It may have been many years in the coming, and taken a lot of hard work, but finally, the Peruvian Congress just voted to legalize medical cannabis…
Legislative Bill 1393, which still needs final approval from President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski before it officially go into law, passed by a 67-5 vote, with three abstaining, was initially proposed by popular lawmaker Alberto de Belaunde. It will provide for the cultivation of medicinal cannabis products with oversight by a regulatory committee made up of the Ministries of Agriculture and Health, the National Commission for Development and Life Without Drugs (DEVIDA).
Back in the summer, the bill was introduced with much fanfare, along with two other similar bills relating to cannabis. One of the biggest cannabis advocates in Peru, Ana Alvarez, who began her activism after she was forced to illegally produce cannabis oil to treat her son Anthony, who suffers from severe seizure disorder Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Alvarez was critical of the other bill which proposed to allow the import and sale of medical cannabis products form abroad only, saying, “Mothers are happy because it is already a step forward in this long journey. We expect self-cultivation to be allowed. The import offers very high prices that would affect low-income families.”
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Having been approved by the Peruvian Health Commission on October 11, the president of the commission, Congressman Eloy Narváez spoke out in favor of the new bill. At the same time, the new bill will allow Peruvians, with various conditions from Parkinson’s to Epilepsy, to use cannabis legally and without fear of arrest or prosecution.
There’s little doubt that this is a step in the right direction for Peru, as many countries in South America and across the world come to terms with the fact that medical cannabis could be a better alternative for patients than damaging and addictive pharma drugs, and could even save lives long-term.
[Image credit: Pixabay]