by Diana on 28/10/2014 | Cannabis News

It is over for Mujica. Will it be the same for legalization of cannabis in Uruguay?

Last Sunday, 26th October 2014, Uruguay experienced a polling day tinged with emotion over Mujica’s farewell to the Presidency. The "poorest President in the world", according to the BBC, went to vote in nothing less than his old light blue Beetle. The force of habit of a man who does not give up his principles, even if protocol requires him to do so. A gesture that represents everything he stood for throughout his career. Officially, his mandate ends next March, but he is not leaving immediately. Still the current President of Uruguay, he aspires to a seat in the Senate after the recent legislative elections, (and everyone knows that he will get it), and he will remain during the first stage of the new Government. The reason is transparent: the honest intention to forge relations, advise the new leaders, and be assured that all will go as he planned – and why not? It's no secret that Pepe Mujica is one of the most beloved leaders in Latin America but, as often happens, “no prophet is welcome in his hometown”. Uruguay appreciates him, but not enough to give him the leadership of the country once again. Some citizens believe that his austerity is, in some way, a bit forced. That giving up 90% of his salary as President has some dark intention behind it, and that rejecting the comfortable life at the Presidential Palace is a decision more befitting a hermit than a leader. All this is far from the truth, as we are talking about a man who suffered firsthand the cruelty and senselessness of the dictatorship. A man whose life is nothing more than a reflection of his heart. As simple as that.


Last Sunday, 26th October 2014, Uruguay experienced a polling day tinged with emotion over Mujica’s farewell to the Presidency.

The “poorest President in the world”, according to the BBC, went to vote in nothing less than his old light blue Beetle. The force of habit of a man who does not give up his principles, even if protocol requires him to do so. A gesture that represents everything he stood for throughout his career.

Officially, his mandate ends next March, but he is not leaving immediately. Still the current President of Uruguay, he aspires to a seat in the Senate after the recent legislative elections, (and everyone knows that he will get it), and he will remain during the first stage of the new Government. The reason is transparent: the honest intention to forge relations, advise the new leaders, and be assured that all will go as he planned – and why not?

Mujica arriving at the polling station to vote
Mujica arriving at the polling station to vote

It’s no secret that Pepe Mujica is one of the most beloved leaders in Latin America but, as often happens, no prophet is welcome in his hometown”. Uruguay appreciates him, but not enough to give him the leadership of the country once again. Some citizens believe that his austerity is, in some way, a bit forced. That giving up 90% of his salary as President has some dark intention behind it, and that rejecting the comfortable life at the Presidential Palace is a decision more befitting a hermit than a leader. All this is far from the truth, as we are talking about a man who suffered firsthand the cruelty and senselessness of the dictatorship. A man whose life is nothing more than a reflection of his heart. As simple as that.

Laudable achievements

Apart from his way of life, he is a man who has been able, in just five years, to change the course of a country’s history. He has put Uruguay in the public eye and he has written the best chapter in its story so far.

cannabis uruguayMujica decriminalized abortion, whereas his predecessor, Tabaré Vazquez, had vetoed it mercilessly in the previous mandate. Mujica also enacted a law, in 2013, legalizing gay marriage. This was something hitherto almost unthinkable in Latin America, taking into account that these unions were previously only legal in Argentina. Before leaving his post, Mujica confirmed an agreement with Obama that Uruguay will take in five prisoners from Guantanamo to ease their conditions, saying that any Party that rejects such a move is formed by ” rotten and cowardly souls”. Do you need any more proof?

Mujica, ladies and gentlemen, enacted the first law that enables the State to fully regulate the use, consumption, cultivation and production of cannabis. A step that is both a slap in the face and a wake-up call for drug policy in Latin America and beyond.

In the recent elections, the Frente Amplio, Mujica’s Party, won the majority in the Chamber of Deputies, a goal that at first seemed difficult but was ultimately successful. But there is some fear still.

The world is waiting to know what will happen when the captain leaves the ship. Will everything continue as planned, or will the progress so far disappear behind a smoke screen? Time will tell and Sensi Seeds will be there to listen. Whatever happens, Mujica will always have a special place in our hearts and we will remember him as a man who began his path as a gladiator and ended it as an emperor. Although he doesn’t wear a laurel wreath, but a hemp one.

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Cannabis N.I.

I for one will be sad to see him go. I wish we had a leader like him in Northern ireland, instead we have the equilevant of Westboro Baptist Church.

31/10/2014

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