Paraguay's senators approved Tuesday the bill that legalizes the medicinal use of marijuana and its derivatives, as the leaf would relieve the pain of patients with diseases such as Parkinson's, cancer and epilepsy.
The lawmakers approved the version that was passed in the lower chamber on Nov. 15 without modifications, reported the Senate's twitter account.
If promulgated by the president, the text will create a “national program for the medical and scientific study and investigation of the plant and its derivatives.”
Paraguay is the primary producer of marijuana in South America and one of the largest suppliers in the world after Mexico, while an increasing number of farmers are turning to marijuana as a more lucrative alternative to legal crops.
Latin American countries have modified their public policies on drugs, with pioneering Uruguay: in 2013, it became the first nation in the region to legalize the cultivation of marijuana for self-consumption, along with cultivation centers for cooperatives.
Since then, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico have passed laws authorizing the cultivation and use of marijuana for medicinal and scientific purposes.