Updated on January 22, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Chile lets patients with specific health issues get marijuana medicine with a prescription, so they don’t have strict criteria people must meet to join a program. But, only some patients can get a prescription, and folks in different areas have access to different medicine.
Doctors decide who can use medical marijuana in Chile because the country treats it like a prescription medication. So, patients with conditions and symptoms that have scientific evidence backing their responsiveness to marijuana medicine have the best chances of getting prescriptions.
Chronic pain, seizures and nausea associated with severe conditions have the most research conducted on them. But, your doctor may prescribe cannabis medicine for other conditions, depending on their attitude and knowledge about it. The only way to truly know whether you can qualify for a prescription is to talk with your doctor about it.
Some places around the world require you to join a government-run medical marijuana program to purchase and use cannabis medicine. Chile makes things a little simpler by only requiring a prescription from a licensed doctor. But, you still must go through the proper procedures to get legal access.
If you want to try medical marijuana, you should talk with your doctor. Depending on your symptoms and condition, they may or may not agree to treat you. If they do, they’ll write a prescription you can use to get medication.
In some cases, doctors may refuse to prescribe medical cannabis due to their individual opinions. Or, they might not think will help your symptoms. If you still think you should qualify for cannabis medicine, you may want to try seeing a different physician for a second opinion.
Chilean medical marijuana patients initially had a tough time getting the medication they needed. Even though marijuana medicine was decriminalized, many patients still dealt with severe punishment just for medicating. Fortunately, Chile completely legalized medical cannabis in 2015 and permitted the sale of it in pharmacies.
Pharmacies in Santiago, Chile’s capital, began to offer medical marijuana in May 2017. Patients willing to pay around $310 USD a month could get easy access to their medication. But, at the time of writing, it’s unclear whether pharmacies outside Santiago carry weed, and patients without the money to spare must look for another option.
If you don’t have a marijuana-friendly pharmacy nearby, you have a few other options. You can import medical marijuana from another country, like Canada. Or, you can get it from a specially designated medical cannabis farm in Chile set up by a charity.
To protect medical marijuana patients from the prosecution they previously faced, Chile passed the medical marijuana measure in 2015. That proposal made marijuana a “soft drug,” reducing the penalties illegal users face. It also legalized medical marijuana, creating an explicit protection for patients.
Patients also benefit from the fact that they get medical marijuana prescriptions. Since cannabis medicine is part of the pharmaceutical market and healthcare system, it’s treated like other medications. So, patients can use their prescription as proof they have legal access.
MarijuanaDoctors.com helps patients all over the world learn about medical marijuana and gain safe, legal access to it. Our resource library can teach you all you need to know about qualifying conditions and the science behind cannabis. For the latest updates on medical marijuana around the world, check out our blog.