Updated on July 2, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Laws about cannabis use in Argentina have altered several times in the past decade alone, which means they’re likely to develop and change again shortly. Thus, it’s crucial for citizens and travelers to stay up-to-date on the latest laws governing the use of cannabis products to familiarize themselves with the legal actions the Argentinian government permits.
Currently in Argentina, marijuana is legal for personal use in “small amounts” and qualified medical patients.
The Chamber of Deputies passed legislation that rules all qualified patients can access free marijuana or cannabis-infused products to alleviate their symptoms when necessary. As of 2016, the Ministry of Health is responsible for importing marijuana to meet patient demands.
Recreational marijuana use is not explicitly stated to be legal, but it’s permitted when used in private and in small amounts. Citizens are currently pushing legislation to define these guidelines more precisely.
In various countries scattered across the globe, citizens are required to join a specific government program before they can legally access their medical cannabis products. Programs such as those mentioned above are a necessary part of regulating which patients have qualifying conditions that grant them access to marijuana medicine.
In Argentina, the Ministry of Health oversees the medical marijuana program. The new proposal from legislation allows nationally registered patients to receive medical marijuana free of charge.
Only agents or workers of the National Agency of Public Laboratories can lawfully cultivate cannabis-infused products for medicinal or research purposes. Any other individuals found growing and distributing cannabis will be penalized.
Offenders who sell or distribute cannabis can receive a prison sentence of four to 15 years in length with additional fines.
The penalties for marijuana possession outside medical purposes are a bit more complicated. In 2009, the Supreme Court of Argentina declared the possession of small quantities of marijuana for personal use is allowed. Determining what constitutes a small amount can be tricky. As of 2016, the government proposed a bill to Congress that would set more unambiguous limitations on drug use to avoid confusion.
Under current legislation, solely government agencies possess the authorization necessary to grow and harvest cannabis products. All marijuana products must be planted for research and medical purposes in authorized facilities by lawful professionals.
Currently, various groups are pushing for radical change regarding the legality of cultivation. Many individuals are asking legislators to allow families to grow their own cannabis for medical purposes — an action which is currently not permitted.
All medical marijuana patients must receive their cannabis products from a certified source. The distribution, importation or cultivation of marijuana outside accredited facilities is still prohibited.
Under the Supreme Court’s ruling in March 2016, the Argentinian government decriminalized the use of medical marijuana for qualified patients. This ruling offers protection to both patients and licensed doctors responsible for diagnosing and treating patients.
Argentina lawmakers not only approved the use of cannabis oil and products during this ruling, but they also initiated legal action that guaranteed free access to this medicinal herb. Those who qualify must follow the country’s guidelines and receive a certified recommendation from a trained doctor. The Ministry of Health then provides prescriptions to patients.
Argentina has only recently implemented laws concerning medical marijuana use, and it’s probable they will instill updated legislation on recreational and personal use, too. To stay up-to-date on the latest medical marijuana news in countries such as Argentina, be sure to check out our blog daily.