First debate on medicinal marijuana in Panama

Next Tuesday, members of the Labor and Health and Development Commission of the National Assembly intends to discuss bill No. 149, which regulates the medicinal use of marijuana.

The Panamanian deputy and proponent of the initiative José Luis Castillo made the announcement after the committee proposed the legislative proposal yesterday.

The deputy added that this regulation seeks to make the use of cannabis an alternative treatment for people suffering from conditions such as epilepsy, as well as different types of chronic pain, including cancer.

Castillo said he has "positive" expectations about the upcoming debate.

Roger Barés, president of the Committee for Protection of Patients and Families, said that although they are not against the proposal, there have several "doubts" about it.

He noted that it is necessary to support the need for this type of treatment in the country based on "scientific studies" and according to "real statistics" of people who require this substance. Activist  Barés continued that the patients’ concerns were already sent to the commission and that these concerns will be voiced in the upcoming debates.