Legal status of marijuana in chile

Legal status of marijuana in chile
Luke Sumpter

Chile has a long history with cannabis. Chile is slowly legalizing medical marijuana use and relaxing the laws.

Latin American countries, long the direct focus of the brunt of America’s Drug War, are moving forward on cannabis reform slowly. Chile, the thin, elongated country on the west of the South American continent is no stranger to that.

Want to explore the famed beaches, ports and mountains of this beautiful country a la ganja? Not impossible. Actually it’s pretty easy if you are used to getting your weed on just this side of the down low. Just be careful.


Cannabis and hemp have a long history in Chile. Hemp was actually grown commercially in Chile as early as the 1500’s. More recently, since the 1940’s, cannabis became a popular drug of choice. Foreign sailors and travelling hippies began to popularize the drug’s recreational and medicinal use. Its popularity has not waned since.

Consumption of cannabis in Chile is higher than in any other Latin American country. The plant has begun to be cultivated in the country (since 2014) but only for medical purposes. A large amount of the cannabis used in the country is imported from its neighbours.

Sale of marijuana-derived medication was allowed in pharmacies as of December 2015.


Cannabis for personal use in private has been decriminalized in Chile since 2005. Cultivation is also legal, as long as it is done for personal use or as part of a collective.

A bill to allow home cultivation of up to 6 plants has been stalled in the Senate for about a year.

Cannabis is decriminalized in Chile, but that does not mean it is “legal.” If you are caught with cannabis in Chile, expect at minimum, to lose your supply plus get a fine.

Chile, like its Latin and Central American neighbors, is moving forward from the Drug War. The onward march both here and in other countries around the world as well as more locally will absolutely influence policy here.

As will the growing medical use around the globe. Expect at minimum, limited home growing rights to be on the cards here. Want the ability to buy cannabis at airport kiosks? Might have to wait. Go to Jamaica instead.

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter

Luke has worked as a cannabis journalist and health science researcher for the past seven years. Over this time, he’s developed an advanced understanding of endocannabinoid system science, cannabis phytochemistry, and cultivation techniques.