Argentina arrests an activist who teaches sick people how to prepare cannabis oil

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Iván Malajovich, 33, a small businessman and medicinal cannabis activist in Paraná, Argentina, was prosecuted by the justice system for the simple possession of cannabis and for devoting himself for years to teaching community patients to plant and extract medicine from this plant.

Magistrate Leandro Ríos accuses Malajovich of having “exceeded the limits of freedom of expression”, although this information is widely disseminated in local media.

Since Malajovich began his militancy in 2012, his activism was based on cultivation to combat drug trafficking. His hashtag #nosomosnarcos (we are not narcos) began to become popular since he started with a radio program called “El Esqueje“, which is also the name of his grow shop – store of supplies for cultivation.

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From this activism, the Paranaense Association of Cannabis Farmers (APAC) was born together with other militants who organized, for example, the first march for the decriminalization of the use of this plant in the capital of Entre Ríos and numerous workshops on self-cultivation.

To the surprise of many, in July 2018, Malajovich was raided and arrested after police raided his store. That moment spent three days and two nights in prison, from where he was released, however, the investigation continued against him.

The Federal Police insisted that the militant was engaged in the trade of seeds and flowers of cannabis using his position as an activist. This was how for a year their phones were tapped, they investigated the house of their mother, of their girlfriend and they reviewed all their conversations of instant messaging.

However, according to local media, the persecution was motivated in the first instance by an anonymous report about the workshops that it offered in the city, not because of the sale of narcotics.

In the raids the police managed to seize flowers and seeds. For example, in the grow they found 20 grams and seeds. Also in his house seized 33 pots in an indoor installation and 270 grams, plus 9 touches of lysergic acid (LSD).

Shadows in the case

Three days before Judge Rios signed Malajovich’s prosecution, the Ministry of National Security authorized the government to cultivate under a state enterprise.

“Iván Gregorio Malajovich gave instructions about the production, manufacture, manufacture or use of narcotics, and advocated about the use of narcotics,” Judge Ríos told the media.

It is not possible to understand how, if the cultivation workshops for people in medical need are becoming more frequent after the approval of the medical cannabis law in 2017.

Organizations such as Mama Cultiva have been active in this type of community teaching modalities.

However, for Judge Ríos, the findings are sufficient to prosecute him for offenses classified in the psychotropic law. Even so, according to the official version, in telephone conversations, no type of sale was ever made, other than giving advice to the caller by phone.

For justice the amount seized is sufficient for the presumption of crime, despite the fact that the minimum amount to perform an adequate extraction is approximately 60 grams. .

“This is all surreal, I am an activist who does not hide his preferences, since I’ve been living in the raids, I feel like I’m going to wake up at some point and it’s going to be a horrible nightmare, I never thought that I would be persecuted, investigated, searched for doing activism and helping people, “said the activist.

The police might also committed abuses against another of the activists. Maximiliano Burgos who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is in a wheelchair was also raided, but because of his motor disability he could not open the door when the officers arrived at his house. For this reason, they smashed his the door.

The scandal was such that the magistrate decided to detach him from the case.

The decision has been criticized by lawyers, organizations and important figures of the laws since the resolution indicates that the reasons for his imprisonment are due to the activist “exceeding the limits of freedom of expression” since “he propagates the use of narcotic drugs in third parties“.

For some, criminalizing the use of drugs in Argentine law is a debt to democracy.

“We believe that there is an attempt to discipline by the Ministry of Security, which wants to hijack the circulation of information about the therapeutic effects of cannabis to persuade and inoculate fear in people and groups that despite persecuting us we continue forward with the fight for the self-cultivation, “said the president of Mama Cultiva, Valeria Salech.

The previous week, the government of Jujuy authorized the first legal crop controlled by the State which will start producing medicine starting in August of this year.

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