South America


Chile Harvests First Crop of Medicinal Marijuana

Chile has started harvesting its first medical marijuana crop Tuesday, while the drug remains prohibited for its recreational consumption.

The 400 plants were sown in October in a heavily guarded field of about 100 square meters in the residential district of La Florida, in the capital Santiago. The non-profit organization Daya Foundation was then granted a permit to extract cannabis oil in a pilot program aimed at treating 200 cancer patients for free.

"This is about the dignity of patients who are dying every day in pain and with very expensive medical bills," said Rodolfo Carter, the mayor of La Florida, at a ceremony marking the harvest.

The cannabis leaves will now be processed in a laboratory, as the final product is expected to be ready by January 2016.


Chile harvests first marijuana plants in project to help ease the pain of cancer sufferers

Chile has harvested its first crop of medicinal marijuana as part of a pilot programme that is aimed to ease the pain of cancer sufferers.

Cameras were allowed in to see the first harvested marijuana plants being picked at the heavily guarded growing facility in the La Florida district of Chile’s capital Santiago.

The 850 cannabis seeds from the Netherlands, were first planted in October following a decision by Chilean health authorities to allow marijuana to be grown for medicinal purposes.


Uruguay Plans Pharmacy-Run Marijuana Sales in 2015 Under Vazquez

(Bloomberg) -- Recreational pot will hit pharmacy shelves in Uruguay as President Tabare Vazquez moves to fully implement a sweeping cannabis law signed by his predecessor, a senior government policy maker said.

“The law is going to be implemented and we are going to end up selling marijuana in the pharmacies like the law says,” Milton Romani, secretary-general of the National Drugs Board, said in an interview Thursday.

Wedged between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay became the first country in the world to regulate cannabis for recreational, medicinal and industrial uses in December 2013. Former President Jose “Pepe” Mujica pitched the measure to Uruguayans as a way to allow legal growers to undercut a black market that government estimates put at about 22 tons a year.


Perhaps the world's most humble leader — humbly steps down

Forget honorifics like “your excellency” or “Mr. President” or even “Sir,” Uruguayans call their outgoing president simply, "Pepe."

José “Pepe” Mujica is stepping down after five years as perhaps the world's most humble presidents.



“This man is a guru,” says journalist Uki Goñi, “He's the head of state that refuses to dress in the pomp and ride in a limousine."

Mujica never occupied the presidential palace, he has never driven around in chauffeured limousines, rather, the 79-year-old head of state continues to live in his own country house 20 minutes outside of the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo and continues to drive around in his old, beat-up Volkswagen Beetle.


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