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Crushing Cartels South of the Border

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Crushing Cartels South of the Border

By  | CannabisNowMagazine

In the past three years, Latin America has begun to transform itself from an illegal narco-economy to a legal drug economy, beginning with medical and recreational cannabis programs developing across several countries. Beginning with Uruguay in 2012, the world has been watching the dominoes fall across Latin America, wondering which countries would be next to liberate the leaf. The following is a list of the six countries leading the charge toward legalization.

Uruguay

In 2012, Uruguayan President José Mujica’s center-left Broad Front party introduced a measure to legalize medical cannabis and give the government control over production and distribution. It took over a year, but on Dec. 9, 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize whole-plant medical cannabis. Uruguay opted to use a “pharmacy legalization” model, run by the government but distributed through private pharmacies, and after much delay, they are now offering three strains starting this year, each with a different CBD-to-THC ratio. Though cannabis is just beginning to be sold in Uruguayan pharmacies, it has been legal to grow at home since 2014, with over 3,000 people registered to grow up to six plants. In order to combat illegal diversion of legal state cannabis, all legal plants must be tagged with radio frequency chips and have special markers added to their genetic code (which theoretically will not impact the effects of the plants, despite being a form of genetic modification).

Brazil

In April 2014, the mother of 6-year-old Anny Fischer sued ANVISA (Brazil’s FDA) for access to CBD oil. It took ANVISA just three days to rule that it would be “inhumane” to deny Anny access to potentially life-saving CBD.

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