Brazil Will Allow the Use of Medical Marijuana to Treat Epilepsy, Other Conditions

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Brazil has a “tolerant” marijuana policy, but the nation did not have any official legal or medical marijuana program until now. Yesterday, Brazilian lawmakers officially green lit a restrictive medical marijuana policy that will allow safe access for the nation’s patients “suffering from severe seizures and other conditions.”

The substance, approved by Brazil’s Health Surveillance Agency, announced that CBD cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that stops seizures, is not illegal anymore. Instead, CBD will be viewed as a “controlled substance” in Brazil.

But CBD won’t be legally aiding Brazil’s patients just yet: no one in Brazil has a license to produce CBD, and the agency plans to import the substance. Given that many countries import pharmaceutical versions of CBD, odds seem heavy that Brazil will also take this route.

The news comes a month after Brazilian physicians received authorization from the nation’s Federal Medical Council to prescribe CBD to patients in need. Thus, this development is a likely reaction and resolution to the need for actual, legal CBD on Brazilian land.

Brazil’s culture is rich with marijuana, as at least one city produces a cannabis-root infused drink, and the infamous favelas outside of Rio de Janeiro remain flush with weed dealers. But, as we often say, this decision by Brazil represents a step in the right direction and hopefully indicates the nation will soon consider more widespread, progressive reform to both reduce crime and increase medical marijuana’s availability.

Since Uruguay legalized marijuana–coming this year–South America has seen a domino effect. Neighboring nations such as Chile, Colombia, and Argentina have all either approved similar measures or introduced similar legislation. You can now add Brazil to that list.

North America, namely Colorado, may dominate media headlines., but South America is clearly on a rapid pace for reform that deserves much more attention.

[ABC News]

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Barry has been writing about marijuana for over five years. Prior to joining Marijuana.com, Barry wrote about sports and music. His work has appeared on TIME, The Huffington Post, Deadspin, and elsewhere on the Internet. In his spare time, he enjoys disco and Kosher Kush.

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