Guatemala begins debating cannabis regulation


Guatemala begins debating cannabis regulation

11 July 2016

By Ella Müller-Baum - Talking Drugs

Debates have begun in Guatemala’s Congress over whether or not the country should regulate cannabis, but given the country’s conservatism and history of stalled reform attempts, tangible change appears unlikely.

The public discussions opened late last month after Congressman Alvaro Velasquez of the socialist Convergencia party introduced a bill in April that proposes regulating both recreational and medicinal cannabis.

Various different stakeholders will feed into the debates, which are set to run until August. Following this, a decision will be made as to whether the proposal goes for a full congressional debate.

Velasquez emphasised the need to approach Guatemala's drug policies from a health rather than criminal justice perspective. He also underscored that regulation could have economic benefits for the state and could alleviate pressure on the country's overburdened prison system.

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