Skip to main content

Peruvian Moms Lead the Fight for Medical Cannabis

Peruvian Flag

Count this week as another win for moms.

Following a significant education campaign surrounding the use of cannabis as a treatment for children with epilepsy, the Peruvian Congress showed overwhelming approval for legalizing medical cannabis in the South American country known for more for its significant coca production.

The bill sailed through the country’s legislative body with a 68-5 vote, directing regulations for production and distribution be written within about 60 days. The cause for such swift action? Moms and kids. A widely publicized police raid in Peru’s capitol of Lima was made in February at a home-improvised laboratory where cannabis oil was being produced by mothers desperate to save their children’s lives.

From the UK’s Guardian:

“The laboratory was in the home of Ana Alvarez, 43, who founded the group Buscando Esperanza or Searching for Hope to treat her 17-year-old son Anthony who suffers from a rare and severe form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, as well as tuberous sclerosis, which causes tumors to grow on the brain and other organs….

“‘We want associations like ours to be included in the production of this natural medicine,’ (Alvarez) said, adding that the new bill only allowed strictly regulated local production of cannabis oil, precluding organizations like hers.

“She was also worried that imported marijuana derivatives would be too expensive for her to buy for her son and for the families of other patients. The homemade oil was made for a fraction of the cost, she said, and came in different varieties for the personalized use of more than 300 patients.”

I am so grateful to see more Latin American countries moving forward on this fight, as the United States and Canada creep along in their own patchwork fashions. While it is too bad Peruvian lawmakers have taken the unnecessarily cautious “New York approach” as I call it, nevertheless they are making a move in the right direction. Restricting use of flower along with home cultivation, as is the law in New York, only prevents patients in need from having access to medicine.

Prohibitionists sure do seem to take a long time to get with it, but  even they are coming around to the right side of history when presented with the facts. And at the end of the day, one truth remains universal: if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) keeps you up-to-date on global cannabis markets and change in policies! Stay ahead of the competition and join ICBC’s international experts in Kauai, Hawaii this December 1-3, 2017.

Ana Alvarez, Buscando Esperanza, Latin America, Peru