By / August 13, 2020

Judicial turmoil in Argentina surrounding the legalization of cannabis

Argentina is experiencing months of legal turmoil surrounding the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. While at the federal level the government remains rigid, provinces and municipalities are approaching a possibility that will emancipate them economically.

Julieta Veneziano, a doctor and coordinator of the medical department of the civil association INCAMED understands that “the law must continue to be expanded in proportion to how knowledge is expanded”.

Days after the Ministry of Health and related organizations presented a proposal to update the regulation of the Law on the medicinal use of the cannabis plant and its derivatives.

Unlike the regulations promoted by the Government of Mauritius Macri that limited its production. The current proposal is to allow cultivation for therapeutic purposes. And also the sale of oils in pharmacies and boosting public production throughout the country.

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A legalization would guarantee free access to all patients

On the other hand, it would guarantee free access to patients who have mutual insurance companies, and it would widen the range of pathologies that could use this method for treatments or courses of illness. So far, it is only authorized for patients with refractory epilepsy.

“When you talk about cannabis you are talking about something extremely broad and a plant that is complicated by 100 years of prohibition. And so advances in technology in terms of scientific and medical research for its application were completely undermined by this situation,” says Veneziano.

The specialist said that cannabis “has historical records of medical use in millennia-old cultures like China, Persia, and India. It is a plant that has been used therapeutically for 5,000 years with little study in science compared to opium.”

He recalled that the plant began to be studied in 1960, with a doctor of chemistry named Raphael Mechoulam, who began to study because the cannabis plant had an effect on humans. And he discovered THC, one of the most commonly known molecules of cannabis, and he began to study the history of this plant.

With regard to the modifications that can be incorporated into the legislation that regulates its use, he stressed that “of course we must continue to expand the law in a way that is directly proportional to how knowledge expands”.

The proposed law has a lot of positives in its favor

“The timeframes of science and politics are not the same, but the law definitely has super positive things as well as many things that are missing,” he added.

The INCAMED researcher acknowledges that cannabis can be used in different ways and that there are various ways of administering it. They can be the topical, which is excellent for joints like the knees and wrists. It can also be ingested or sublingually.

It can also be used in an inhaled form, by smoking, which is not recommended due to the presence of pyrolytic compounds. And due to the combustion, or by vaporized route, that has a very fast effect and for some cases this is very well indicated.

In tune with this, he commented that it happens in the case of arthrosis, a pathology that generates a lot of pain. “Cannabis ends up being an extremely safe tool if used with knowledge”.

Faced with the difficult access that users of medical cannabis have, the doctor emphasized that “it has to be comprehensive, because not everyone can or wants to grow – this must also be endorsed.”

She went on to say that “there is a lot of talk about quality of life but we also have to think about quality of death.”

People have the right to access cannabis

“People in this situation cannot wait 9 months for the plant to grow, they also have the right to access a cannabis-based preparation” that can lessen the symptoms of their condition.

Regarding the discussion on decriminalization and marketing of medical cannabis; he stressed that “it could definitely be an option to consider.”

“When we talk about cannabis it is not just a medical preparation. We are talking about cloth, combustion, building material, medicine, backpacks, slippers, where it is the same plant but does not synthesize cannabinoids which are the active compounds. It is a plant that has a lot of potential in multiple spheres. It is green gold and it is quoted on the stock exchange.”


(Featured image by Shelby Ireland via Unsplash)

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