• Propose Legalization Of Medicinal Cannabis
  • April 20, 2018
  • The policy in Latin America on the use of medical marijuana is evolving, because in countries like Panama it seeks legalization for medicinal purposes and thus end smuggling of this product. A few countries in Central and South America allow the use of marijuana and cannabidiol oils (also known as "CBD") for victims of epilepsy, inappetence, nausea, vomiting caused by chemotherapy, or pain and muscle spasm in people with HIV AIDS.

    In recent years, some Latin American countries have reformed their policies on the use of drugs previously considered illicit. For example, the use of marijuana for medical and therapeutic purposes is legal in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Peru. The constitution of Bolivia recognizes the right to use the coca leaf.

    The use of marijuana is legal in Uruguay where there is a cannabis-free market regulated by the government. Colombia has also legalized and regulated the production, marketing and export of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Consequently, the Ministry of Justice of Colombia has granted licenses to grow non-psychoactive cannabis plants, which are defined by the content of tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as "THC") below 1% of the dry weight of the product.

    In Panama, Project Law 595 (the "Project") has recently been submitted to legalize the consumption of liquid marijuana for medicinal purposes. In Panama, the use of marijuana was declared illegal in 1928 and it is not registered as a pharmacology drug in the official list of medicines of the Social Security Fund of Panama.

    The project arose from parental concern for children suffering from epilepsy, and seeks to legalize the consumption of liquid marijuana for medicinal purposes and to stop the smuggling of these products. The project does not differentiate between psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabis.

    Article 8 of the draft defines marijuana as: "Cannabis sativa, hemp or marijuana, is a herbaceous species of the Cannabácea family. It is an annual plant, dioica, native to the Himalayan mountain ranges, Asia. "This definition makes no difference between psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabis plants as do the laws and regulations of Colombia or other Latin American countries.

    This definition could affect manufacturers and sellers of non-psychoactive hemp oils, and could have great adverse implications for the free market of food products containing CBD oil, currently legalized.

    The National Assembly has the power to amend the Project before it passes into law.