The Future of Cannabis is in Latin America

The process of changing the laws around cannabis is a global movement heading in one direction: Forward.

Most countries around the world are parties to a collection of drug control treaties that “outlaw the manufacture, distribution, and possession of certain controlled substances like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and cannabis” according to CannaLaw Blog.

USA

The Entire American Continent is Pushing Ahead

These treaties are The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs , The 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and The 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. These treaties are enforced through the United Nation’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and it is falling apart.

Around the world the whole spectrum of cannabis laws vary from full regulation to complete prohibition.

For example in the state of Colorado in the United States all those 21 and up  can legally purchase cannabis from a store, while in Indonesia Cannabis possession is punishable by death.

It is interesting to see that around the world the entire American Continent the one spearheading the cannabis revolution.

The United States is by far the country with the most advanced cannabis industry. The first decriminalization happened in Oregon in 1973, the first legal medicinal cannabis store opened in California in 1996 and the first legal recreational store in Colorado in 2014.

And their example is spilling over the entire continent.

Uruguay passed a national law regulating the home cultivation and the creation of clubs, with a state monopoly on production and distribution. But the process has been stopped for most of 2015 due to a new president taking office and wanting to “review” the whole process.

Chile has a very engaged group of cannabis activists spearheaded by mothers whose children suffer from epilepsy and other conditions that can be treated with RSHO. There are already two legal pilot projects serving about 400 patients with cancer and epilepsy.

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos have spoken publicly in favor of legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes and a law that is going through their congress has his support.

It is odd that the country who imposed the prohibition almost a century ago is the one who is now the most advanced in its process of legalization.

And just as Latin America has been the region hit the hardest by the consequences of the Prohibition, it will also be one of the first ones to legalize and rip its benefits.
I will venture to say that the first legal international transactions of cannabis will take place between countries in Latin America.

When a whole industry and an entire continent are moving forward, we know that legal cannabis is going to shot pass the sky and reach the stars.

When Would Argentina Catch the “Cannabis Bug”?

Caught in the middle between Chile and Uruguay lies Argentina, the third largest economy in Latin America and the country with the most backward legislation when it comes to cannabis.

Latin America is a curious place to be working for the regulation of medicinal cannabis. The contradictions are profound and downright comical at times: When I mention my work as a Cannabis Consultant and hand my business card, many think I am selling drugs.

In the Southern Cone of the continent –the area that encompasses Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina, these contradictions are pretty deep when it comes to Cannabis regulation.

The Southern Cone.

The Southern Cone.

To the right of Argentina lies Uruguay, a small country of seven million people legalized cannabis in 2013. The law takes the production, transformation and commercialization of cannabis away from the drug cartels and into the state. This was first country in the world to openly abandon the “prohibition”.

On the other side lies Chile. A long and narrow country where even though cannabis is illegal, it has approved two pilot projects to grow and produce cannabis oil for 400 patients with cancer and epilepsy. The country has almost 1,000 legal cannabis plants growing happy and healthy outdoors and the first batch was harvested in early April.

Right in the middle between Chile and Uruguay lies Argentina, the third largest economy in Latin America and the country with the most backward legislation when it comes to cannabis. For simple possession of joints and plants, it jails its citizens at a rate of one per hour.

With the reality of its neighbors taking big steps in reforming their drug laws, the question in everybody’s mind is: If Uruguay is sneezing while Chile is coughing, when would Argentina catch the “Cannabis Bug” and start its legalization process?

Very soon. After all yours truly is based in Buenos Aires making cannabis things happen. And often times being confused with a drug dealer.

Welcome to Latin America!

When would Argentina catch the "Cannabis Bug"?

When would Argentina catch the “Cannabis Bug”?

Cannabis for President

By election day both presidential candidates were competing on how fast they will legalize and regulate “The next greatest Industry of the 21st century: Cannabis”.

This is a short recount of a vivid dream I have just had. It is early Friday morning and even though I have slept for only five hours, I am wide awake and energized.

I am sitting on a white Ikea couch at my old apartment in North Carolina. I am chatting with a good friend of mine and other than seeing an unicorn grassing outside of the window and a human-size vacuum cleaner serving us warm coffee, everything seem pretty normal.

There is a large hardcover book on the coffee table in front of us that catches my attention. I pick it up and realize it’s a history book from the 21st century. I open a random page and a headline in big bold letters hits me in the face: “2017: The Year Cannabis was Legalized”

I read out loud “…the presidential election started by mid-2015 with the usual visits to Iowa and general statements about health, security, economic progress and the deficit. But by the end of the year the speeches and press conferences had been dominated by each candidate pledging to have cannabis legalization as the flagship of their campaigns.

By election day both candidates were competing on how fast they will legalize and regulate “The next greatest Industry of the 21st century”. If the 2008 election that saw Barack Obama became president was won on the shoulders of his health care promises, the 2016 election will always be known as “The Cannabis Election” […].

