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The number of Latin American countries who are now learning towards approving legalizing medical marijuana continues to grow as Peru approves a bill that allows the legalization of medical cannabis. The bill allows for cannabis to be used for disease treatment. There are several diseases it can be used for such as cancer, Parkinson’s, and epilepsy.

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The bill, which was passed with 67 votes for, three abstentions, and five against, will focus just on the extraction of medical components, not on the consumption of marijuana. All that is left to do is have the new law approved by Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Peru Not the First in Latin America
Peru is certainly not the first in Latin America to approve the legalization of marijuana, as it’s been used in the region by quite some time now. Uruguay was actually the first country to approve it to law back in 2013. It allowed for the cultivation of marijuana for the purpose of self-consumption. The country houses cultivation centers for those who are cooperatives in the program.

From Uruguay it spread to Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Argentina, all of which have passed their own laws for the use of and cultivation of marijuana not just for medical but also for scientific purposes.

What the Law Allows
The new law that will legalize cannabis for medical use in Peru will allow for the import, production, and commercial sale of cannabis oil. The medical marijuana will only be available through licensed pharmacies.

As for the cultivation and production of the medicinal marijuana, it will need to be approved by an executive branch first, and then go through an approval process with institutions such as the National Institute of Health.

The new law was actually proposed by Peru’s president back in February when police were forced to arrest parents who were giving away cannabis oil in their homes to kids who had severe epilepsy or cancer. Lawmaker Alberto de Belaunde has now requested that all charges against these parents who were arrested be dropped.

Peru currently has a very robust illegal drug trade and is the second biggest producers of coca in the world. This move to legalize cannabis production and commercial sale will definitely have an impact on the family.

Legalization Spreading North of Latin America?
With the United States bordering Mexico’s northern borders, it’s long since been wondered if legalization will continue to spread and reach across the U.S. At this time, only a handful of states allow for the use of medical marijuana, but that’s not to say it’s not a hot topic with much debate going on.

However as President Trump proclaims his intentions to build the border wall between Mexico and the U.S. in hopes of stemming the flow of illegal immigrants, and in what he feels is leading to the flow of illegal drugs into the country, full country-wide legalization could be many years away at best. So, for now, there is no sign of the Latin American movement spreading across the United States.

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