered an amount for personal use – leaving things open to interpretation and potential corruption.
Under new legislation, a household will be allowed to have a maximum of three flowering cannabis plants at any one time, as long as the owners are prepared to register with the Department of Agriculture. The crop will then only be allowed for personal consumption, and cannot be sold on to anyone else.
It is a smart move, and one that solidifies legal cannabis, and the rights people have to access it, within the country.
First Chilean Receives Legal Medical Marijuana
In other news coming out of Chile, a terminally ill citizen has become the first to receive legal marijuana based treatment within the country. Although the the personal cultivation and consumption of marijuana is tolerated, there are not actually any laws in place to allow or regulate the purchase of cannabis based medications.
On June the 26th, Cecilia Heyder, a Chilean housewife suffering from breast cancer and lupus, was given permission by the Institute of Public Health to be given the cannabis based medicine Sativex.
Guatemala Doesn’t Rule Out Legalisation
In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Guatemala’s President and former General Otto Perez Molina announced he did not rule out the possibility of legalisation. Although he does not necessarily support the decriminalization of all drugs, he says there is enough evidence to warrant a possible change in the way we view marijuana.
The former general most notable praised the “visionary decision” of the states of Washington and Colorado to legalize marijuana in his annual address at the United Nations General Assembly – surprising many.
As things stand, Molina is actively watching how things unfold in places like Uruguay, Colorado and Washington, whereby he plans to use them as an example of how to proceed in his country.
And that’s not all…
Although the above are big stories to come out of South America, pretty much every country on the continent is reassessing the way they view cannabis. For example, Argentina is drafting legislation to loosen cannabis restrictions, whilst places like Costa Rica are looking at the pros and cons of legal medical marijuana. Things are looking up.