Guatemala considers the legalisation of opium for the medicinal market

20/12/2013

in Beckley Foundation in Guatemala,BF Policy Publications,Policy

Amanda Feilding and Otto Perez MolinaAs proposed in the advice that Beckley Director Amanda Feilding gave to President Pérez Molina and Foreign Secretary Fernando Carrera in January 2013, in our report Paths for Reform, Guatemala is considering legalising opium growing for the medicinal market.

“More than 90% of the global consumption of opioid analgesics occurs in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States of America and several European countries. By contrast, 79% of the world’s population live in countries with low or non-existent access to controlled medicines and have inadequate access to treatment for moderate to severe pain.” (Paths for Reform, Amanda Feilding and Corina Giacomello)

Consumption of opioid analgesics(S-DDD/million inhabitants/day)

Global ranking

Country

Consumption

72

Costa Rica

281

89

Panama

149

95

El Salvador

116

116

Guatemala

59

124

Dominica

50

126

Nicaragua

48

132

Honduras

34

136

Dominican Republic

25

156

Haiti

8

Regional Average

75

Source: INCB, Report of the International Narcotics Control Board on the Availability of Internationally Controlled Drugs: Ensuring Adequate Access for Medical and Scientific Purposes, 2010,www.incb.org.

Morphine consumption Source: WHO, Ensuring balance in national policies on controlled substances. Guidance for availability and accessibility of controlled medicines, 2011, www.who.org, p 15.

Hopefully this move will not only legitimise farmers of the poppy but will also provide a source of analgesics for Guatemalans and potentially for the populations of neighbouring countries.

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