Categories
BLOG

marijuana chile

Qualifying for Medical Marijuana in Chile

Updated on January 22, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Chile lets patients with specific health issues get marijuana medicine with a prescription, so they don’t have strict criteria people must meet to join a program. But, only some patients can get a prescription, and folks in different areas have access to different medicine.

Who Can Use Medical Marijuana in Chile?

Doctors decide who can use medical marijuana in Chile because the country treats it like a prescription medication. So, patients with conditions and symptoms that have scientific evidence backing their responsiveness to marijuana medicine have the best chances of getting prescriptions.

Chronic pain, seizures and nausea associated with severe conditions have the most research conducted on them. But, your doctor may prescribe cannabis medicine for other conditions, depending on their attitude and knowledge about it. The only way to truly know whether you can qualify for a prescription is to talk with your doctor about it.

How to Become a Medical Cannabis Patient

Some places around the world require you to join a government-run medical marijuana program to purchase and use cannabis medicine. Chile makes things a little simpler by only requiring a prescription from a licensed doctor. But, you still must go through the proper procedures to get legal access.

If you want to try medical marijuana, you should talk with your doctor. Depending on your symptoms and condition, they may or may not agree to treat you. If they do, they’ll write a prescription you can use to get medication.

In some cases, doctors may refuse to prescribe medical cannabis due to their individual opinions. Or, they might not think will help your symptoms. If you still think you should qualify for cannabis medicine, you may want to try seeing a different physician for a second opinion.

How Can Patients Access Cannabis Medicine?

Chilean medical marijuana patients initially had a tough time getting the medication they needed. Even though marijuana medicine was decriminalized, many patients still dealt with severe punishment just for medicating. Fortunately, Chile completely legalized medical cannabis in 2015 and permitted the sale of it in pharmacies.

Pharmacies in Santiago, Chile’s capital, began to offer medical marijuana in May 2017. Patients willing to pay around $310 USD a month could get easy access to their medication. But, at the time of writing, it’s unclear whether pharmacies outside Santiago carry weed, and patients without the money to spare must look for another option.

If you don’t have a marijuana-friendly pharmacy nearby, you have a few other options. You can import medical marijuana from another country, like Canada. Or, you can get it from a specially designated medical cannabis farm in Chile set up by a charity.

Legal Protections for Chilean Medical Marijuana Patients

To protect medical marijuana patients from the prosecution they previously faced, Chile passed the medical marijuana measure in 2015. That proposal made marijuana a “soft drug,” reducing the penalties illegal users face. It also legalized medical marijuana, creating an explicit protection for patients.

Patients also benefit from the fact that they get medical marijuana prescriptions. Since cannabis medicine is part of the pharmaceutical market and healthcare system, it’s treated like other medications. So, patients can use their prescription as proof they have legal access.

If you're a patient in Chile, learning the qualifications for medical marijuana can help you get closer to treatment. Learn more about how to qualify for medical marijuana in Chile.

Chile Brings up full scale marijuana decriminalization, again

In a battle waged for over a decade, legislators in Chile are fighting, again, for the decriminalization of all use of marijuana—medical and recreational.

Similar to many countries in Latin America, Chile legislation attempts to balance the need to facilitate access and destigmatize the drug for medicinal users, but also to take criminal action against black market drug traffickers who undermine the rule of law across Latin America and the world.

Today the nation is grappling with decriminalization of all forms of cannabis, but anti-decriminalization proponents attempt to undermine that effort.

Marijuana legislation in Chile

For Chile, regulatory questions around cannabis drug policy, medical and recreational, re-emerge every few years.

Since 2005, the country permits private cannabis use but penalizes sales and group usage. The legislation also leaves out statutes for legal possession quantities, rendering the laws challenging to execute.

The bill pushed decriminalization further than many other countries at the time but still generated many convictions on small possession and group use charges.
Decisions surrounding this question arrived almost a decade later, in 2014, when the government permitted an import of Sativex, a cannabis-based mouth spray developed by GW Pharmaceutical from the United Kingdom, for Cecilia Heyder, a lupus patient also diagnosed with cancer.

Cecilia lobbied her government to permit her access to the crucial medicine which she indicated, transformed her suffering. “Out of 10, when I smoke the pain is four. When I don’t, it is 14.”

