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Argentina President Endorses Plan to Legalize Drug Possession, Cannabis Cultivation

The Argentina federal government, with support from President Cristina Kirchner, has begun work on two proposals aimed at legalizing the personal possession of all drugs, and to legalize the private cultivation of cannabis. The plan is to have the proposals finished, and in front of Congress, by the year’s end, according to Argentine newspaper La Nacion.

The proposals are aimed at preventing the disastrous consequences placed upon individuals who are simply possessing a small amount of illegal drugs or cultivating a few cannabis plants, and to put a damper on the black market, which often times enriches criminal syndicates.

Under current Argentina law, cannabis possession, when not for distribution and when not cultivated by the individual in possession, is decriminalized and will rarely lead to an arrest. The cultivation of cannabis, and the possession of other drugs, however, can result in harsh criminal penalties, including jail time.

“The idea to start working on the reform initiative is to build on at least two projects”, says La Nacion. “One, presented by Senator Aníbal Fernández in 2012, legalizes possession for consumption of all drugs, eliminates the criminal prosecution of cultivation of marijuana for private use and addresses other chapters, such as the control of precursor chemicals. ”

The goal is to have the proposals passed into law by early next year.