The president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, signed on Tuesday (22/12) the decree regulating the medicinal use of marijuana. The decree provides the possibility that licenses are issued for possession of cannabis seeds, as well as for the establishment of crops of this plant, designed to serve exclusively medicinal and scientific purposes.
"We just take an important step to put Colombia in the forefront of the fight against disease and we do this through a decree that aims to harness the virtues of cannabis to improve people's lives," he said. "Allowing the medical use of cannabis is not against our international commitment to perform drug control and much less is part of our policy in the fight against drug trafficking."
Santos stressed the promotion of the production of drugs made from cannabis "as is done with any natural element that can give relief to diseases and pain."
The President recalled that many US states and countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, Argentina, Peru and Chile already allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Santos added that the manufacture, export, trade and medical and scientific use of this and other drugs were allowed for decades in Colombia, but there was no regulation.
"What we seek is that patients can have access to national production of drugs that are safe, have quality and are affordable. This is also an opportunity to encourage scientific research in the country, "he said.
Source: Opera Mundi
Translated by Ekaterina Santos
Edited by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.
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