The import approval coincided with decisions to permit cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use in the La Florida district of its capital city, Santiago. The country’s agricultural and seed institution oversees the plantation, and designated cancer patients received the first medicine cultivated from the plants.

When this scheme emerged, the actions violated the country’s laws regarding cannabis cultivation, but ultimately spurred deregulation initiatives beyond anything legislators had yet proposed.

Building legal translucency but not transparency

In 2015, Chile’s President, Michelle Bachelet, recently named new UN Human Rights Chief, re-opened the country’s drug policy debate.

Bachelet signed a decree which recategorized marijuana, removing it from the “hard drug” list and permitted medicinal cannabis in pharmacies. The order gave the responsibility for the execution of the regulation to Chile’s public health institution.

Today, four years later, the country’s legalization laws remain unclear. The drug is de-facto legal but the institutions designated to regulate and control cannabis have yet to release large scale guidelines on the control of the drug.

In the past few months, legislators have again pushed for full-scale decriminalization of cannabis, in effect making its legality official, but opposers launched their own “Choose to Live Without Drugs” campaign.

Advocates and opposers pick sides

Repurposed from an Icelandic campaign designed to prevent young people from using drugs and alcohol. The “Choose to Live Without Drugs” campaign is targeting decriminalization and users alike.

Iceland’s campaign brought their youth drug consumption to the lowest in Europe.

In Chile, the campaign expanded to politicians with supporters asking members of the Chilean Congress to take a drug test and publish the results indicating they do not use drugs.

Approximately 18 congresspeople are stepping out against this request to push for full decriminalization, as many before them have attempted.

One opposition candidate, Deputy Diego Ibáñez, is at the forefront. He publicly admits his sporadic use of cannabis and forthright with the media about his support indicating that he wants to “leave the double standard behind”.

Chile has one of the highest marijuana consumption rates in the Americas correlated to the long-standing home-grow and decriminalization statutes.

Whether Chile will pass full decriminalization is unclear. As one of the first countries to relax its laws regarding marijuana, it could be left behind as other nations surge ahead with legalization and decriminalization legislation.

In a battle waged for over a decade, legislators in Chile are fighting, again, for the decriminalization of all use of marijuana—medical and recreational.

Categories
BLOG

marijuana chile

Qualifying for Medical Marijuana in Chile

Updated on January 22, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Chile lets patients with specific health issues get marijuana medicine with a prescription, so they don’t have strict criteria people must meet to join a program. But, only some patients can get a prescription, and folks in different areas have access to different medicine.

Who Can Use Medical Marijuana in Chile?

Doctors decide who can use medical marijuana in Chile because the country treats it like a prescription medication. So, patients with conditions and symptoms that have scientific evidence backing their responsiveness to marijuana medicine have the best chances of getting prescriptions.

Chronic pain, seizures and nausea associated with severe conditions have the most research conducted on them. But, your doctor may prescribe cannabis medicine for other conditions, depending on their attitude and knowledge about it. The only way to truly know whether you can qualify for a prescription is to talk with your doctor about it.

How to Become a Medical Cannabis Patient

Some places around the world require you to join a government-run medical marijuana program to purchase and use cannabis medicine. Chile makes things a little simpler by only requiring a prescription from a licensed doctor. But, you still must go through the proper procedures to get legal access.

If you want to try medical marijuana, you should talk with your doctor. Depending on your symptoms and condition, they may or may not agree to treat you. If they do, they’ll write a prescription you can use to get medication.

In some cases, doctors may refuse to prescribe medical cannabis due to their individual opinions. Or, they might not think will help your symptoms. If you still think you should qualify for cannabis medicine, you may want to try seeing a different physician for a second opinion.

How Can Patients Access Cannabis Medicine?

Chilean medical marijuana patients initially had a tough time getting the medication they needed. Even though marijuana medicine was decriminalized, many patients still dealt with severe punishment just for medicating. Fortunately, Chile completely legalized medical cannabis in 2015 and permitted the sale of it in pharmacies.

Pharmacies in Santiago, Chile’s capital, began to offer medical marijuana in May 2017. Patients willing to pay around $310 USD a month could get easy access to their medication. But, at the time of writing, it’s unclear whether pharmacies outside Santiago carry weed, and patients without the money to spare must look for another option.

