A study we published recently shows how 63% of Argentines are in favor of the legalization of cannabis. Paradoxically, the consumption and cultivation of cannabis in the country, is not covered by law which has left society exposed to the judicial system.
Should people who choose to grow be afraid?
If you’re thinking about starting to grow, the first thing you should know is that growing cannabis itself is illegal. The current Drug Law, Law 23.737 of 1989, establishes sentences of 4 and 15 years in prison for trafficking and cultivation, and, possession for personal consumption can lead to up to two years in prison that are replaceable courses of treatment or prevention.
The drug law points to a mountain of actions that aim to punish drug trafficking. It also establishes both the compound tetrahydrocannabinol and “marijuana” and illegal. Basically, for the Criminal Law you cannot have plants, grow or sow.
Despite this, growing itself does not necessarily means you’re going to sell. And this is where you can follow some recommendations.
To grow or not to grow?
If you are a medicinal user, the recommendation of the experts in Public Defense of Argentina, recommend first, to have a record of the disease. Whether epicrisis or medical record attests to pathology in case of any eventuality.
Second, the quantity of plants must be according to the medical purposes. That is, if to produce extracts or flowers for a certain time due to the need for pathology, it is best that there are no surplus plants that can mislead the judges to rule against patients.
In all cases related to this issue, there is a fundamental piece and it has to do with the constitutional rights. This provides limits on state interference. In Argentina, there’s the premise that if no activity transcends in a way that affects anyone’s rights, the state cannot interfere.
Article 19-Private actions of men who in no way offend order and public morals, or harm a third party, are only reserved to God, and exempt from the authority of magistrates. No inhabitant of the Nation shall be compelled to do what is not mandated by law, nor deprived of what she does not forbid.
In this matter, it is important to mention “the Arriola Case” of 2009. The main argument is that the Drug Act that criminalizes drug use affects the right to privacy as they go.
On that occasion, the criminal court ruled in favour of not criminalizing cannabis possession. The highest court declared the narcotics law unconstitutional in a case in which 5 rosaries had been held with minimal amounts.
“At this point the judges understood that the right to privacy should take precedence, but they established a certain limit on constitutional protection in the affectation of such conduct to third parties. This last clarification leaves a grey area on certain consumer holdings, such as those in public spaces without people nearby.”, says a report by the Transnational Institute.
In theory, police officers should not enter your property without authorization, or be very careful to intervene on private property without indication that the activity harms third parties.
What to do if in a random police operation, they found my plants?
Today, it is unclear whether there is further repression of cannabis cultivation or whether more people are growing. However, cases are sometimes reported where agents run into plants on private property and go into confiscation.
Experts recommend that when providing information to police officers, the first thing is to wait for the officer’s official complaint. “The first thing is to see what accusing you and proceeding. Many of these cases are filed,” Dr. Maria Victoria said, in Revista THC’s Podcast.
Second, it will be to say nothing substantial until you see what you’re accused of or if there’s really an accusation against you.
Finally, we give you some recommendations before sowing:
- Knowing that cannabis cultivation is prohibited.
- At the limits of the right to privacy there may be the activity of the crop, but it does not mean that growing cannabis at home is allowed.
- Do not transfer from private activity to public activity.
- Do not sell.
- Medicinal users are advised to have medical proof of their pathology.