A Project to Legalise Consumption of Marijuana Gets Underway in Paraguay

  • Some politicians in the country want to begin work to regulate the plant, following protests from those who make their living thanks to it. However, there are obstacles ahead, such as the need to modify the Constitution.

In Paraguay some people have already begun the path towards the possible legalisation of cannabis, following an unusual protest driven by the so called “marihuaneros”, or marijuana supporters. They are farmers that live off growing the plant and over the last few days they have marched in some areas of the country to protest against the destruction of their crops.

The crop provides financial sustenance for many of them, especially citizens in the San José del Norte neighbourhood, in the General Resquín district in the department of San Pedro. Faced with this situation, the liberal Member of Parliament Édgar Acosta has announced his intention to push forward a draft law, the proposal of which, he will present in a month, regulating the consumption of marijuana and leaving the State responsible for its production and distribution. “We saw people demonstrating in favour of the production of marijuana, and from an economic point of view it is justifiable”, he said.

Now, the National Antidrug Secretariat will be invited to analyse the project with them. The institution will be asked to produce a report about how much money Paraguay has spent over the last few years on its battle against the product. Acosta thinks that the country has been fighting against marijuana for 40 years, spending large sums of money without getting results. Meanwhile, other countries have managed to reduce crime rates thanks to regulation.

Acosta believes that with current illegality, a few people are profiting from the business, when the State itself could look for a way to control the production and selling of the plant.

Furthermore, parliament has called upon society to become open minded and stop seeing the debate as a taboo issue. However, it will be a long road. In previous discussions, it was made known that, in order to legalise the plant, something more than a law is needed. In fact, it is necessary to amend article 71 of the Constitution that regulates the productions and consumption of different substances.


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