Medical Cannabis: activist arrested

The Buenos Aires provincial police arrested a member of the Canabicultores de Zona Sur cannabis growers group, which produces cannabis for therapeutic use. The arrest occurred at the same time as the Chamber of Deputies was passing a bill to regulate the use of medicinal cannabis, although the wording of the bill does not account for cases like Adriana’s.

Yesterday the Buenos Aires provincial police entered the home of Adriana Funaro with a search warrant for the “cultivation and possession of narcotics.” Adriana is a member of the group Canabicultores de Zona Sur and produces oil from marijuana plants to treat her own arthrosis, and to give away to other patients who use the substance for therapeutic and palliative purposes.

The police intervention was brought on due to a report from a neighbor, who fired a gun in front of Adriana’s house in sight of friends and relatives. The police agents, however, did not intervene because of the gunfire, which they “did not hear.” Adriana was arrested for possession of 36 marijuana plants and seeds in her house, and the police confiscated droppers containing medicinal cannabis oil.

While the legal framework in our country allows for the development of research to explore the potential medical uses of cannabis, it makes its use illegal and criminalizes users.

There is currently a bill passed by the Chamber of Deputies that regulates the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. But it is important to point out that this initiative does not account for individual, charitable or collective cultivation. This means cases like Adriana’s, as well as those of Eric Julián Sepúlveda Pascottine and Alejandro Nicolás Tverdovsky, who were imprisoned in the province of Córdoba last October for producing cannabis oil for medicinal use, will continue to occur.

Once again, we observe a prevailing model of prohibitionist policies that concentrate their efforts on criminalizing users. In this case, like so many others, state intervention deprives individual growers of their freedom as a means to prevent their association with the illegal drug trade.