Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and other government officials said repeatedly this week that they are considering legalizing and regulating opium poppy production in areas where it is already being grown illicitly.
"We started exploring the capacity that we could have for controlled planting," said Perez Molina. "What that means is that we would know exactly what extensions are being planted, what the production would be and that the sale would also be well controlled, especially for medicinal use."
Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez said the government was considering both regulated legal cultivation and alternative development.
"There are two paths, one is cultivated substitutes, and the other is the alternative which is controlled cultivation," Lopez explained. "This is what is already being done in other countries such as India and China, that is to say identifying hectares clearly, seeing how they are grown, carrying out the harvest, taking control of the commercialization and above all making sure this serves mainly the pharmaceutical industry."
Click here to read the full article.
Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert.