Paraguay has taken notice of Mexico and Brazil, approving Real Scientific Hemp Oil for import. The CBD oil is non-psychoactive and is commonly used as an alternative treatment to epileptic seizures.
Real Scientific Hemp Oil is the first marijuana-derived medicine to be made legal in Paraguay, with a 15-year-old autistic boy, who also has Lennox-Gastautsyndrome epilepsy, the first patient to be prescribed the CBD oil. Old-school epilepsy medications often prove ineffective at treating Lennox-Gastautsyndrome, but CBD oil has shown it can reduce the frequency of seizures. It’s welcome news for the boy and his parents, who until now were forced to import drugs from Spain – and they didn’t even work.
It’s been a long journey for the family. First they petitioned to Paraguay’s government, appealing for access to be made available to CBD oil courtesy of the argument that, in Paraguay, health is considered a human right. In April 2016, the Direccion Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria approved Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO) for import. The permit granted to the family only allows them to possess this specific marijuana-based medicine, which has 1000mg of CBD.
Medical Marijuana Inc., the manufacturers of RSHO is delighted by the developments in the Latin American country, with CEO Dr Stuart Titas praising the Paraguayan government. Titus acknowledged that each country has its own laws regarding CBD products, hemp and more traditional marijuana legislation, and that not every country is as open to the thought of cannabis as medicine.
Central and South America has historically been anti-marijuana, with just a few countries in the region permitting CBD oil use for seizures – others have slightly broader policies incorporating chronic pain and migraines too. Contrast that to the U.S. where CBD oil – and products like RSHO – is readily available to citizens in all 50 states. Even in medical marijuana states where in-state cultivation is not approved, patients can still purchase online.
Medical Marijuana Inc. is one company making a difference for South American patients, and it’s their products – in particular RSHO – that governments are taking seriously – Brazil has even gone so far to subsidize RSHO to improve access for its people. Medical Marijuana has worked to educate both lawmakers and the public on how marijuana-based products have clinical potential and are safe to use.
Recently, Mexico began allowing RSHO-X to be imported. RSHO-X is CBD-isolate oil, containing no THC, compared to RSHO where the psychoactive cannabinoid is found in small concentrations, but not enough to induce a high. Child Grace Elizalde was the first Mexican citizen to be granted access to CBD oil. Her parents founded the Por Grace Foundation, which is helping others in Latin America, playing a critical role in getting Paraguay its first cannabis permit. Grace’s parents, Raul and Mayela are able to use their knowledge of legal structures and the general cannabis fight to make things that little bit easier for others.
Grace also has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which left her powerless to hundreds of seizures a week. Her parents knew something had to change, hence why they became active in marijuana activism and reform. The Por Grace Foundation was set up with the key goal of advancing CBD hemp oil as an alternative treatment to failed medication, and to help families who could benefit from it.
Mexican government officials, Medical Marijuana, Inc. and the Elizaldes co-operated, ultimately achieving their aim of securing permission for Grace to have RSHO imported.
The Elizalde case came prior to Mexico electing Enrique Pena Nieto president. The new leader has his own ideas and approaches toward both medical and recreational marijuana – and they could see Mexico become a pioneer for cannabis in Latin America.
In April 2016, Pena Nieto decided to legalize medical marijuana in Mexico, a huge development for a country that just a couple of years prior hadn’t even legalized CBD. It fits into a trend occurring further north in the U.S. and more recently Canada, and perhaps Paraguay is on a similar path. Grace’s father Raul Elizalde lavished praise on the Mexican government for its new, progressive attitude toward marijuana.
The Paraguay situation
The drug war has left cannabis in a precarious position in Paraguay, but compared to much of the Western world, the South American has a somewhat relaxed stance to the plant.
In practice, decriminalization allows Paraguayans to possess up to 10 grams of cannabis. The government’s primary concern has been to control the wild growth of marijuana in the country’s rural regions, and to tackle its drug trafficking problem, which doesn’t just affect Paraguay but the rest of South America. The “slash and burn” approach has destroyed thousands of acres of marijuana, in a relative success.
However, given these issues, it’s no wonder that the Government of Paraguay has been suspicious about enacting legislation that would make it easier for its people to obtain marijuana in any form.
But there’s a clear difference between medical and recreational use, as lawmakers in the region are distinguishing.
In a developing country like Paraguay, as with many others in Latin America, healthcare and law enforcement costs are high, sapping funding from other areas. Hence, in countries where the public are generally supportive or accepting of marijuana, it’s economically prudent for them to adopt medical marijuana legislation, than waste money on a lost battle.
South America’s huge population is an enticing market for the medical marijuana industry. With Paraguay, Brazil and Mexico realizing the plant’s clinical potential and embracing it, the region has the chance to be a guide for the West on how to do the same. Credit must also go to Medical Marijuana Inc., who manufactured the Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO) that these nations have viewed so favorably.