By decree, the Argentine government legalizes home cultivation
By decree, the government legalizes the home cultivation of cannabis for medical use by individuals and small networks, as well as the sale of creams and oils made from the plant in pharmacies.
The Argentine government on Thursday legalized the cultivation of cannabis for medical use by individuals and networks, as well as the sale of creams and oils made from the plant in pharmacies. This decision was formalized by the magazine of a decree in the Official Journal. The new rules are revisions to a law approved in March 2017 that permitted medical use of cannabis oils, but maintained the existing ban on the cultivation of the plant and the possession of seeds by individuals or groups.
The new decree, signed by President Alberto Fernández, aims to allow "rapid, safe, inclusive and protective access for those who need to use cannabis as a therapeutic tool", according to its text.
"There is an urgent need to create a regulatory framework that allows timely, safe, inclusive and protective access for those who need to use cannabis as a therapeutic tool", according to Decree 883/2020.
The new rules state that the sale of cannabis oils and creams in pharmacies and the personal and organized cultivation of the plant are permitted for users, researchers and patients who are registered under the Reprocann program ("Program national cannabis'), a device that was created by the law of 2017 but which is not yet fully operational.
Activists celebrated the news
Patients and parents of children with serious illnesses who use cannabis oil to improve their quality of life have lobbied for the right to grow their own plants to produce their own specific oil. Many continued to do so, although they were punished by the courts.
Activists celebrated the news. “Today, we are crying with joy because we have started this fight for our children… We are a big family that fights for the same right, the right to quality of life, are going to cultivate our own medicine without fear… We we are not criminals, ”campaign group Mamá Cultiva said in a message posted on social media.
Cannabis oil is used for the treatment of epilepsy as well as for other palliative therapies. People with cancer, fibromyalgia, and Parkinson's disease, among others, also use cannabis products to lessen the effects of their illnesses.
The new rules also give the green light for the importation of medicinal cannabis products to treat diseases. Previously, the rules only applied to certain forms of epilepsy. Companies will now be able to "acquire medical specialties developed in the country or acquire masterful formulations developed by authorized pharmacies", according to the decree.
The national government will encourage the public production of cannabis for medical use and guarantee access to patients who are not covered by prepaid health plans or union social work.
Details on how many plants registered users will be able to grow will follow in the coming days, officials said.
In 2013, neighboring Uruguay became the first country to pass a law that allow cultivation marijuana for home consumption, as well as the creation of growers' clubs for cooperative planting and buying in Pharmacy. Since then, several Latin American countries have relaxed bans on marijuana.