Brazil approves medical marijuana, as Latin America drug taboo softens
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World - Brazil has approved
medicinal cannabis-based products, the country's pharmaceutical
regulator Anvisa said on Tuesday, becoming the latest
drug-ravaged Latin American nation to sign off on medical
The new regulations will be published in the country's
official gazette in the next few days and come into law 90 days
after that, Anvisa said. It also set out specific rules for the
manufacture, import, sale, packaging, marketing and regulation
of the new class of cannabis-based products.
Latin America has suffered countless drug-related deaths in
recent decades, and stop-start moves toward the legalization of
medical - and even recreational - marijuana in countries like
Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay represent a broader reassessment of
drug laws in a region long-typified by aggressive prohibition.
Brazil's decision is also part of a slowly changing
worldwide view toward illegal drugs, with growing investment
into the medicinal benefits of marijuana and other narcotics.
Nonetheless, in regional terms, Brazil may be arriving late,
with both Uruguay and Colombia having both legalized medical
marijuana and actively working toward gaining a firm foothold in
the booming multibillion-dollar global market.
Uruguay was the first country to legalize the growing, sale
and smoking of marijuana in December 2013 in a pioneering social
experiment closely watched by other nations debating drug
Colombia has also legalized medical marijuana, while in
Mexico, the supreme court ordered the country's health ministry
to speed up its issuance of medical marijuana regulations, with
recreational cannabis also being discussed by lawmakers.
Anvisa said that cannabis-based products will only be
available for sale in registered pharmacies, and with a