by Diana on 11/12/2013 | Cannabis News

Uruguay writes a new chapter in Cannabis History

Yesterday (Tuesday 10th December 2013) Uruguay made history by becoming the first country in the world to legalize and control all activities related to import, export, growing, production, distribution and sale of cannabis. This step is both a slap in the face and a wake-up call for drug policy in Latin America and beyond.


The motto that goes with the new regulation : Growing freedom, Uruguay grows
The motto that goes with the new regulation : Growing freedom, Uruguay grows

Yesterday (Tuesday 10th December 2013) Uruguay made history by becoming the first country in the world to legalize and control all activities related to import, export, growing, production, distribution and sale of cannabis. This step is both a slap in the face and a wake-up call for drug policy in Latin America and beyond.

The long road that President José Mujica began on a year and a half ago has finally led to a highly  positive result. Well done Uruguay. This time, YES.

The proposal was approved by 16 votes for and 13 against and, despite the resistance from the opposition, the final decision was hailed with cheers of happiness and a great feeling of relief.

The evolution of Uruguay’s cannabis policy has been slow but steady. With myriad obstacles in their way, those who supported the proposal from the beginning were not diminished in their desire and their enthusiasm.  They had, and still have, an aim and a challenge in mind: to save thousands of cannabis users from having to resort to the black market.  This reinforces the most progressive face of Uruguay, creating an important cultural change that meets the requirements of two fundamental pillars: the health of the people, and the fight against drug trafficking.

On the other hand, now is the time to read the small print.  From this moment, the Government has 120 days to publish the details of the new legislation. This means informing the Uruguayans, and the world, on every detail of the rules related to growing licenses, price references, the cannabis strains that will be allowed and the inspection methods that will be applied.

Sensi Seeds already reported some details proposed for the new regulation. Pharmacies can supply up to 40 grams of

José Mujica, President of Uruguay
José Mujica, President of Uruguay

cannabis per person on a monthly basis. Individuals who choose the option of self-cultivation can have a total of six plants; cannabis clubs can have a maximum of 100 members and grow a maximum of 99 plants. In addition, there will be an official database of consumers and cannabis will be sold at $1 per gram. At the moment, it is said that with the new state-regulated market, the consumer will be able to choose between four or five different cannabis strains. April 2014 remains as the official date that the first “State cannabis harvest” will go on sale. What is clear, even before the release of the fine print, is that the most difficult part – an unprecedented regulation – has been achieved.

Now the words of Mujica echo in the minds of the opposition, stating that at this historic moment, collective learning is necessary: “We hope that other countries give us a hand as we can learn together…” and “.. .that the world allows us to adopt a socio-political experiment in the face of a problem as serious as drug trafficking”.

For his part, Julio Calzada, Secretary of the Junta Nacional de Drogas of Uruguay (National Board of Drugs) and great proponent of the new law, replied to the international reprisals by stating that “we are not saying to anyone to adopt the same policy, but we only want to give a guarantee to the other countries that the cannabis that it is going to be produced legally here in Uruguay will not end up on their black market. That is our commitment.”

Ladies and gentlemen, Uruguay has succeeded.

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Steve

I have never thought of visiting Uruguay before, but now that I know that enlightened, adult, and none judgemental people live there, who have realised the benefits of Cannabis, I will aim to holiday there in 2015 when all the legislation has been sorted out. Very many millions of people around the world will agree with me, in saying, Well done Jos'e Mujica.

20/12/2013

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