Panama takes the first step to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes


The members of the legislative Branch approved in first discussion, the bill that seeks to legalize the use of marijuana with strict medicinal purposes and thus contribute, with the eradication of contraband.

José Castillo, President of the Health Commission of the National Assembly, explained that the bill does not seek to be a benefactor of pharmaceutical companies but, instead, support those suffering from diseases whose discomfort can be alleviated with the use of cannabis.

“This project decriminalizes the introduction of medicines to our country; when tomorrow comes, if the companies want to install themselves that is a different story. Now, if it comes to give employment, development, payment of taxes, lower costs, then welcome. Even when it is not the real spirit of the bill,” said the deputy and doctor to the EFE agency.

For the project to become a bill, two more discussions must be held within the Parliament. If so, Panama, alongside, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, the United States, Canada and Israel would be the countries where such use is endorsed.

Among the clinical pathologies that are treated with the use of cannabis or marijuana are epilepsy, cancer and chronic pain.

Bill 595 was introduced as a discussion topic in November of last year. By the end of February it was scheduled as a point of the parliamentary agenda but its discussion was postponed according to the doctor and deputy, José Castillo, because it was looking to “strengthen and agree on the project so that nothing is left unresolved”.

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