Peru Congress Approves Medical Cannabis

In a historic vote Thursday afternoon, the government of Peru took one of the final steps toward legalized medical marijuana.

The decision was enacted in Congress yesterday with 66 legislators in favor of the change, four against, and three abstentions. The resulting resolution will lift the ban on use, cultivation, and distribution of medical cannabis in the South American nation.

Regulations for the commercialization of cannabis products will be written in 60 days, said MP Alberto de Belaunde, who is one of the authors of the bill. Belaunde added that “thousands of patients and their family members will have hope and a better quality of life.”

The MP pointed out that many countries in the region have adopted medical cannabis already, so an existing wealth of knowledge on legislation and regulation is available to the Peruvian government.

On Oct. 11, Peru’s Health Committee approved the legislation and moved the bill forward to allow for yesterday’s vote. The language now needs to be approved by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who proposed the measure earlier this year.

The catalyst for the landmark decision occurred last February after law enforcement raided a facility where a group of mothers produced cannabis oil for their ailing children. The resulting public outrage over police actions led to the introduction of the medical marijuana bill.

Peru now joins the neighboring countries of Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay in having a comprehensive medical cannabis sector for its citizens.

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