Caught in the middle between Chile and Uruguay lies Argentina, the third largest economy in Latin America and the country with the most backward legislation when it comes to cannabis.
Latin America is a curious place to be working for the regulation of medicinal cannabis. The contradictions are profound and downright comical at times: When I mention my work as a Cannabis Consultant and hand my business card, many think I am selling drugs.
In the Southern Cone of the continent –the area that encompasses Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina, these contradictions are pretty deep when it comes to Cannabis regulation.
To the right of Argentina lies Uruguay, a small country of seven million people legalized cannabis in 2013. The law takes the production, transformation and commercialization of cannabis away from the drug cartels and into the state. This was first country in the world to openly abandon the “prohibition”.
On the other side lies Chile. A long and narrow country where even though cannabis is illegal, it has approved two pilot projects to grow and produce cannabis oil for 400 patients with cancer and epilepsy. The country has almost 1,000 legal cannabis plants growing happy and healthy outdoors and the first batch was harvested in early April.
Right in the middle between Chile and Uruguay lies Argentina, the third largest economy in Latin America and the country with the most backward legislation when it comes to cannabis. For simple possession of joints and plants, it jails its citizens at a rate of one per hour.
With the reality of its neighbors taking big steps in reforming their drug laws, the question in everybody’s mind is: If Uruguay is sneezing while Chile is coughing, when would Argentina catch the “Cannabis Bug” and start its legalization process?
Very soon. After all yours truly is based in Buenos Aires making cannabis things happen. And often times being confused with a drug dealer.
Welcome to Latin America!