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News > Latin America

Peru's President Signs Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana

  • Peru's Congress voted to approve the use of medicinal marijuana last month.

    Peru's Congress voted to approve the use of medicinal marijuana last month. | Photo: EFE

Published 17 November 2017

Peru joins the ranks of several other Latin American countries moving towards the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has signed a bill to legalize the use of marijuana and its derivatives, such as cannabis oil, to treat diseases such as Parkinson's, cancer and epilepsy.

Meet the Peruvian Women Fighting for Medical Marijuana

Kuczynski welcomed the initiative, saying Peru was leaving prejudices about the leaf behind and finally stepping into modernity.

Now the government will discuss the regulations accompanying the bill with other sectors of civil society.

The Ministry of Public Health will keep a record of patients entitled to access the substance by prescription; the investigative units and laboratories in charge of production, and drug stores allowed to import or commercialize the plant.

In Peru, several organizations have already mobilized in favor of decriminalizing medical marijuana, including parents seeking alternative treatments for children with chronic conditions such as epilepsy or Lennox syndrome.

Until now, many had been forced to rely on the black market in order to purchase cannabis oil, which can be used to alleviate symptoms.

Uruguay is one of the pioneers in Latin America: 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.

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