The Government of Argentina is closely studying the decriminalization of cannabis consumption and self-cultivation. The project is still in a preliminary phase at the Argentinean Ministry of Security, where “regulations in some countries” are being studied in order to develop a draft law based on foreign experiences.
Once this first draft is finalized, it will be presented to other ministries, associations, and organizations to “add actors to the discussion”.
The bill could authorize a maximum amount of possession of cannabis for personal use by adults over 18 or 21 years of age, and the same for self-cultivation, without knowing at this time whether the limit is based on the number of plants or the size of the growing area. The project could go further than decriminalization and also allow Cannabis Clubs and state distribution.
A campaign theme
The decriminalization of cannabis was present during the election campaign of the last elections on 27 October. When Alberto Fernández defeated former president Mauricio Macri. Fernández questioned the former executive’s former policies, insisting that the fight against drug trafficking had failed and that the solution was not to “go after ordinary smokers”.
In fact , this position shared at the highest levels of government, with Security Minister Sabina Frederic and Health Minister Ginés González sharing this view.
Neighboring countries as a model
Uruguay, a country bordering Argentina, legalized cannabis in 2013. Cannabis is available there through 3 channels: pharmacies, self-cultivation and Cannabis Clubs, with a priority to evict the black market as much as possible, notably by offering very low prices.
In Chile, a draft law intends to legalize self-cultivation, in particular in response to the very high prices of medical cannabis, which will be legalized in the country in 2015. But , it remains blocked for the moment in the Senate. Colombia and Peru also , had less difficulty in legalizing therapeutic use, Colombia having even opened the doors to foreign investment and is currently considering legalizing cannabis.
The latest development in Argentina came in 2017 when the government authorized the use of cannabis for certain chronic diseases and production for scientific purposes.