This past Monday, the national deputies Zoila Rosa Volio (independent) and Paola Valladares (liberationist) asked the Executive Power to summon file 21,388 “Law of Cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic use and of hemp for food and industrial use.” For this reason, the congresswomen sent a letter showing the benefits that this initiative would bring to the country. The project was not included in the list that was presented for the call for extraordinary sessions, however, it could be included later.
“We know that there is great interest and we trust that due to the efforts we have been making, we can quickly make an approach to make this project feasible and that it may eventually pass an approval,” Geannina Dinarte, Minister of the Presidency, responded to the request.
Of course, the Minister only emphasized the proposal focused on hemp in line with what the Government reported the previous November. In terms of medicinal cannabis, the Presidential House has since distanced itself “for reasons of public health and safety.” Despite this, Volio, who is the proponent of the initiative, denied that it is about the legalization of marijuana.
Slow and steady advance
The previous November, the project was approved by the Environment Commission. This reflected an advance within the legislative stream. However, as of December 1st, the Presidential office took control of the legislative agenda in extraordinary sessions. Since then, the initiative has been held back.
For Valladares, it is vital to move forward with this initiative due to the economic benefits it will bring to the country, as well as relief in the health of those who require these products. “It is not possible to deny the possibility to patients with a number of diseases such as epilepsy, fibromyalgia, cancer, glaucoma that can be treated and improve their quality of life from a drug that is used (medical cannabis)”, said the deputy.
“Why does the Executive Power deny the possibility of the country to enjoy these benefits? All you have to do is put it on the table for discussion and this Plenary should focus on seeing if it works and make improvements,” Valladares added. According to a study by the firm Deloitte, the medical cannabis industry could generate 4,079 jobs this year.