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Panama Approves Draft Bill to Legalize Strict Use of Medical Marijuana

Panama Approves Draft Bill to Legalize Strict Use of Medical Marijuana

Dina Al-Shibeeb

Panama’s legislators have approved a draft bill that will allow the strict use but not the production of medical marijuana, Panama Today reported on Thursday.

José Castillo, President of the Assembly’s Health Commission, who first introduced the bill in November last year, said the bill is to help patients who are in dire need of medical marijuana, adding that the draft law is not seeking to benefit the pharmaceutical companies in Panama. 

“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,” he said.

“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.”

After the introduction of Bill 595 in November, it was scheduled for discussion by late February. However, it was postponed to “strengthen” the future talks and further consensus on the bill, Castillo explained. 

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The news comes amid widespread acceptance for marijuana as a medical treatment. However, the trend to legalize the recreational use of marijuana is also taking off.

Panama’s Latin counterpart down south Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis, and Canada soon will catch on.

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