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President of Peru Signs Pot Bill

The president of Peru Pedro Pablo Kuczynski signed a bill on Nov.16 that legalized medical marijuana.

Medical Marijuana is Legal in Peru

LIMA, Peru – Medical marijuana is legal in Peru. The president of Peru Pedro Pablo Kuczynski signed a bill on Nov.16 that legalized medical marijuana. The bill was approved by congress several weeks ago and will permit cannabis oil and other derivatives for cancer, epilepsy and Parkinson's treatments.

The Peruvian president was happy to sign the bill, adding that Peru was joining modern civilization and is leaving the stigma of cannabis behind. The Peruvian government is now tasked with establishing regulations throughout the country and the Ministry of Public Health will be responsible for keeping records of prescribed patients. They will also maintain records of commercial retailers and transporters of medical cannabis.

Cultivating marijuana is still illegal in Peru, but the government plans to create an official authorized list of growers and importers permitted to supply cannabis to Peruvians with medical marijuana prescriptions.

Organizations that have been advocating for decriminalizing marijuana in Peru began in part with parents of children suffering with diseases like epilepsy or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The new law is a relief to for many, however, advocates want more expansion on the law.

Ana Alvarez is an advocate for medical marijuana in Peru and told the Guardian that the new law was insufficient because of its limitations. “We’re very happy with the fact that Peruvian law has approved this, but we’re not totally satisfied. We want associations like ours to be included in the production of this natural medicine.” Alvarez makes cannabis oil in her home for her son who has brain tumors and suffers from the severe form of epilepsy Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. She also made the medicine for 300 other patients. The new law would not permit her to continue making the medicine her son needs, and the regulated versions will cost patients significantly more.

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