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Mother Courage in Peru

Posted on October 3rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .


The woman behind the South American nation's new medical marijuana law may yet face prison time. Her crime? Providing the only medicine that worked for her ailing son.

In the working-class Lima district of Pueblo Libre, I make my way to an apartment complex and up to the flat of Ana Álvarez—the unlikely woman almost singly responsible for Peru’s groundbreaking new medical marijuana law.

In a bedroom, 18-year-old Anthony watches a noisy Spiderman movie, occasionally interrupting through the open door as I chat with his mom in the living room. Anthony suffers from tuberous sclerosis, a severe form of epilepsy, and was the voiceless central figure behind the events that led to a major reform of Peru’s drug laws in 2017.

The next likely countries to legalize cannabis

earthWith Canada now joining Uruguay as the second country to legalize cannabis at the national level, industry eyes are scanning the world map for which could be the likely third. Latin America may provide the candidate, as even UN experts now urge the region's governments to consider legalization as a way out of the endemic narco-violence. But pressure for legal cannabis is fast mounting in several European countries as well. Legalization may soon be on the legislative agenda in Australia, while New Zealand has promised to put the questions before the voters. 

Will peasant producers have a place in Colombia's legal cannabis economy?

Posted on March 26th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

ColombiaWith foreign capital pouring into Colombia's newly legalized cannabis sector, industry leaders foresee the country becoming the world leader in production and exports—a new "Saudi Arabia of cannabis." However, traditional peasant producers fear they will not have access to the legal market—but will continue to face repression and eradication. The newly formed National Coordinator of Coca, Poppy and Marijuana Cultivators is demanding a place for campesino producers in the new legal cannabis economy, and a halt to forced eradication efforts.

Peru: medical marijuana regs delayed —as eradication continues

Posted on March 8th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

PeruThe process of working out implementing regulations for Peru's new medical marijuana program is now officially in extra innings, extending beyond the 60-day window that opened with the signing of the law in November. Advocates are still watching to see whether homegrown will be permitted or just lab-grown, and what constitutes a "laboratory." Meanwhile, despite this tentative progress, the cannabis-growing heartland of the Norte Chico continues to see big militarized police raids on campesino cultivation.

Bolivia's African king speaks for coca growers

Posted on December 11th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .
BoliviaAmong the coca-growing peasants of Bolivia's Yungas region (the country's prime legal cultivation zone) is a substantial Afro-Bolivian population—descendants of slaves who were brought in by the Spanish colonialists to work in the silver mines and haciendas centuries ago. Some have inter-married with the indigenous Aymara people of the Yungas, forming a distinctive Afro-Aymara culture.

Peru: medical marijuana bill signed into law

Posted on November 19th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

PeruPeru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Nov. 16 signed a bill to legalize the use of cannabis products and derivatives to treat medical conditions such as cancer and epilepsy. PPK, as he is popularly known, hailed the law as opening a new chapter in his country's approach to the herb. "Here we are breaking with a myth," he said, referring to marijuana's reputation as a dangerous drug. "Peru is turning several pages, moving toward modernity."

Peru: will medical marijuana include herbaceous cannabis?

Posted on October 3rd, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

PeruThe dilemma now faced by several US states concerning whether "medical marijuana" need include actual herbaceous cannabis is about to hit the South American nation of Peru. Law 982/2016 is advancing through the country's Congress, and is headed for an imminent floor vote. The push for the new law was launched after a police raid in Lima earlier this year on a collective known as Buscando Esperanza (Seeking Hope)—made up mostly of mothers who were producing cannabis oils for their offspring suffering from cancer, epilepsy and the like. The bill cleared the congressional Defense Committee, that concerned with internal security, in mid-September.

Colombia: cocaleros resist forced eradication

Posted on September 7th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

ColombiaColombia's government—under pressure from Washington—is pushing ahead with plans to forcibly eradicate 50,000 hectares of coca leaf this year, despite mounting resistance from the peasant growers. In several incidents over the past weeks, forced eradication sparked violent confrontations between cocaleros and security forces. Even so-called "voluntary eradication" is now meeting with protest, as campesinos say their communities are being flooded with National Police troops, in violations of their pacts with the government.

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