Prosecutor seeks to ban donations of homemade cannabis oil in Paraguay
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Hearing against Edgar Martínez is scheduled for August 9 at 11 am where prosecutors will decide on his future.
The Prosecutor’s Office of the City of the East has asked for 5 to 15 years in jail for an activist who made cannabis oil to give it to sick people who received relief with home medicine.
Edgar Martínez (41 years old) had already been sentenced in 2017 to three and a half years in jail because police found 900 grams of cannabis frozen in water on his property.
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In the prisons of Colonel Oviedo and Ciudad del Este he served one year and six months of imprisonment and from the last 13 months he was granted the benefit of house arrest.
Martínez does not understand why the prosecutor Elvio Aguilera Vázquez insists on prosecuting him if there were no indications of the break-in that he would profit from the donation of oils.
“In Paraguay, cannabis oil is sold in pharmacies, but for home-made, handmade production, in a minimum amount of only 20 ml that was found as evidence, I am exposed to 15 years in jail. This is state terrorism, ”he says.
During the first hearing on October 4, 2017, the defense presented three testimonies of patients with medical records who argued that they received the oil to alleviate the pain caused by their disease.
The defense says that no evidence was found in the house to show that it was engaged in illegal drug trafficking.
During the first hearings, the prosecution called to testify the anti-narcotics police who carried out the search. According to Martínez, in the new appeal, the witnesses changed their initial statement in which they said there was no investigation against them.
“My defense asked them if they knew the name of the people investigated or if they knew who were the ones who lived in the house. They replied that they did not know until the day of the raid.”
This comes out in the context of regulation of medical cannabis in Paraguay. Both just a month ago the presidency announced that they will issue 5 licenses for production to national companies.
The Ministry of Health, for its part, authorized the import of products with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) through a laboratory.
Martínez fears that his house may set a “negative precedent against people who cannot buy and decide to make oil at home”
His hearing is scheduled for August 9 at 11 am where he will decide on his future.