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Chile: Mother Restricted Access To Baby For Smoking Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Chilean mother says a hospital is restricting her from seeing her newborn daughter because she admitted smoking marijuana a few days before she gave birth.

During labor, Sindy Melany Ortiz told hospital officials that she had used cannabis to relieve pain in one of her arms that had been broken, report Eva Vergara and Luis Andres Henao of the Associated Press.

Six hours after her daughter Luciana was born on November 19, a social worker and a psychologist told her that the hospital had "activated a security protocol" and that her baby was being transferred to the neonatology unit. She said that since then, she's only been allowed to see Luciana for 2.5 hours a day, and is not allowed to breast-feed her.

"The pain (in my arm) was too strong," Ortiz said. "We researched several methods to ease it and we took a decision as a family because we didn't think it would affect the baby. It wasn't recreational, it was strictly medicinal."

Hospital officials in the southern Chile city of Talcahuano claimed they were just following protocol when they told a local court they'd found traces of marijuana in the mother's system.

"We've taken actions for the greater good of the child," claimed Patricia Sanchez, acting director at the hospital. "There's nothing out of the norm, and as consequence the baby is hospitalized."

Chile: Government Approves Planting 850 Marijuana Plants For Cancer Patients

Chile-CannabisPlantationFence(BBC)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Chilean government has granted permission to a nonprofit organization to grow 850 marijuana plants in a residential area of the capital city of Santiago.

The cannabis, which is being planted in La Florida, a district of the capital city, will be harvested next April and turned into oil which will be used as a painkiller for 200 cancer patients, reports Gideon Long at BBC News.

It's the first project of its kind with state backing anywhere in Latin American according to BBC. Much of the cannabis debate in the region has centered in Uruguay, which this year legalized marijuana, becoming the first nation in the world to do so.

In Chile, the authorities permit the use of cannabis only for medicinal purposes. "We don't want to get into a debate about the personal use of marijuana," said Mayor Rodolfo Carter of La Florida.

"Let's stick to the medical issue," Carter said. "This is about providing people who are suffering from cancer with a natural, healthier and cheaper treatment for their pain."

The local nonprofit Daya Foundation will oversee the project, which will be accompanied by a clinical study into the effectiveness of cannabis oil as a painkiller.

"Eventually, we want to make cannabis medicine available for everybody, even if they can't afford it," said Nicolas Dormal, cofounder of the foundation. "But for now, we will concentrate on these first 200 patients."

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