Uruguay Can Become the First Legal Marijuana Country

Uruguay Can Become the First Legal Marijuana Country

According to bill, there will be three types of access: a person or a family will be able to grow up to six cannabis plants at home, also a person could become a member of a special club, and marijuana could be bought at a licensed pharmacy.

Marijuana sale would be prohibited to those under 18. Driving while stoned and all types of advertising also would be prohibited.

Thanks to a national TV advertising campaign different sectors of Uruguayan society now support the initiative – a mother, a doctor, and a lawyer talked about benefits of this measure.

The alliance of Uruguayan organizations and individuals called Regulación Responsable (“Responsible Regulation”) favored the idea of marijuana legalization and held activities around the country. A huge number of organizations created the coalition in support of Regulación Responsable (“Responsible Regulation”). Among them: environmental and human rights organizations, LGBT, students, health, and women`s right organizations together with actors, doctors, lawyers, writers, etc.

According to Mujica, marijuana legalization will insure marijuana users from more dangerous drugs on the black market, provide a legal opportunity to use medical marijuana for suffering patients, and let the government use millions of dollars now accumulating in drug traffickers` pockets to solve other social problems.

The bill corrects the current Uruguayan law due to which cannabis use is legal, but production, sale and distribution are not.

“At the heart of the Uruguayan marijuana regulation bill is a focus on improving public health and public safety,” said Hannah Hetzer, “Instead of closing their eyes to the problem of drug abuse and drug trafficking, Uruguay is taking an important step towards responsible regulation of an existing reality.”

In 2011, such outstanding members of Global Commission on Drug Policy as Kofi Annan, Paul Volcker, Richard Branson and former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Brazil), César Gaviria (Colombia) and Ernesto Zedillo (Mexico) stated that it is time “to break the taboo”.

Juan Manuel Santos, the president of Colombia, Otto Perez Molina, the president of Guatemala, and José Mujica have joined for reform and in May, the Organization of American States made a report, which states that cannabis legalization can be a “likely policy alternative”.

“Sometimes small countries do great things,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. He believes that Uruguay will provide “a model for legally regulating marijuana that other countries, and U.S. states, will want to consider.”

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