History of CBD and Cannabis In: Peru
Even the briefest examination of today’s news will reveal a massive change in public opinion: Cannabis and CBD legalization and liberalization is gaining momentum everyday. The compound has gone from illegal throughout the world to increasingly available in dozens of countries. This is not to say that it has been made legal everywhere – it hasn’t – but more countries are legalizing medical marijuana or decriminalizing personal possession of the substance.
Many of these gains have been concentrated in North America and Europe, that is not to say that this is the only place in the world which has liberalized its marijuana access. Indeed, Peru is a great example: The country has a long history of drug liberalization, with personal possession and use of many drugs being legal – but with some very important exceptions.
Legal Status of Cannabis & CBD in Peru
Peru’s legal status actually explicitly states that personal possession and use of certain levels of drugs, including cannabis, is completely legal. Article 299 of Peru’s Penal Code states that individuals may possess and use small amounts of cocaine, marijuana, opium or ecstasy. Such possession of some amounts if ruled “unpunishable” by Peru’s penal code.
As you would expect given the country’s extremely flexible drug laws, CBD is legal in the country.
However, as noted by legal experts, there is a very important clarification within the law: Individuals may have personal amounts of one drug, but having personal amounts of two or more drugs is actually illegal and a crime. Furthermore, lawyers have noted that Peru’s police will often grant themselves legal wiggle room and make arrests as a result of a lack of specific criteria to determine drug amounts. This may result in an arrest for drug trafficking, not drug possession – a much more serious crime – which may result in a 5-15 year prison sentence.
Others have noticed that, though marijuana is easy to access, police searching is not uncommon.
As such, tourists should be extremely careful if they consider purchasing or using drugs in the country.
Despite its relatively liberal drug culture, Peru only formally legalized medical marijuana in 2017. In February 2019, the country issued a regulatory degree explaining how the program would work. It is estimated at least 7,596 patients were in “urgent need” of medical marijuana, noting that science supported its use for at least four illnesses, including dealing with chemotherapy, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis spasticity and certain types of pediatric epilepsy. The government developed corresponding regulations a few months later.
According to later news, in order to obtain medical marijuana, patients had to obtain a diagnosis from a doctor who was certified by the medical marijuana program. From there, they could obtain marijuana from pharmacies which had enrolled in the program. The government was also in the process of approving importers and exporters of medical marijuana.