Chile moves to legalize marijuana


SANTIAGO, Chile, July 8 (UPI) — Part of Chile’s Congress has approved a law to decriminalize the growing and private consumption of marijuana for spiritual, medicinal and recreational use.

Were the bill to be approved by the Senate, Chilean individuals would be able to carry less than 10 grams of any cannabis variant, as well as be able to cultivate a maximum of six plants. Individuals who need marijuana for medicinal purposes must have prescriptions.

The bill passed the lower house of Congress by a wide margin of 68 in favor and 39 against. It will now be presented before a health commission and then the Senate for approval.

Planting, selling and transporting marijuana is currently punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The changes would modify the country’s Sanitary Code and law 20.000, which substitutes law 19.366 that prohibited the trafficking of cannabis and similar substances.

A member of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s coalition, Karol Cariola, said the vote was a big step forward for those who refuse to be persecuted for access to a medicine that they can grow themselves.

Were the bill to pass the Senate, Chile would join Uruguay, Jamaica, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Mexico in featuring marijuana-friendly legislation. Uruguay created its legal market for cannabis in 2013.





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