BOGOTA, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday signed a decree regulating the manufacture and sale of medicinal marijuana.
Santos signed the decree regulating the use of medicinal marijuana alongside Alejandro Gaviria, the minister of health and social protection.
"We have just taken an important step to place Colombia at the forefront in the fight against diseases and we do it through a decree that seeks to leverage the benefits of cannabis to improve the lives of people," Santos said in Bogota's Casa de Nariño presidential palace, EFE reported. "Allowing the medicinal use of cannabis will not counter our international commitment in the field of drug control, much less our policy to combat drug trafficking."
Santos said the decree was prepared by Colombia's ministries of Justice, Health and Agriculture. The decree will allow the possibility of the licensed possession of cannabis seeds and for the cultivation of the plant strictly for medical purposes.
Santos said that while the manufacture, export, trade, and medical and scientific use of cannabis was decriminalized for decades, there has never been regulation.
"What we want is that patients have reach to drugs of safe domestic production, of quality," Santos said. "This is also an opportunity to promote scientific research in the country."