Updated on April 19, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Peru’s movement toward the establishment of a medical marijuana program continues to develop and evolve as lawmakers and officials lay the framework for the final laws and regulations that will guide qualifying patients. Although medical cannabis was legalized in late 2017, specific rules are still being set. However, it’s essential to stay informed on new legislation as officials begin to establish more comprehensive guidelines.
As of late 2017, Peru legalized the possession and distribution of medical marijuana for medicinal purposes. Although these bills passed in November of 2017, the government has surpassed beyond the 60-day window that typically necessitates established regulations once a proposal is approved.
As 2018 begins to unfold, regulators should establish more definite regulations as time goes on. At the time of writing, however, many rules remain uncertain and qualified patients are still prohibited from cultivating their own medical cannabis.
Medical marijuana patients must consult with a certified physician for the time being to get their medication from a legitimate source backed by the government.
For many states and countries where medical cannabis is decriminalized or legal, an official medical cannabis program helps officials regulate and monitor patients’ use to ensure they get the medication they need while remaining within legal limits. In Peru, however, these programs are not yet available.
As of early 2018, the provisions remain ambiguous for many seeking access to medical marijuana without legal repercussions. The desire for a legitimate system with defining boundaries will likely serve as an impetus for a cannabis program soon.
Currently, however, patients who receive a diagnosis from authorized medical personnel can lawfully access medical cannabis. For some, the issue lies in actually obtaining their medication rather than being legally approved to do so.
Before the signing of the 2017 bill that decriminalized the use of medical cannabis, any individual caught growing or distributing marijuana products to those with health issues placed themselves at risk of fines or more severe punishments, such as jail time.
The notorious case of Ana Álvarez — a woman who was imprisoned for cultivating cannabis for her severely epileptic son — demonstrated even desperate circumstances of seeking medical therapy placed one at risk of committing an illegal offense.
Today, the fear of criminalization for medical cannabis treatment is not as intense. The state hopes to form a national program that grants prescription to all necessary patients.
One of the most significant legal limitations of the proposed medical marijuana in Peru is the cost of accessing this drug. Many believe the authorization of importing marijuana means only the wealthy will benefit from these initiatives, as they will be the sole group able to afford these products.
Another issue surrounds the current illegal act of cultivation. Many argue the ability to grow one’s own cannabis would bring them affordable access to this plant. However, Peruvian legislation does not permit cultivation — even for qualified medical marijuana patients.
Aside from the decriminalization of medical marijuana in late 2017, Peruvian laws do not currently offer any additional protection to medical marijuana patients. The bill grants patients access to medical cannabis. However, regulations are still developing that will form official state programs that will likely offer much more protection to qualified patients.
Doctors who are authorized to prescribe medication can lawfully write medical cannabis prescriptions, as well. As is the case with patients, there are no protection laws in place to grant physicians added security. However, prescriptions are legal documents that act as a form of protection for both physicians and patients.
As times goes on, it is likely that Peru will develop more definite guidelines to monitor and control medical cannabis use. At MarijuanaDoctors.com, our priority is to provide patients and their families with access to the resources and information they need. Make sure you stay informed on the latest laws in your home country and across the world by visiting our blog today.