Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
For many countries, medical marijuana programs are a necessity — especially when recreational weed is illegal. Ecuador, however, allows its citizens to carry 10 grams of cannabis, whether for medicinal or recreational use, so its approach to medical marijuana cards differs from that of many other countries.
Due to Ecuador’s cannabis laws, the country does not maintain a medical marijuana program. As a result, identification cards are unavailable, which streamlines the process for qualifying for medical cannabis but causes patients to lose out on the benefits of medical marijuana cards.
In Ecuador, these cards could offer several advantages — and protections — to patients. As an example, the country’s legislation forbids the cultivation of cannabis, which leaves many patients without an outlet for obtaining high-quality medical weed.
If the country modified their laws to allow only patients with medical marijuana cards to grow marijuana legally, they could remedy an ongoing challenge for many patients and caregivers, as well as prevent misunderstandings between law enforcement and patients.
While the National Assembly of Ecuador is leading a movement to establish a medical marijuana program and card in the country, Ecuador is without either resource. As a result, anyone may use medical cannabis to alleviate their condition and its symptoms, such as chronic pain or arthritis.
If you’re considering using medical marijuana in Ecuador, it’s vital to meet with your physician — especially if you’ve never used cannabis medically before. By collaborating with your doctor, they can help you develop a treatment plan and dosage schedule to manage your condition.
In some instances, practitioners may not acknowledge medical cannabis as a viable treatment option for any condition. If this happens, consider meeting with another doctor in your area, or via telemedicine, who is familiar with medical marijuana and its therapeutic benefits.
Because a medical marijuana card is unavailable in Ecuador, you don’t need to undergo a recertification process. In other nations, patients often must renew their card every year, though the renewal requirements can vary from country to country.
For some patients, the lack of requirements leads to them managing their treatment by themselves. It’s vital, however, to maintain a partnership with your physician even though it’s not mandated by Ecuador. We recommend meeting with your doctor at least every three months.
During your appointment, you can discuss your progress and feelings on your current treatment plan. If you’re coping with too many side effects, for instance, your doctor can help you try different strains to minimize those effects.
Since Ecuador’s only provision for both recreational and medicinal marijuana is allowing the possession of 10 grams, it does not require practitioners to undergo additional training and certification to recommend the medicine or develop a treatment plan that includes it.
That’s why it’s critical for patients to be their own advocates. Since cannabis is new to the medical field, it’s not uncommon for doctors to be unfamiliar with its medical benefits, dosage requirements and administration methods. It’s best to educate yourself as much as possible before meeting with a physician.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we serve as a valuable and trusted resource for information about medical cannabis, as well as finding certified doctors and dispensaries. From our updated blog to our expansive resource library, you can learn everything there is to know about medical marijuana on our site.
Want to learn more about medical cannabis in Ecuador or voice your support for establishing a program? Contact the Technical Secretariat for Comprehensive Prevention on Drugs of Ecuador (SETED), as well as the National Assembly of Ecuador, today.