Argentina Legalizes Growing Cannabis For Medical Purposes
Argentina's government on Thursday legalized the use of cannabis for medical use by people under 18 to treat cancer, epilepsy, and other diseases.
The move became official with the publication of a decree in the Official Journal. The new rules are in line with a law that was first passed in March 2017 allowing the medical use of cannabis oil but retaining an existing ban. This new decree, signed by President Alberto Fernandez, is intended to provide timely, safe, inclusive, and protective access to those who need to use cannabis as a therapeutic agent. It is the first step towards creating a regulatory framework that will allow them to access these markets.
The new rules say that users, researchers, and patients can register for the Reprocann program, the National Cannabis Program. This program was created by the 2017 law and states that children with serious diseases who use cannabis oil to improve their quality of life should be urged to grow their own plants to produce their specific oil.
We are not criminals, "campaign group Mama Cultiva said in a message posted on social media. We are a large family fighting for the same right, the right to quality of life, and many of us do so despite being punished by the courts.
People suffering from cancer, fibromyalgia, Parkinson's, and other diseases use cannabis products to alleviate their illnesses. The new rules also give the green light to import medical cannabis products for these diseases, but for the time being the rules only apply to forms of epilepsy. Cannabis oil has been used to treat epilepsy, along with other palliative therapies.
The decree says that companies can now buy specialty drugs developed in the country and obtain prescriptions from authorized pharmacies. The national government will promote the public production of cannabis for medical purposes and guarantee access and purchase of medical cannabis products to patients who do not have prepaid health insurance.
In 2013, neighboring Uruguay became the first country to pass a law allowing marijuana cultivation for medical purposes on its own territory. Since then, several Latin American countries have eased marijuana bans, but not all, authorities say. A final list of registered users who can grow will follow in the coming days.