Chile Marijuana Information
Could traditionally conservative Chile be the next South American country to legalize cannabis? Uruguay made history in 2013 by becoming the first country to legalize recreational marijuana across the country, and there are signs that Chile could follow suit. Historically, Chile has been a marijuana-friendly country, and recent changes in law have advocates fighting for its full legalization.
Chile has been planting marijuana for medical purposes and conducting medical trials since 2014, but it’s been difficult for patients who have been prescribed marijuana to legally obtain the drug. In December 2015, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed a measure to legalize marijuana for medical use. The measure will help remove a lot of the barriers that patients have faced in obtaining medical marijuana. The measure also removes marijuana from the list of dangerous hard drugs in the country, instead classifying it as a soft drug, which is the same category as alcohol. This measure will also legalize the use of medical marijuana and allow marijuana products to be sold in pharmacies across the country.
In early 2016, Chile opened the largest medical marijuana farm in Latin America. The farm is projected to harvest about 1.65 tons of marijuana between March and May of 2016 – that enough marijuana to roll 30 million joints!! The harvest of almost 7,000 plants will treat around 4,000 patients for free and will used by a number of universities and laboratories to test marijuana-based therapies for medical purposes. The research is specifically aimed at benefitting patients with problems relating to cancer, chronic pain, and epilepsy. The opening of the farm makes Chile one of the pioneering countries in medical cannabis research.
Chile’s legislature has also been debating decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use and cultivation. In 2015, the country’s legislature proposed an initiative to change Ley 20.000 which would allow Chileans the right to possess up to ten grams of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use. The bill passed in Congress in July 2015, but must receive approval from the health commission and then Senate before it will take effect. While the amendment is waiting for approval, it remains illegal to plant, sell, and transport marijuana.
Is marijuana legal in Chile?
Medical marijuana is legal in Chile. Private cannabis consumption and possession of a small amount of cannabis is decriminalized. To avoid being prosecuted, consume marijuana in your home or on private property.
Recreational marijuana is not yet legalized in Chile, but a preliminary law decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use and cultivation has passed in Congress and is waiting for approval from the health commission and Senate.
Where can I get marijuana?
Medical marijuana patients will be able to purchase medical cannabis at pharmacies. President Bachelet passed a measure in December 2015 legalizing medical marijuana and permitting cannabis products to be sold at pharmacies.
If the decriminalization measure is passed, cultivation of up to six plants will be permitted for personal, recreational use.
How much marijuana can I have?
If the marijuana decriminalization measure passes, Chileans will have the right to possess up to ten grams of dried marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants at one time.
What kinds of marijuana will be available at pharmacies?
According to the pro-medical marijuana bill, pharmacies will be permitted to sell pharmaceutical products containing cannabis, cannabis resin, cannabis extracts, and colorants.
Is recreational marijuana use decriminalized in Chile?
Private marijuana consumption and possession of a small amount of marijuana (no more than a quarter ounce) is decriminalized. It is legal to grow the plant if you can justify that is for exclusive personal consumption and use in the short term. However, buying, selling, and transporting marijuana is illegal. It is also illegal to consume marijuana in public.
If the legislature and the health board approve the decriminalization law, Chileans will be permitted to possess up to 10 grams of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants at home for recreational use.
Where can I consume marijuana in Chile?
Marijuana must be consumed in private. Individuals who consume marijuana in public places or spaces open to the public are breaking the law.
Even if the decriminalization measure is approved, it will still be illegal to consume marijuana in public.
Can I bring marijuana purchased in Chile to another country?
No! All marijuana and marijuana products purchased in Chile must be consumed in Chile.
Nothing on this website should be considered legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. Please respect the current state of Marijuana law in your area.
Quick FAQ Could traditionally conservative Chile be the next South American country to legalize cannabis? Uruguay made history in 2013 by becoming the first
Medical Marijuana Laws in Chile
Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Chilean medical marijuana laws have changed a few times in the past decade, and they’re bound to change even more in the future. While Chile doesn’t criminalize marijuana as strongly as some countries, you should still know what you can legally do as a patient to avoid prosecution.
Laws About Using Medical Marijuana
At the time of writing, Chile considers marijuana a soft drug. Soft drugs include substances like alcohol and others associated with milder legal penalties. So, you can use marijuana in Chile, but only under certain circumstances.
Chile still outlaws any form of recreational marijuana use. Using a small amount in your home has been decriminalized, but you can still get in trouble for possessing cannabis. Transporting, buying and selling marijuana is illegal, as well.
Medical marijuana patients can use their medication legally if they get it from a legitimate source. They can get their medication as an import, from a pharmacy or from a certified farm.
Do I Need to Join a Medical Marijuana Program?
In some places around the world, you must join a government program to legally buy and use cannabis. These programs help the government manage their patients and provide them with more documentation.
But some countries, like Chile, integrate cannabis into their laws regarding other pharmaceuticals. Patients simply have to get a prescription for medical marijuana from their doctor.
If you live in Chile and have an interest in cannabis medicine, talk to your doctor about using it for your symptoms. If your physician approves, you can stop by a pharmacy that carries marijuana medicine to fill your prescription.
Marijuana Criminalization and Decriminalization in Chile
The penalties for marijuana-related activities in Chile have been a little tricky in recent years. While medical marijuana use was decriminalized in 2005, cannabis was categorized as a Schedule I drug in 2008. So, patients had a hard time getting their medicine, not to mention they still faced legal prosecution.
But, at the end of 2015, Chile’s president passed a measure decriminalizing marijuana and legalizing medical marijuana. People who use cannabis recreationally can still be punished, but they deal with fewer consequences. Meanwhile, medical marijuana patients can use their medication safely and without fear.
Legal Limitations of Chile’s Medical Marijuana Laws
While Chilean patients have a much easier time nowadays compared to the past, Chile’s marijuana laws still don’t help every patient. Recent medical marijuana legislation has focused on making cannabis medicine available in pharmacies, but that doesn’t mean every pharmacy will carry it.
At the time of writing, patients in the Santiago area with money to spare have the most access to medical marijuana in pharmacies. Pharmacies in the Chilean capital were the first to offer medical cannabis, and it’s unclear whether rural areas will follow suit. Patients have to pay about $310 USD a month for their medication.
Does Chile Offer Extra Protections for Medical Marijuana Patients and Doctors?
Besides the decriminalization of medical marijuana in 2015, Chile has not offered any extra protections for patients and doctors involved with cannabis. But, the new laws allow Chile to regulate medical marijuana a lot like other medications, and these rules have some protections already built into them.
The main benefit for patients and doctors that comes with legalization is the prescriptions used for medical marijuana. Prescriptions can serve as documentation, so the patient can legally use the medication they have. Doctors can also reference the prescription if they worry about persecution.
Learn the Latest From Marijuana Doctors
Chile has only recently implemented a lot of its medical marijuana laws, so, it’s likely they’ll make additional changes as time goes on. To learn the latest news about medical marijuana in countries like Chile, visit our blog.
For patients in Chile, learning the medical marijuana laws is the first step to getting the care you want. Use this resource to learn more about medical marijuana in Chile.