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Latin America: Chilean Senator Challenges Inclusion of Marijuana on "Dangerous Drugs" List

In March, the Chilean government reclassified marijuana as a Class One dangerous drug, grouping it along with methamphetamine and heroin as a narcotic substance capable of producing physical or psychological dependency and health problems. Now, that move is being challenged by at least one senator, who is demanding that the government produce the scientific rationale for the rescheduling.

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Nelson Ávila
With marijuana now classified as Class One, said María Teresa Chadwick, director of the National Council of Drug Control (CONACE), judges will not be able to reduce marijuana sales charges, and trafficking even small amounts of the weed will now result in jail sentences of between 1 ½ and five years.

"This responds to the fact that the drug is not harmless. One-third of the 7,000 people treated (each year) come in for marijuana abuse," Chadwick told the Santiago Times in March. The new penalty also addresses the increase of marijuana use in Chile. According to the latest study by CONACE, 7% of Chileans used the drug in 2006, up from 5.3% in 2004.

"The drug causes neurotoxic affects. We see young people with neurological atrophy, with aging minds," said Dr. Rolando Chandía, director of the Alfa Addictions Clinic, adding that he had seen cases of psychosis among young people using "indoor-grown marijuana, a stronger cannabis cultivated with fluorescent lighting."

But Tuesday, after he met with the Interior Ministry to demand an explanation for the reclassification decision, Radical Party Sen. Nelson Ávila said it was "absolutely absurd" to include marijuana in the same class as heroin or meth. "My suspicion is that this decision was adopted without any scientific or technical foundation," Ávila told the Valparaiso Times. "This decision reflects a sensation of neurosis and it is marked by nothing more than prejudices."

Ávila delivered an official petition to Interior Minister Edmundo Pérez Yoma requesting the evidence that was the basis for the reclassification decision. Ávila said it would take time for the ministry to gather the information, but in the meantime he was preparing to introduce a measure condemning the reclassification.

"When the government turns over the report, I plan on fully analyzing the information. At that point, I will make my point of view known," Ávila said. "If I do not agree (with the government decision), then I would propose the creation of an independent organization at the legislative level to investigate this issue. This body would also identify and punish any government members who backed the change without the corresponding scientific data," he said.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Right Reverend Gregory Karl Davis's picture

Marijuana cures cancer

Maria Teresa Chadwick, director of the National Council of Drug Control (CONACE) and the pharmacuedical industry she represents is exposed in "Run from the Cure the Rick Simpson story" for wanting you dead. Dr. Rolando Chandia, director of the Alfa Addictions Clinic is blinded by the greed upon which his ilk feed and refuse to acknowledge the cannabis is useful in the treatment of drug and alchohol dependency as is ibogaine. Interior Minister Edmundo Perez Yoma can only respond to Sen. Nelson Ávila official petition requesting the evidence that was the basis for the reclassification decision with ignorance.

Support the work of the www.brothersformercy.org by going to those who are in need of help facing these draconian authoratative measures. Their religious educational program of denying the jurisdiction of these military courts is effective worldwide. Volunteer to end this insanity by taking this information to those who are going before the tribunals because no one can possibly "understand the nature and cause of this religious persecution."

In Revelation, "And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb. And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads." xxii.

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