Medical Cannabis Legally Approved in Chile

Stephen Andrews
17 Mar 2023

The South American country is moving forward with a law that will allow patients to cultivate cannabis for medicinal purposes. The law provides access to medical cannabis with a doctor's prescription.

Chilean lawmakers are introducing a new cannabis bill that better aims to regulate the use and cultivation of medical marijuana. Patients in need can legally use cannabis with the recommendation of a physician. The bill will go active in the month of June. 

Patients medicating with Cannabis will need a prescription from a doctor that indicates the disease, the plan and the duration of the treatment. They will be permitted to cultivate Cannabis at home for personal use. 

The new law has been several years in the making. Its coming to fruition has been largely thanks to the tireless work of cannabis activists. 

Medical cannabis users in Chile have often been wrongfully prosecuted and criminalized for drug trafficking, a serious problem in the country. The new law aims to combat drug trafficking and has penalties for various crimes related to micro-trafficking. 

Any patient or family that will exercise the right to grow their cannabis plant after obtaining a prescription from their treating physician will actively fight drug trafficking, says a statement from Ana María Gazmur from Fundación Daya. This organization has intensely worked with lawmakers to push forward a new bill. 

The law contains provisions that penalize whoever falsifies or maliciously uses false prescriptions to justify the cultivation of cannabis plants. The penalties are harsher if cultivation is conducted for the purpose of selling cannabis. Police retain the power to seize assets from illegal activities and to regulate the disposal of plants coming drug offenses. 

The law and the mechanisms to guarantee the rights of medicinal cannabis patients will be implemented by the cabinet of President Gabriel Boric.

Stephen Andrews