In this article, Sensi Seeds gives an update on the most recent developments in the Americas regarding cannabis regulation, decriminalisation and legalisation. The acceleration we saw in Q1 2014 doesn’t look like it will be slowing any time soon.
Guatemala and the United States take centre stage in this story. First up: Guatemala. President Otto Perez announced on 2 April that he had submitted a proposal to a government committee that will research whether the legalisation of drugs – and cannabis in particular – is feasible. In an interview with Reuters news service, Perez indicated that he expects the committee’s results in October this year. In anticipation thereof, Perez is considering legalising cannabis production this year.
Fighting crime by making cannabis legal
The reasons for the legalisation plans, which the president announced shortly after his appointment in 2012, are comparable to those given by the president of Uruguay. Guatemala is one of the largest coffee bean suppliers in the world and it is also one of the most violent countries in the Americas, primarily as a result of United States and Mexico’s War on Drugs and violent invasions by drug cartels in the Guatemala-Mexico border regions. Guatemala is suffering from the War on Drugs and – just like the president of Uruguay – Perez sees the legalisation of cannabis as the solution to crime.
He has always been fiercely against the American and Mexican War on Drugs and has often commented on its failure. Recently, however, the winds have changed and are picking up pace. The president has noticed this and feels encouraged to turn things on their heads. Not only that, with the legalisation of opium in his plans, he wants to go further than anywhere else in the world. Perez explains, “The other thing we’re exploring … is the legalization of the poppy plantations on the border with Mexico, so they’re controlled and sold for medicinal ends. These two things [legal cannabis and opium production, ed.] could be steps taken on a legal basis.”
Sensi Seeds will, of course, report further information on the legalisation process in Guatemala as soon as it is available.