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Argentina Legalizes Medical Cannabis

Lawmakers in Argentina have passed a bill legalizing the use of cannabis oils and other derivatives for medicinal purposes, according to a report from the Associated Press. The regulations allow government agencies to cultivate cannabis for medicine production and for research purposes.

The research program set up by the Health Ministry must guarantee free patient access to the program, which requires a prescription, the report says.

According to an AFP report, many patients had demanded the ability to grow their own plants; however that provision was left out of the final version of the bill – which passed 58-0.

Maria Laura Alasi, whose 4-year-old daughter suffers from a form of epilepsy called West syndrome, said she has faith the senators “will find a way around” the home-grow ban, noting that “a lot of mothers are already growing their own.”

Alasi applauded the unanimous vote by the Senate. “This is a dream fulfilled, an immense happiness because it will bring solace to patients,” she said in the AFP report.

The move by Argentina is the latest in Latin America – where Uruguay became the first nation in the world to fully legalize production, sale, and consumption of cannabis in 2013. Mexico, Chile, and Columbia have also passed legislation legalizing cultivation and use of cannabis for medical and research purposes.

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