Thousands of people across several South American countries marched this week to call for cannabis reform. While medical marijuana programs have been steadily on the rise in a number of countries throughout South America, many have struggled to get those programs up and running.
In Argentina medical marijuana was legalized last year for use by epilepsy patients. But, some activists claim that the laws aren't being applied. The state is supposed to oversee importing and production of medical marijuana, promises that seem to have fallen flat so far.
People like cannabis YouTuber and activist Federico Riveiro want to see the government follow through on the promises they've already made.
"No more imprisonment for cultivating, no more raiding our houses, kicking our doors, stealing the plants, taking away the medicine from our children," Riveiro told Euronews.
Similarly, medial marijuana was also promised in Peru last year. The regulations were slated to be ready 60 days after the bill passed, but they have yet to be implemented, so the burgeoning medical marijuana industry is on an indefinite hold.
Ana Alvarez says patients want fair regulations, and are willing to wait if it means they get fair medical regulations, but they will continue to rally to have the legislation pushed forward.
"Us, the patients, are waiting calmly because we want a fair regulation: regulation that adjusts to the needs of the patients, not to the needs of the big industries. We want this medicine to reach every patient who needs it, whether they have the money or not."
In Chile, activists demanded the right to grow marijuana for personal use.
"We want private cultivation to be regulated, to allow marijuana to be used freely because everyone smokes and we don't annoy anyone," said one marcher, reports Telesur.