If you don’t have a marijuana-friendly pharmacy nearby, you have a few other options. You can import medical marijuana from another country, like Canada. Or, you can get it from a specially designated medical cannabis farm in Chile set up by a charity.

Legal Protections for Chilean Medical Marijuana Patients

To protect medical marijuana patients from the prosecution they previously faced, Chile passed the medical marijuana measure in 2015. That proposal made marijuana a “soft drug,” reducing the penalties illegal users face. It also legalized medical marijuana, creating an explicit protection for patients.

Patients also benefit from the fact that they get medical marijuana prescriptions. Since cannabis medicine is part of the pharmaceutical market and healthcare system, it’s treated like other medications. So, patients can use their prescription as proof they have legal access.

If you're a patient in Chile, learning the qualifications for medical marijuana can help you get closer to treatment. Learn more about how to qualify for medical marijuana in Chile.

Chile Brings up full scale marijuana decriminalization, again

In a battle waged for over a decade, legislators in Chile are fighting, again, for the decriminalization of all use of marijuana—medical and recreational.

Similar to many countries in Latin America, Chile legislation attempts to balance the need to facilitate access and destigmatize the drug for medicinal users, but also to take criminal action against black market drug traffickers who undermine the rule of law across Latin America and the world.

Today the nation is grappling with decriminalization of all forms of cannabis, but anti-decriminalization proponents attempt to undermine that effort.

Marijuana legislation in Chile

For Chile, regulatory questions around cannabis drug policy, medical and recreational, re-emerge every few years.

Since 2005, the country permits private cannabis use but penalizes sales and group usage. The legislation also leaves out statutes for legal possession quantities, rendering the laws challenging to execute.

The bill pushed decriminalization further than many other countries at the time but still generated many convictions on small possession and group use charges.
Decisions surrounding this question arrived almost a decade later, in 2014, when the government permitted an import of Sativex, a cannabis-based mouth spray developed by GW Pharmaceutical from the United Kingdom, for Cecilia Heyder, a lupus patient also diagnosed with cancer.

Cecilia lobbied her government to permit her access to the crucial medicine which she indicated, transformed her suffering. “Out of 10, when I smoke the pain is four. When I don’t, it is 14.”

The import approval coincided with decisions to permit cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use in the La Florida district of its capital city, Santiago. The country’s agricultural and seed institution oversees the plantation, and designated cancer patients received the first medicine cultivated from the plants.

When this scheme emerged, the actions violated the country’s laws regarding cannabis cultivation, but ultimately spurred deregulation initiatives beyond anything legislators had yet proposed.

Building legal translucency but not transparency

In 2015, Chile’s President, Michelle Bachelet, recently named new UN Human Rights Chief, re-opened the country’s drug policy debate.

Bachelet signed a decree which recategorized marijuana, removing it from the “hard drug” list and permitted medicinal cannabis in pharmacies. The order gave the responsibility for the execution of the regulation to Chile’s public health institution.

Today, four years later, the country’s legalization laws remain unclear. The drug is de-facto legal but the institutions designated to regulate and control cannabis have yet to release large scale guidelines on the control of the drug.

In the past few months, legislators have again pushed for full-scale decriminalization of cannabis, in effect making its legality official, but opposers launched their own “Choose to Live Without Drugs” campaign.

Advocates and opposers pick sides

Repurposed from an Icelandic campaign designed to prevent young people from using drugs and alcohol. The “Choose to Live Without Drugs” campaign is targeting decriminalization and users alike.

Iceland’s campaign brought their youth drug consumption to the lowest in Europe.

In Chile, the campaign expanded to politicians with supporters asking members of the Chilean Congress to take a drug test and publish the results indicating they do not use drugs.

Approximately 18 congresspeople are stepping out against this request to push for full decriminalization, as many before them have attempted.

One opposition candidate, Deputy Diego Ibáñez, is at the forefront. He publicly admits his sporadic use of cannabis and forthright with the media about his support indicating that he wants to “leave the double standard behind”.

Chile has one of the highest marijuana consumption rates in the Americas correlated to the long-standing home-grow and decriminalization statutes.

Whether Chile will pass full decriminalization is unclear. As one of the first countries to relax its laws regarding marijuana, it could be left behind as other nations surge ahead with legalization and decriminalization legislation.

In a battle waged for over a decade, legislators in Chile are fighting, again, for the decriminalization of all use of marijuana—medical and recreational.