Chile Approve Medicinal Cannabis

Liz Filmer
17 Mar 2023

Chile has approved a new law that regulates the use and cultivation of medical cannabis when accompanied by the recommendation of a treating medical professional

"The cultivation of the cannabis genus for use within medical treatment will be permitted and justified when accompanied by a prescription issued by a treating health official. The prescription must indicate the diagnosis of the condition, its treatment, and its duration. In addition, the form of ingestion cannot be via combustion".

This is the overview of the bill sent by the Senate yesterday to the Presidency for approval, modifying several articles of historic law within the country.

This law change is primarily the result of almost five years of work by the Daya Foundation and its former director and current deputy Ana María Gazmuri. Who had the following to say about the project she has been working on since 2018?

 "A meaningful step has been taken. Fighting organized crime and drug trafficking is a duty that falls on all of us. But we also owe a debt to medical cannabis users in Chile who have been persecuted and criminalized as if they were drug traffickers when they are not. Each of these families that have exercised the right to cultivate their cannabis plant with a prescription from their attending physician is actively fighting against drug trafficking." 

The law also supplies more drastic penalties for "whoever falsifies or maliciously makes use of false recipes to justify the cultivation of the cannabis plant". If it is proven that said conduct is to market the drug or facilitate it to a third party, the penalty will increase by one degree."

The new reform also grants the police assets seized from organized crime. It regulates the alienation of assets for drug offences. In addition, the future law aims to "combat" drug trafficking and extends the penalties for various violations related to micro-trafficking.

It is the cabinet of President Gabriel Boric that must implement the law. It will disclose the mechanisms to guarantee medicinal patients' rights and crops.

Liz Filmer