On July 6 in the municipality of Corinto, in the north of Cauca, the first cooperative of producers of Cannabis for medicinal uses was presented, as part of the project for comprehensive and alternative management of Cannabis cultivation, which has the support of the National Government.
An unprecedented meeting in a central region of the armed conflict and drug trafficking for decades, in which the ministers Alejandro Gaviria (Health), Eduardo Londoño (Justice), the President of Congress, the rector (e) of the National University, also participated of senators, mayors, peasants, indigenous people and the press.
The “Caucannabis” cooperative links growers from the municipalities of Miranda, Caloto, Jambaló and Toribio. The project was advised by the Ministry of Labor in training associates for their legal and statutory conformation. The National University will structure the project for the research center with resources from the Departmental Government; For their part, the ministries committed themselves to accompanying the licensing process that will establish the law that has just been passed by the President of the Republic on July 8.
The Minister of Health referred to the failure of the war on drugs: “a war against people” and said that this moment marks the “beginning of an opportunity for redemption” for that region of the country. Likewise, the Minister of Justice expressed that he seeks to present a project for the review of criminal proceedings against small peasant and indigenous growers.
This commitment between government and growers becomes a historical event, framed in the peace and post-conflict process that is taking place in Colombia and that will represent an alternative development and a business opportunity for several families in Cauca.
It is a first step on a path that looks promising in the process of re-significance of Cannabis, a plant that, beyond the prejudices around it, has been part of civilizations for thousands of years and whose introduction in Latin America south is relatively recent; Cannabis came to America with the conquerors in the XV century.
In Colombia, the Cannabis boom was around drug trafficking, which for decades has managed to access the production of peasant growers who in turn found an economic solution to a precarious situation in the middle of the war.
Nowadays we begin to understand the medicinal and industrial potential of Cannabis and the integration of science for the research and development of products with high quality standards becomes urgent, starting from organic, sustainable and beneficial cultivation practices with soils and the environment, which will surely require a plan to clean up the lands that have been fumigated and contaminated with harmful agents such as glyphosate, in addition to an educational work with the communities that involves cultivators, researchers, academics, doctors and organizations.
In people, cannabinoids help treat many diseases. The complex Endocannabinoid Systems of humans seem to find an optimal balance when stimulated by the joint work of the various substances produced by this plant.
We must replicate that synergy between people and join efforts for the development of Cannabis in Colombia.