El Salvador seems to be tiptoeing toward legalizing medical cannabis, cautiously and without any hint it could go further.
In mid-July, a Salvadoran lawmaker introduced a bill to legalize cannabis for medical use, as well as legalizing domestic production and imports for this purpose. But the conversation around the bill is an exceedingly careful one. The Legislative Assembly’s Security Commission awaits recommendations from the Ministry of Justice and Security, as well as the National Drug Commission, before moving the bill forward.
The proposed bill was authored by Deputy Francis Zablah, who, like the recently-elected President, is a member of the Grand Alliance for National Unity , a conservative party founded in 2010. It requires users to navigate some serious legal hoops. Should the bill become law, patients would be required to obtain a special medical prescription and register with the National Directorate of Medicines. Once registered, El Salvador’s Ministry of Health would grant patients a one-year license. Researchers, manufacturers, and distributors would also be obligated to register.