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A defeat with many reasons to celebrate | The Supreme Court ratified the law on the medicinal use of cannabis

Although it unanimously rejected the extraordinary appeal presented by the Santa Fe association Mamas Cannabis Medicinal (Macame) against the regulations related to the self-cultivation of cannabis for medicinal consumption by minors in its charge, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation confirmed yesterday through a resolution decriminalization. The mothers requested that article 7 of Law 27,350 on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis be declared unconstitutional, considering that an arbitrary distinction is made there to access the oil and its derivatives for free, depending on whether or not people submit to a state experimental research program. The Court, which two months ago had convened a public hearing to deal with the request of the cultivating mothers, considered in its resolution that Reprocann -the existing registry- is a reasonable state control and that the requirements are not unreasonable. “The sentence does not give us everything we expected, but it has been an enormous advance from the point of view of the constitutional rights of families that self-cultivation is recognized for medicinal purposes,” Macame’s lawyer, Domingo Rondina, celebrated.

In the 37-page resolution known yesterday, the Court considered that “the public health and safety reasons involved are sufficient to justify the State issuing administrative authorizations within the framework of Law 27,350 for self-cultivation and the production of products derived from cannabis. for medicinal purposes”. On the other hand, the ruling indicates that “state intervention in this area does not imply an unjustified interference in personal autonomy enshrined in article 19 of the National Constitution.” In short, that Macame’s proposal must be addressed within the framework of the right to health and not at the level of privacy.

In addition, the Court held in the judgment that the requirements to obtain the authorization are not unreasonable. “On the contrary -they stressed- said state control measures constitute a minimal interference that, far from proscribing self-cultivation for medicinal purposes, subject it to a regulation that is limited to ensuring certain supervision by the State, registering the patient’s consent and guarantee the necessary medical intervention”.

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Regarding the grievance regarding a possible affectation to article 19 of the National Constitution, the Court indicated that the Court has said that the “norm recognizes the individual an area of ​​freedom in which he can freely adopt fundamental decisions about his person, without any intervention by the State or individuals, as long as said decisions do not violate order, public morals or the rights of third parties”, alluding to the Bazterrica and Arriola rulings, among others.

On the other hand, they pointed out that “the regulations applicable to cannabis for medicinal purposes do not prevent the patient from accessing or rejecting medical treatment. On the contrary, in broad respect for that free choice, the new regulatory framework of Law 27,350 admits the use medicinal cannabis and enables new ways to access it, either by acquiring it as a pharmaceutical product -with the controls of the Ministry of Health and the ANMAT- or producing it at home by registering with the Reprocann that issues the authorization.Although it is true that said registration limits the choice in some way, its requirement is justified for reasons of public health and safety”.

Based on Law 23,737 and the new regime established by Law 27,350, the ruling indicates that currently, patients can legally use cannabis derivatives for medicinal purposes by acquiring them as a pharmaceutical medicinal product or by self-cultivation of the cannabis plant. with administrative authorization from Reprocann. “Under these conditions, the behaviors that the plaintiffs intend to protect with this amparo action are already excluded from the criminal prosecution that they challenge,” the resolution indicates. “The regime issued within the framework of Law 27,350 displaces behaviors linked to the medicinal use of cannabis from the scope of the criminal regime of Law 23,737, making it inapplicable for such cases,” they added.

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“The sentence does not give us everything we expected, since we wanted it to be said that it is not appropriate to register with the Reprocann. But it is also true that during the process, especially the last weeks before the hearing, they twice modified the resolution of requirements and they made it much more flexible, reducing the requirements, they removed informed consent, the possibility of inspections, registration seems reasonable,” said Rondina.

“In that sense, he does not agree with us, but he says that the cultivation of medicinal cannabis is a non-punishable conduct, and he even says that the cultivation of those who are not registered in the Reprocann would be non-punishable if it was for medicinal purposes, they say that it is It is about a right to health, especially for children,” added the lawyer.

According to Rondina, the ruling in the Macame case is “a very important constitutional precedent because for the first time the Court analyzes the issue of the medicinal use of the plant and concludes that it must be constitutionally respected as part of the right to health. That domestic cultivation and the domestic production of oil or derivatives with inalienable constitutional rights that have to do with human health and the very personal rights of children and families”.

Finally, the Court recalled that in the public hearing reference was made to Reprocann’s delays in issuing authorizations. “They say that it must be more agile so as not to frustrate the right to health, and that all cultivation for medicinal purposes registered is decriminalized. Even if you did not register, it will be necessary to see in the case, if medicinal use is proven, it would be enough to consider the conduct not punishable. In short, all cultivation of the plant for therapeutic purposes is decriminalized by the Court, which bravely addressed the issue,” concluded Rondina.

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Seeds

Through resolution 260 issued by the National Seed Institute (Inase), the national government yesterday legalized the marketing in the country of seeds of the Cannabis sativa L species for research and medicinal purposes. The rule published yesterday in the Official Gazette indicates that the purchase of seeds can only be made after registration of the variety(s) of said species in the Inase National Registry of Cultivars, but varieties that are used in research projects approved by the National Ministry of Health. It also includes the marketing of cuttings and rooted seedlings.

Article 5 of the resolution indicates that propagation organs must be marketed using the security label established by Inase, or a document that contains a similar system of coding and verification of authenticity established for this purpose. Each container of seeds must have its respective security label, while the seedlings or rooted cuttings must have a security label per lot or per 50 units maximum.

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