The South American country of Peru is drafting legislation for medical marijuana in response to an outcry from its citizens. The Congressional Committee on National Defence has agreed to the creation of a bill, which will outline a framework for medical cannabis in the nation.
“The Commission on Defense has unanimously decided to propose the law that decriminalizes the medicinal use of cannabis,” said Congressman Alberto de Belaunde.
The congressman clarified that the government is not interested in legalizing smokeable cannabis products like flower or shatter, policymakers are instead looking specifically at cannabis oil for the treatment of diseases which include cancer, epilepsy and Parkinson’s.
The plea from Peruvians comes after federal police last February raided a makeshift cannabis lab in the San Miguel district of Lima, Peru’s capital city. The laboratory was run by a group of mothers who were processing cannabis to help children suffering from various debilitating conditions that benefit from cannabis-based medicine.
An Ipsos Poll conducted in the South American nation following the raid and subsequent media attention found that 65 percent of Peruvians favor legalizing medical marijuana and 13 percent would like to see cannabis allowed for adult-use.
The proposed bill would authorize the production, importation, and distribution of medical marijuana to anyone with a prescription — doctors would be required to register patients who have been approved for cannabis use.
Domestic cannabis crops in Peru would be licensed and monitored by the government under the proposed legislation.
“It is about improving our children’s quality of life. We thank the authorities who have taken a step toward this,” said Ana Alvarez, the founder of Searching For Hope, an NGO campaigning for medical marijuana in Peru.
Once the bill has been drafted, it will go to the Health Commission in Peru’s Parliament before a debate and vote by the nation’s politicians.
This article was originally published on Marijuana.com.
About Jon Hiltz: Jonathan Hiltz has been a journalist, a TV producer and marijuana advocate for over sixteen years. He has a wife, two young children and lives in the Toronto area.