On May 17, thousands of citizens gathered in the center of Santiago de Chile to demand the right to medical and recreational cannabis
Indeed, the fifteenth edition of the march “Cultivate your rights” managed to gather more than 80,000 people to demand a more realistic regulation of the use of medical marijuana and the legalization of the right to recreational marijuana use. The main organizers were the Daya Foundation, Mama Cultiva and Movimental. All three are old activists who have been fighting for decades, nationally and internationally, to recognize essential and inherent rights to the freedom of the human being. Mama Cultiva Chile was already in Paraguay very recently (Mama Cultiva Paraguay) fighting side by side with thousands of activists who claimed the same cause.
Not only do they want to have the right to consume; they also want to have the right to cultivation. In Chile, the use of medical marijuana is decriminalized. But the patient is not allowed to grow their own plants. Why? It has a suspicious smell of money. For this reason, the massive march demands the immediate decriminalization of the cultivation of the cannabis plant.
Shouting the slogan “Cultivate your rights”, thousands of Chileans painted the center of the city green, in a peaceful march that demanded from the government of Sebastián Piñera the immediate decriminalization of cannabis cultivation in Chile.
The protesters toured the entire center of Santiago and made a stop in front of the Palacio de la Moneda, which is the seat of the Executive, in which the public left their voices shouting all kinds of phrases against the denial of a right that all seems inherent in the freedom of the individual. The police did not have a single altercation in which to intervene.
The right to a secure crop
Of course, one of the most heard demands was the immediate approval of the so-called “Safe Cultivation Law”, which would prevent the police from seizing marijuana plants from patients who have an official prescription to use cannabis. Why are the plants seized then? For always: money. The pharmaceutical industries want to take over the monopoly of cultivation. If this happens, home cultivated marijuana that could cost very little, will become a product within a capsule and at gold prices.
The bill admits that the medical prescription is like an authorization to grow your plants; although this does not mean that the Public Prosecutor’s Office cannot carry out its investigations. But it is that, at present, the police cut the plants, take them away, and then … .anything!
The initiative was approved last year and is now being processed by the Senate Health Commission.
The event ended with the intervention of activist Pedro Neira, president of Tata Cultiva, who has long fought for the right to use medical marijuana among the elderly, who are the most needed and are tired of being prescribed chemical pills that have numerous side effects very adverse.
For his part, Manuel Espinoza, president of Movimental, expressed his outrage at the fact that thousands of growers were afraid of the police entering their homes, stealing their plants and, in addition, arresting them. Thousands of growers who do not want to live with fear.
And it is that, in effect, it is a matter of money when it should be a matter of public health and individual rights. Although the government of Michelle Bachelet approved standards in 2015 authorizing the production and sale of cannabis-derived medicines, the rules are very restrictive and the prices of products are too high; out of reach of the economic possibilities of almost all Chileans.
According to the organizations that attended the march, the current regulation is basically prohibitive and has failed. In fact, more problems than solutions have been created in relation to the cultivation of psychoactive marijuana.
Chileans want the option of smoking cannabis to be a decision of the consumers, which does not have to go through considerations and interests of the government.
In this country the consumption of cannabis in public is prohibited and self-cultivation is also illegal. In the southern hemisphere, self-cultivation and the sale of cannabis for recreational purposes are regulated only in Uruguay.