Chile plants seeds for country’s new medical marijuana program – The Cannabist

Published: Oct 29, 2014, 4:28 pm

By Luis Andres Henao and Eva Vergara, The Associated Press

SANTIAGO, Chile — A Chilean municipality planted the country’s first medical marijuana on Wednesday as part of a pilot program aimed to help ease the pain of cancer patients.

The 850 seeds were imported from the Netherlands, and oil extracted from about half of the plants will be given to 200 patients selected by a municipality in the capital of Santiago and by the Daya Foundation, a nonprofit group that sponsors pain-relieving therapies.

“We’re living at a time, in Chile and the rest of the world, where it’s not reasonable to close yourself to new evidence. Marijuana can provide some dignity to those who suffer,” said La Florida district Mayor Rodolfo Carter, who was inspired to back medical marijuana while watching his late father battle cancer. “It doesn’t cure cancer but we can alleviate the pain.”

The Chilean experiment adds to an international trend of easing restrictions on marijuana for medical or personal use.

More than 20 U.S. states allow some form of medical marijuana and Colorado and Washington have legalized personal use. In the Americas, Uruguay last year became the first nation to create a legal marijuana market.

Jamaica’s justice minister has announced plans to legalize the drug for religious and medical purposes and decriminalize the possession of amounts up to 2 ounces (57 grams). And in Colombia, President Juan Manuel Santos recently endorsed newly introduced legislation to legalize marijuana for medicinal and therapeutic use.

Cannabist special reports from Uruguay

• How Uruguay’s pot plan should work, but also how it might change
• Portrait of a First Lady: Real talk with Uruguayan senator Lucia Topolansky

A law …read more

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