During the most recent effort in Chile’s loosening up on marijuana laws, Michelle Bachelet, Chilean President approved of an official order last week that got rid of cannabis from the list of “hard drugs.” The result of this is that Chile’s Ministry of Health authorization to “permit and control the use of cannabis, extracts, and tinctures, for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products,” Chilean publication, El Espectador, reports.
The announcement insinuates that medicinal marijuana products are able to be prescribed and sold in pharmacies and laboratories. While marijuana was still on the hard drug list, planting, selling and moving cannabis came along with long jail times. There have been over thousands arrested for the possession of marijuana even if it was being used for medical purposes.
Friday’s official order was expected considering that recently, regional agricultural authorities approved a near 7,000-plant farm, which is growing 20 strains of high-potency seeds at the moment. The crops from this pilot program, which is the biggest medical marijuana plantation in Latin America, is likely going to be harvested during the month of April. Afterward, buds will be made into cannabis oils and given out to 4,000 patients throughout the country.
A bill to decriminalize marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes was approved last July, resulting in a major change in Chile’s drug policies and extreme jail-times. At the moment, regulations under Law 20,000 allows Chileans to have up to ten grams of marijuana and grow up to six pot plants per house at a time.
In Chile, similar to the United States, those who favor marijuana legalization are the majority. According to a 2014 poll conducted by Cadem, a Chilean market investigation company, fifty percent are in favor of legalization while forty-five percent are against. When polls talk about the legalization of medical marijuana specifically, eighty-six are in favor of legalization.