As of last week, Ecuador became on of the countries where consuming marijuana and other drugs was oficially decriminalized. The government’s Substance Control council published a table of legal carrying amounts for narcotics and established by law: anyone carrying under 10 grams of marijuana is considered a consumer and not a dealer, and therefore will not be arrested.
Cannabis advocates say the move is positive, but more needs to be done to make marijuana a legal substance.
Gabriel Buitrón, founder of Ecuador Canábico, says “the drug problem isn’t consumers: it’s the black market, which generates violence, human trafficking, and the highest murder rate in Latin America.”
He says the law needs to go farther to protect people who grow marijuana for personal use. In Spain, he says, cannabis consumers can form cooperatives to grow enough plants for the collective, and nothing more.
Other members of cannabis advocacy groups in Guayaquil agree, saying that the plant’s agricultural, medicinal, and textile uses should be explored.
Buitrón says the Ecuador Canábico collective will respond by working on a policy paper promoting the controlled production, distribution and storage of the cannabis plant, for exclusive use within Ecuador. He says the will present the National Assembly with a draft of this policy paper in time for the proposed amendments to Ecuador’s criminal code, expected later this year.
In Ecuador, according to amounts published today on June 20 in the Official Register, the following quantities of narcotics will be considered consumer amounts, non-prosecutable: