Panama Unanimously Approves Medical Cannabis Bill
Central America consists of seven countries – Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. All of those countries have differing cannabis laws.
Less than 10 grams of cannabis has been decriminalized in Belize since 2017. ‘Personal consumption’ carries no penalty in Costa Rica, although it’s unclear what ‘personal consumption’ entails.
El Salvador has particularly harsh cannabis laws, as does Guatemala to a lesser degree. Consuming cannabis in Honduras is illegal, yet ‘tolerated’ in some regions. Cannabis is also illegal in all forms in Nicaragua.
With that in mind, it is historically significant whenever a Central American country reforms its cannabis laws, which is what is happening in Panama. Per Reuters:
Panama’s national assembly unanimously passed a bill on Monday that would regulate the use of medical cannabis, making it the first nation in Central American to do so.
The proposal, which would set up a registry of authorized cannabis patients and permit further research on the drug, was approved by a vote of 44 lawmakers in favor and none voting against it.
The medical cannabis measure that received unanimous support in Panama’s national assembly now goes to President Laurentino Cortizo for a final signature.
Panama may not be the first country to legalize cannabis for medical use, and in fact is quite a bit behind many other countries, however, it is the first to legalize medical cannabis in its region, and that is definitely worthy of celebrating.