Pubdate: Thu, 30 Oct 2014
Source: Virgin Islands Daily News, The (VI)
Copyright: 2014 Virgin Islands Daily News
Page: 19


SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - A Chilean municipality planted the country's 
first medical marijuana on Wednesday as part of a pilot program aimed 
to help ease the pain of cancer patients.

The 850 seeds were imported from the Netherlands, and oil extracted 
from about half of the plants will be given to 200 patients selected 
by a municipality in the capital of Santiago and by the Daya 
Foundation, a nonprofit group that sponsors pain-relieving therapies.

"We're living at a time, in Chile and the rest of the world, where 
it's not reasonable to close yourself to new evidence. Marijuana can 
provide some dignity to those who suffer," said La Florida district 
Mayor Rodolfo Carter, who was inspired to back medical marijuana 
while watching his late father battle cancer. "It doesn't cure cancer 
but we can alleviate the pain."

The Chilean experiment adds to an international trend of easing 
restrictions on marijuana for medical or personal use.

More than 20 U.S. states allow some form of medical marijuana and 
Colorado and Washington have legalized personal use. In the Americas, 
Uruguay last year became the first nation to create a legal marijuana market.

A law passed in 2005 allowed medical use of marijuana in Chile, but 
only with approval by the country's agricultural service. It approved 
only one earlier effort, in 2011, but quickly rescinded permission 
after opposition from health authorities.
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