A focus on the largest cannabis producer in South AmericaGuillermo GaratDrug Policy Briefing Nr. 46
Paraguay is the principal producer of cannabis in South America, though nobody knows for certain how many hectares are planted with this crop, probably on account of its concealment and a prevalent climate of corruption. National authorities and international control agencies estimate an area between 6,000 and 7,000 hectares, with an annual production of 16,500 tonnes. At present, according to estimates of the Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (Secretaría Nacional Anti Drogas - SENAD), some 20,000 farmers are involved in cannabis cultivation, boosting the microeconomy of the north-eastern region of the country.
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Overview of drug laws and legislative trends in Paraguay
In Paraguay, a new drug law in 1988 exempted from punishment those in possession of a maximum of 2 grams of cocaine or heroin and 10 grams of marijuana for personal consumption.
Law N° 1.340, Art. 30:
“Whoever possesses substances detailed in this Law, prescribed by a doctor, or whoever possessed them exclusively for personal consumption, will be exempted from punishment. […]
Drug users’ exclusive personal use will be determined by the amount of substance in possession equivalent to what is considered a daily dosage, as determined by the Forensic Doctor and a specialized Doctor designated by the Social Welfare and Public Health Ministry and another by the defendant, at his/her own cost, if so requested.
In the case of marijuana this shall not surpass 10 grams and in the case of cocaine, heroine, and other opiates, 2 grams.”
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