Authorities destroy more than 300 tonnes of cannabis in Paraguay

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The operation concluded on 4/20.

The Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD) recently celebrated 4/20 by announcing that more than 300 tonnes of cannabis had been destroyed as part of “Operation Omega IX.”

Alongside a unit of the Paraguayan Armed Forces, authorities allegedly destroyed 96 hectares of crops and incinerated 19 drug camps over five days in April, reports Diálogo Americas.

While that operation concluded on 4/20, two days later authorities destroyed another four tonnes of cannabis that was found ready for packaging in a rural area.

In total, SENAD reports it eradicated 314 tonnes of pot in the month of April. To put that amount into context, Canadians purchased 100 tonnes of cannabis across the first year of legalization.

Following the results, SENAD noted it plans to continue to work with the armed forces to implement “more effective surveillance to reduce the level of sowing and replanting.”

“In this last joint action, security forces dealt a financial blow of at least US$9.6 million ($11.5 million) to those who are trying to control the narcotrafficking business at the border,” SENAD reported.

Paraguay is the main producer of cannabis in South America according to a February 2021 report by the international organization InSight Crime. The country produced nearly 40,000 tonnes of cannabis in 2019 and criminal groups are allegedly expanding operations.

Cannabis is illegal in the country, but possession of 10 grams or less has been decriminalized since the late 1980s.

Last year, Paraguay issued its first medical cannabis licences to 12 pharmaceutical companies. The companies are able to import seeds for domestic cultivation, alongside other medical cannabis products.

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