Peru Becomes another addition to Countries that legalized Medical Cannabis
Peru joins the growing number of countries to legalize medical cannabis and it seems that there is an element of similarity when it comes to ‘how it happens’. Specifically referencing Latin American countries.
As you may well have heard, Mexico also legalized Medical Cannabis earlier this year and for very similar reasons. What’s the reason you may ask?
In most of these countries the story is the same;
A child or individual is suffering from a specific ailment and cannabis seems to be the only thing that is helping. In the case of Mexico, the law was passed due to a little girl who suffered from a rare case of epilepsy. Once her story went national, lawmakers almost unanimously passed the law permitting Medical cannabis.
Similarly, Peru underwent a “patient-motivated shift” in the law. However, unlike the case of Mexico, the Peruvian legislators passed the law because a collective of mothers were creating cannabis oils in a make shift lab and were supplying medicine to more than 300 children. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Back to the Beginning
Lawmakers voted almost unanimously to legalize the production, importation and the sales of cannabis oil with a 68-5 margin. Within the next 60 days, the bill will be written into law.
According to Alberto Belaunde, an advocate of the proposal; “We’ve ensured that thousands of patients and their family members will enjoy a better quality of life”.
In February, the government raided a makeshift laboratory where a group of mothers manufactured cannabis oil for their sick children.
The lab was located in the home of Ana Alvarez (who we can rightfully call a cannabis hero) who established a group entitled “Buscando Esperanza” or “Searching for Hope” to treat her son’s (age 17) Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome – A severe form of epilepsy. In addition to his epilepsy, he also suffers from tuberous sclerosis, which causes tumors to grow on his brain and other organs.
Despite the victory, Ana isn’t too ecstatic about the passing of the law, mainly because the new bill will only allow strictly regulated localized production of the oil, and doesn’t include organizations like hers.
Another issue she has is that the importation of cannabis oils might become too expensive for her to purchase, as well as for other patients. Their homemade remedy cost significantly less and provided a more robust range of choices for the oils. In total, she had more than 300 patients benefitting from her actions.
“We would have liked the patients’ associations to be have been allowed to produce their own cannabis oil…” Ana Belaunde
We can only hope that it will happen as the new law rolls out.
The Latin American Shift
Latin America, being predominantly catholic, usually had a hard stance against cannabis despite the fact that a lot of the production of the global sales of cannabis derived from the continent. Now, with Peru jumping on the bandwagon, we have Columbia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Mexico all having some sort of medical cannabis program in place. Mexico is supposed to roll out their plans by the end of the year or early next year.
Additionally, Belize is also on the verge of changing their stance on cannabis.
What does this mean for the US?
Well, for starters, coming 2018…the US will be smack dab in the middle of two large nations that have permitted cannabis as medicine (Canada and Mexico). Mexico, once the law is solidified, will in all likeliness start producing for exportation as well seeing that labor is much cheaper there. They will probably be shipping raw material to nations like Canada or even the US (if it gets to that) for processing and will in turn purchase the already-finished products to sell in pharmacies and so forth.
In other words, the US is falling behind the global cannabis market by keeping marijuana illegal. This of course might change over the next few years as an overwhelming amount of people in the US support medical marijuana. Hell, even Republicans are on board with 51% of them favoring legalization.
Nonetheless, we’re on the verge of a booming new industry and the longer the US waits, the more advantage they will give to other nations to solidify their global position.
Of course, the technology being used in the States within their marijuana market is lightyears ahead of these other nations, however the cost of cannabis is significantly higher as well. Thus, I can almost guarantee that within the next ten years, most of the large cannabis productions will come from these Latin American countries which will drive down the price per product due to a cheaper labor force.
We’re living in exciting times and I for one would like to welcome Peru to the world of Cannabis.
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