Updated on January 4, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Learning the recreational and medicinal laws of your country is essential. Whether you’re a patient or physician, it’s critical to understand the constraints of your legislation, such as in Ecuador, which features a unique stance on marijuana.
The impact of Ecuador’s medical marijuana laws is significant. While many countries ban the complete possession, cultivation and consumption of cannabis, Ecuador does not. Instead, you can carry 10 grams of marijuana on your person, whether it’s for recreational or medicinal use.
Due to this freedom, you may use cannabis in a variety of ways. Whether you opt to smoke, vape, bake edibles or take capsules is up to your discretion and preferences. It is critical, however, that you consume marijuana in private, as Ecuador only allows you to carry the medication.
Ecuador does not maintain a medical cannabis program, though the Technical Secretariat for Comprehensive Prevention on Drugs of Ecuador (SETED) — previously referred to as the National Council of Control of Narcotic and Psychotropic Drugs (CONSEP) — would likely oversee any created program.
The absence of a medical marijuana program offers several advantages and disadvantages. A noticeable benefit for many patients is that you can customize your dosage to your needs, rather than adhere to monthly limits that fail to ease your symptoms. A drawback, however, is the zero regulation to ensure cannabis quality and safety.
Since 2008, Ecuador has viewed marijuana use as a health issue, rather than a criminal offense. In the years since, the government has demonstrated that view by legalizing the possession of 10 grams for either recreational or medicinal use.
Carrying more than 10 grams, as well as cultivating, transporting and selling any amount of marijuana, remains illegal. Penalties often include several years in prison, depending on the quantity of cannabis — possessing 20 grams, for instance, results in a three-year sentence.
Ecuador’s medicinal and recreational marijuana laws present several restrictions. By banning the cultivation of cannabis, for example, the country prevents patients from growing their own medicine, which can help you ensure the quality and potency of your marijuana.
This restriction is one of several reasons why the National Assembly of Ecuador is pushing legislators to legalize medical cannabis and establish a medical marijuana program, which could regulate the cultivation and sale of medical weed, plus provide patients with a vast selection of strains to treat their symptoms.
The most significant protection afforded by Ecuador’s recreational and medicinal marijuana laws is the allowance to carry cannabis. In many other parts of the world, marijuana remains illegal for both recreational and medical use, prompting many to risk their safety and freedom to ease their or a loved one’s symptoms.
By allowing patients to have marijuana, Ecuador also gives physicians the opportunity to provide medical advice regarding the medicine. In some other countries, many doctors are hesitant to offer their opinion on the matter since the medication is illegal.
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