Animal experts, veterinary clinics, and pet store owners in the coffee-growing region of Caldas in central Colombia have reported the use of marijuana to reduce aggressiveness and anxiety in pets.
The use of marijuana for medical purposes has been supported by a number of veterinary experts.
In an interview with Colombia’s Caracol radio, Caldas pet store owner, Lorenza Lopez, reported that veterinary clinics have been using marijuana to calm aggressive and unwell animals.
By burning the drug mixed with other leaves and herbs to create smoke, the effects of calmness and pain reduction have been shown to equal that of human users.
Lopez said that clinics either administered the marijuana bought from dealers, or that the treatment was applied by pet-owners at home, which was demonstrated to be particularly effective with cats and other domestic animals.
Animal rights group PETA reported that treating unwell animals with marijuana dates as far back as the ancient Greeks, who used a treatment called Berlin Hippiatrica. This involved placing a mixture of herbs, including the cannabis leaf, on the wounds of injured horses as a means of healing and reducing pain.
The treatment has been supported by a number of animal and drug experts. Dr. Amanda Reiman, policy manager for Drug Policy Alliance based in San Francisco, has endorsed the use of marijuana for unwell animals and admits using the drug to alleviate stress and pain for her terminally ill cat.
While the possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana has been decriminalized in Colombia, the cultivation and sale of the drug is currently illegal. The issue has become a hot-topic in recent weeks after President Juan Manuel Santos opened the door to suggestions of the legalization of medical use of marijuana for humans.