Cannabis in Uruguay
The proposal for legalization
In June 2012, the Uruguayan government, under president Mujica, announced plans to legalise state-controlled sales of cannabis in order to fight drug-related crimes and health issues. The government stated that they will ask global leaders to do the same. Nobel prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa praised the decision as "courageous".
The law intends to reduce the profit that drug trafficking creates for organized crime, as well as reducing the drug-related violence and the social problems associated with it. Uruguay has one of the lowest murder rates in the region (though by some estimates, crime was slightly increasing in 2013).
Mujica's plan would allow users to cultivate the plant for non-commercial uses and grant licenses to professional farmers for larger scale production. The plan includes a system of user registry, a tax, and quality control, all coordinated through the existing agency that monitors tobacco, alcohol, and pharmaceuticals. He estimateed that with 70,000 users, the country will have to produce more than 5,000 pounds each month. He also stated: "Uruguay wants to make a 'contribution to humanity' by legalising marijuana but will backtrack if the 'experiment' goes awry".
On 31 July 2013, the House of Representatives passed the bill to legalize and regulate the production and sale of cannabis and sent it to the country's Senate. The bill was approved by 50 affirmative votes (the minimum required) with all Deputies from the ruling Broad Front voting in favor and all the other Deputies voting against it. The bill was passed by the Senate's Health Commission on 26 November and was expected to be voted by the full Senate since November 2013.
The new law was accepted in the Senate on 10 December 2013 by a 16–13 vote. Julio Calzada, Secretary-General of Uruguay’s National Drug Council, explained in a December 2013 interview that the government will be responsible for regulating the production side of the process: "Companies can get a license to cultivate if they meet all the criteria. However, this won’t be a free market. The government will control the entire production and determine the price, quality, and maximum production volume." People will be allowed to buy up to 40 grams (1.4 oz) of cannabis from the Uruguayan government each month. Users have to be 18 or older and be registered in a national database to track their consumption. Cultivators are allowed to grow up to 6 crops at their homes each year and shall not surpass 480 grams (17 oz). Registered smoking clubs will be allowed to grow 99 plants annually. Buying cannabis will be prohibited to foreigners and it will be illegal to move it across international borders.
Implementation of the new law postponed
In July 2014 announced president Julio Calzada that the implementation of the law is postponed to 2015, "there are practical difficulties". Authorities will grow all the cannabis that can be sold legal. Concentration of THC shall be 15% or lower.
In August 2014 claimed an opposition presidential candidate that the new law never is going to be applied, it is not workable.
- Arguments for and against drug prohibition
- Drug liberalization
- Latin American drug legalization
- Legality of cannabis by country
- World Drug Report 2011. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Cannabis stats are from Chapter 22.214.171.124. Consumption: Annual prevalence of Cannabis, p. 217. "Sources: Annual Reports Questionnaires, Academic Researches, Concise International Chemical Assessment Documents (CICAD), Government Reports, European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), International Narcotics Control Strategy Reports (INCSR)."
- "Cannabis South American laws". Erowid.org. March 1995.
- "Uruguay government aims to legalise marijuana". BBC. 21 June 2012.
- "Vargas Llosa praises Uruguayan decision to legalize marihuana". LR21. 2 July 2012. (Spanish)
- Casey, Nicholas (10 December 2013). "Uruguay Legalizes Pot, Recasting Drug War". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- Combs, Peter (21 August 2013). "Uruguay's marijuana experiment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- Ramsey, Geoffrey (25 July 2013). "Uruguay's Marijuana Bill and Organized Crime". InSight Crime. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "Marijuana in the Americas: Legalize Me, Decriminalize Me, Prohibit Me". Revolución Pan Americana. 30 July 2012.
- Cave, Damien (30 July 2012). "Uruguay Considers Legalizing Marijuana to Stop Traffickers". The New York Times.
- "Uruguay considers legalising marijuana as 'experiment', says President Jose Mujica". news.com.au. 7 August 2013.
- "Uruguay raises its hands to vote". Brecha. 3 August 2013. (Spanish)
- "The experiment: Another blow against prohibition". The Economist. 1 August 2013.
- (Spanish) "Marihuana: Frente Amplio insiste en votar la ley antes de fin de año". El País. 6 November 2013.
- (Spanish) El País. Comisión del Senado aprobó proyecto sobre regulación de la marihuana. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Llambias, Felipe (11 December 2013). "Uruguay becomes first country to legalize marijuana trade". Reuters. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- Jack Davies and Jan De Deken (15 December 2013). "The Architect of Uruguay's Marijuana Legalization Speaks Out". reason.com. Reason Foundation. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
- Miroff, Nick (10 December 2013). "Uruguay votes to legalize marijuana". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- Uruguay marijuana sales delayed until 2015, Daly News,July/10/2014
- LEONARDO HABERKORN: Uruguayan Pot Marketplace May Go up in Smoke, Associated Press, Aug 1, 2014
- Las dudas y contradicciones de la sociedad sobre la legalización de la marihuana - Factum, 4 October 2013
- El 74% de los uruguayos está a favor de la venta de marihuana con fines medicinales - El Observador, 5 December 2013
- "Therapeutic cannabis". Revista Paula. Retrieved 1 August 2013. (Spanish)
- "Drug legal reform coming in Uruguay". Druglawreform.info. Retrieved 1 August 2013. (Spanish)
- "Thinking the unthinkable: Uruguayan drug legalization". The Economist. 30 June 2012.
- The traduction of the approved Law (English)