(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Brazil approves medical marijuana, as Latin America drug taboo softens

By Gabriel Stargardter Time of article published Dec 3, 2019

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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



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