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Argentina’s Supreme Court Upholds Medical Cannabis Cultivation Rights

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Medical cannabis advocates have tried for many years to get home cultivation officially approved in Argentina. Unfortunately, it has been a very slow process.

As we have mentioned in previous coverage, in 2017 lawmakers in Argentina passed a law that legalized cannabis for medical use. For the next few years, the new law essentially proved to be nothing more than symbolic as industry rules and regulations went nowhere.

In late 2020 Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández signed a decree calling for the legalization of home cultivation along with allowing pharmacies to sell medical cannabis products.

The catch to the 2020 decree, which is essentially the same catch that has hindered Argentina’s medical cannabis program since 2017, is that it relied on the creation of rules and regulations pertaining to licenses. Before someone can cultivate medical cannabis in Argentina they must first obtain a license from the government, and there essentially is no effective licensing process in place.

Medical cannabis advocates have pursued various legal remedies, and Argentina’s Supreme Court recently rendered a landmark decision that provides some legal protections for home cultivation. Per El Destape (auto-translated to English):

The Supreme Court of the Nation unanimously ratified the decriminalization of the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes and made it compulsory to register it in the official records for those who want to carry out this practice . The highest court ruled in this regard when evaluating the proposals of the Medicinal Cannabis Moms Association (Macame) of Santa Fe, which had questioned the constitutionality of the rules regarding the self-cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use by minors in their care.

“The public health and safety reasons involved are sufficient to justify the State issuing administrative authorizations within the framework of Law 27,350 for self-cultivation and the production of products derived from cannabis for medicinal purposes. This determines, in turn, that the intervention of the State in this area does not imply an unjustified interference in the personal autonomy of article 19 of the National Constitution”, he stressed.

Ultimately, what is needed is a fully functioning medical cannabis program in Argentina so that there is no room for doubt when it comes to the rights of medical cannabis patients.

Every patient should be able to cultivate cannabis legally based on codified laws that law enforcement is mandated to follow. Whenever patients have to rely on case law in the absence of codified law, it always creates situations that are ripe for selective enforcement which no patient should ever have to deal with.