Cannabis in Chile
Easing the agony
The state relaxes its stance on the use of the drug as a painkiller
CECILIA HEYDER has breast cancer. She also has systemic lupus, a disease of the immune system. She's had a mastectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. She has taken many painkillers, often with side effects as bad as her symptoms. Last year, in desperation, she asked a doctor what else she could take to relieve her agony. He took out a pen and drew her a cannabis leaf. “It was as if he didn't dare speak the drug's name,” Ms Heyder recalls.
A 48-year-old mother of two, Ms Heyder had only dabbled with cannabis as a teenager. But she got hold of some leaves and used them to make tea. The result was startling. It was far more effective than any conventional painkiller she had used.
Inspired by her illicit experiment, Ms Heyder looked for Sativex, a cannabinoid medicine, but it was unavailable in Chile. She persuaded the government to let her import it; the drugs arrived from Europein September. The Chilean authorities say it's the first time a cannabis-based treatment has been legally brought to Latin America.
But Sativex is pricey. It costs Ms Heyder 2,000 a month. When her stash runs out she will have to buy more cannabis on the streets. “I don't want to go back to the fear of being arrested,” she says.
In view of the cost of cannabinoid medicines, campaigners in Chile are arguing for the right to make cheaper alternatives. In September they won a ground-breaking victory. The Daya Foundation, a local not-for-profit outfit, was allowed to grow cannabis on land in LaFlorida, a district of Santiago. It will be used to make a painkiller for 200 cancer sufferers. The seeds were sown on October 29th. Blessed by the state, it is the first such project in Latin America.Uruguay made waves by legalising recreational marijuana use; now Chile is blazing a trail for the medicinal
考虑到含大麻成分的药品价格昂贵，智利的运动发起者为争取得到廉价的可替代药品而努力。九月，他们取得了突破性的胜利。达亚基金会，当地一个非盈利性机构被允许在圣地亚哥的弗罗里达区种植大麻。生产的大麻将为200 多名癌症患者提供止痛药。种子已经于十月29 日播种。多亏了智利政府，该项目在拉丁美洲是首个。乌拉圭对娱乐用途的大麻合法化引起各方态度博弈，现在智利在医用大麻合法化的征程开辟了道路。