On September 11th, 2020, the president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, vetoed the law that decriminalizes the possession of cannabis for medical use that was approved a couple of weeks ago in the Congress, as reported by the Paraguayan Health Ministry on Twitter.
The project of law modified articles 30 and 33 of Law number 1340, legislating against the illicit traffic of narcotics and dangerous drugs and other related crimes. The reasons why the president did not approve the decriminalization are unknown.
Later the same day, the Ministry of Public Health and the National Anti-Drugs Secretariat (SENAD) declared in a joint communiqué that being a product of difficult extraction as THC is, neither safety nor quality can be guaranteed.
The law provided that planting, cultivation, harvesting, and further processing of marijuana plants would not be punishable. To do so, however, an authorization from the National Anti-Drug Secretariat would be required. After the Congress sanctioned the regulation, the Chamber of the Chemical Pharmaceutical Industry of Paraguay (CIFARMA) expressed its concern about the “dangers” that it implied.
It maintained that the cultivation and domestic processing approach does not guarantee a hygienic, safe and measurable product.