This week, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs held a session in Vienna, with Bolivia and Colombia among the participating countries. Both nations requested the removal of the coca leaf from the list of banned substances, citing its various uses and properties, and asserting their right to commercialize and industrialize the plant.
The coca leaf, a natural ingredient in traditional Andean culture, has been at the center of debates over its potential benefits and risks. Bolivia and Colombia argue that the leaf’s natural form should be distinguished from its processed form, which is used in the production of cocaine. By lifting the prohibition on the natural coca leaf, they believe that its legitimate uses can be better explored and developed.
In Chile, the Senate approved a report from the Joint Commission that aims to strengthen measures against drug trafficking, regulate the disposal of confiscated goods in drug-related crimes, and bolster social reintegration and rehabilitation institutions. The legislation also focuses on allowing the self-cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes, provided a prescription is presented.
The recent developments in Chile reflect a growing trend in South America toward the acceptance and regulation of cannabis, particularly for medical use.
Meanwhile, in Germany, the Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach, has received a favorable response from the European Commission regarding his proposal to legalize adult-use marijuana and establish a regulated market throughout the country. According to the draft proposal, possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis for individuals aged 18 and older would no longer be punishable. However, advertising promoting cannabis consumption would be prohibited.
The developments in Germany, Bolivia, Colombia, and Chile demonstrate a shifting global perspective on cannabis and coca leaf regulations, as more countries explore the potential benefits and risks associated with these substances.
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