Is marijuana authorized in Ecuador?
The Republic of Ecuador is one of the poorest South American countries with a GDP per capita of USD 5,200. Despite this relatively small number compared to most Western countries, this number has increased significantly in recent decades. However, Ecuador’s modest GDP helps foreign travelers, especially weed lovers. Quito, the capital of Ecuador has the cheapest marijuana in the worldalthough its recreational use is not legal.
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Ecuador Historic Marijuana Law
Ecuador’s drug laws have changed a lot over the years. In 1970 the “Drug Trafficking Control and Intervention Act” was introduced, which emphasized that drug use is a public health problem and not a crime.
In 1987, the Ecuadorian Congress passed the new law on control and intervention in the trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic substances, which is prohibited in nature.
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The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, better known as Act 108, came into force in 1991. It provided the same punishment for both personal use and mass trafficking. That is at least 10 years in prison (changed to 12 years in 2003).
A person with a few grams of weed could have spent the same 12 years in prison as someone charged with selling harder drugs. As a result, the prisons were overwhelmed and the laws changed again.
Ecuador marijuana laws
In 2013, a law was passed to effectively decriminalize personal possession and use of cannabis. A person could own up to 10 grams of weed and not be prosecuted. This assumes that it is for personal use only and that no minors are involved.
The sale, trade and distribution of cannabis in Ecuador still carries long prison sentences.
Cannabis cultivation and medical legalization
In June 2020, a new drug law came into force. Ecuador is one of the newest Latin American countries to legalize hemp and, with it, CBD medicine. However, where Ecuador stands out from others is the definition of hemp.
Most countries with legal industrial hemp and medicinal CBD products allow THC levels of up to 0.3%. Ecuador allows THC levels of up to 1.0%. Controlling the THC content of a hemp plant is difficult. If Ecuador is more lenient about this, the country will produce less waste and be more financially competitive with other markets.
Medical use of marijuana with a THC content of no more than 1.0% is now also legal in Ecuador. The climatic conditions are perfect for growing within the country. With this change in law, Ecuador could become a huge exporter of medicinal cannabis in the future.
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