CHILE TURNS NEW CHAPTER ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA

CHILE TURNS NEW CHAPTER ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA

It would appear that unlike the US some countries are more decisive when dealing with the medical marijuana dilemma. In light of the numerous diseases cannabis can be helped to treat, many heads of state have already been tasked with addressing the elephant in the room;

To be or not to be…

What is a government to do when a constitution made by its fore-fathers prohibits the use of a drug that modern science has linked to numerous solutions in battling and alleviating various illnesses? Do they blindly follow the law without reason or do they step back, access the new discoveries that have come to light and pave a new path? While some countries are stuck in this very dilemma some have opted to take the more rational decision and embrace medical marijuana.

News reaching our desk says that Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has signed a decree that removes marijuana from the category of “hard drugs,” giving the country’s Ministry of Health authorization to permit and control the use of cannabis, extracts and tinctures, for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products.

A step in the right direction

The country’s long-standing historical background in Marijuana usage is quite shocking, as it dates as far back as the 1500s. But in 2008, Chile tightened its Cannabis trafficking laws to those equivalent to Heroin and Cocaine. Since 2014, the Chilean Agricultural Service (SAG) authorized the cultivation of medical cannabis, and in 2015, the sale of marijuana-derived medication on prescription in Pharmacies was also allowed. With its limited production of Cannabis, much of Chile’s vast amounts of the drug are imported from its neighbors including Peru and Paraguay.

However, possession and transportation of Cannabis still remains illegal in Chile and if caught one could probably face the law by 5-10 years imprisonment. So it’s not all roses just yet but make no mistake, Chile is headed in the right direction to giving its citizens whose situations may be made a bit better through the use of medical marijuana. To them…. It is a new hope.

Can the US “pick a leaf”?

In my opinion they could use a few, now I am not saying they are not trying. Though they surely seem to be dragging their feet. There have been numerous proposals in the country to remove cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the most tightly restricted category reserved for drugs which have “no currently accepted medical use”. Even President Obama has been calling for the rescheduling of the plant, as its current position obstructs important medical research.

Ironically twenty three states have legalized its use even though the federal law still prohibits it. We only hope that in the war of rationality versus law that rationality triumphs because in this age and era, any attempt to overlook the facts will only harm those in most need of medical marijuana treatment.

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