Reading further into the history of the 21st century, I learn that the next president of the United States will take office with the clear promise of legalizing cannabis nation wide. It will be followed by a deep reform of the entire regime of legal prohibition and the international expansion of the US Cannabis Industry around the world.

The gateway theory of cannabis ended up being true after all… It was a gateway to winning the presidential election of 2016.

The voting was unanimous.

The voting was unanimous.

Activists vs Entrepreneurs

It is not the strongest, nor the fastest who survives; it is the one better able to adapt to a quickly changing environment.

What happens when a social movement that has been traditionally lead by activists, and who against all odds and under the threat of jail and prosecution, manage to produce the change they have always wanted to see?

That is exactly what is happening right under our noses with the legalization of cannabis and the creation of a legal and legitimate market. So much so that cannabis is now been referred to as: “The Next Great American Industry”.

The End Justifies the Means?

Activists are moved by a deep desire to make a positive impact in the world through the change of a certain public policy. They are not driven by profits or the size of a market, but by their heart’s desire.

Entrepreneurs on the other hand can spot an economic opportunity from a mile away when they see one. For them, rising money in order to make some signs and march for a change makes no sense. They consider the best way to impact society in a positive way is through economic development: Building a business that is professional, profitable and politically engaged.

Social Change or Profit

The new cannabis industry has brought to the surface a very particular dynamic not yet seen in such clear terms. Take for instance the case of GW Pharmaceuticals, a large company that makes a medicine from cannabis called “Sativex” but who is opposed to all legalization efforts.

 

Or take what is happening in Ohio: A small group of very wealthy investors putting together a ballot measure to legalize cannabis but that has been written in a way that will create a monopoly only for them.

Capitalism at its core calls for the maximization of profits, the ever increase of market share and the displacement of competition. In the long term a mature markets gravitates towards an oligopoly or a monopoly, where one of very few firms dominate the market.

In the case of the cannabis legalization we are seen the appearance of a huge market with not big players and the possibility of huge profits. Almost overnight the activist is been replaced by the entrepreneur and the social change takes a back seat to the profit making.

Fast, Strong and Adaptable

Darwin said it very clearly in its book “The Evolution of the Species”: It is not the strongest, nor the fastest who survives; it is the one better able to adapt to a quickly changing environment.

The great cannabis savanna lays right in front of our eyes, and sooner or later we will see how the game of activists and entrepreneurs play out in the world of cannabis legalization.

 

Souce: https://www.weedworthy.com/weedworthy-cannabis-news/113-marijuana-law-crime-news/20428-on-hippies-vs-suits-in-the-cannabis-industry

When my (Cannabis) Time Comes

It is going to happen my friends, sooner or later my time will come and this amazing body that has taken me places, allowed to have tons of experiences, memorize endless amounts of useless data, and overall permitted me to have a great life on this planet, will stop functioning.

It may come before I finish writing this post and I will be found in few hours with my face on the keyboard, or it may come in 60 years allowing to blow the candles off my 100th birthday cake.

But regardless when it happens, the truth of the matter is that it is coming. For me, for you and for everybody we know.

No doubt I will heading straight to Heaven: After working on the legalization of cannabis across Latin America and treating people right, for sure I will sitting right beside Jesus, God and flanked by the Mule and the Donkey.

I would like for the body to be cremated, the ashes mixed with some dirt and use it to grow some beautiful and healthy cannabis plants.

And after the vegetative and flowering stages have been completed and when the time is right, from the top of a mountain overlooking a beautiful green valley, light up a connection to that great beyond.

And let’s have a cosmic chat.

Heading straight to Heaven

Heading straight to Heaven

Brand Off

Ignorant, sick, addicted, insecure and dumb: That’s how they want you.

Brands don’t care about you. Corporations don’t care about you. None of those products and services that live in your imagination care about you. That seven-headed monster called “Publicity” does not care about you at all.

Cigarettes want you addicted and coughing your cancerous lungs off. Alcohol wants you miserable from Monday through Friday so that you can get fucked up and right everything on Friday night. Shopping malls want your low self-stem to fill it up with stuff made by slave labor in South East Asia.

Groups of people who call themselves corporations, governments, brands and so on want you sleepy to wake you up; tired to energize you; sad to sell you a happy pill; insecure to spend money on stuff; broke to get a loan; plugged to a TV screen to teach you how inadequate you are.

Ignorant: That is how they want you, fucking ignorant.

They teach day in and day out not to ask for a “glass of High Fructose Corn Syrup with 16 table spoons of sugar and a long list of cancerous and unpronounceable chemicals, please” .

You learn to ask for a glass of Coca-Cola and drink the whole shit with a smile.

Ignorant, sick, addicted, insecure and dumb: That’s how they want you; that’s who you are for a brand.

Go shopping now, nothing else to read here.

Everything is fine, Keep shopping.