Marijuana or cannabis is very important industry:
- paper products
- moulded plastics
- body care products
- livestock feed
- livestock bedding
- nutritional supplements
- essential oils
Do not forget to find at the bottom the world map showing marijuana freedom or oppression by country.
– Gameness til the End
By Dario Klein, Catherine E. Shoichet and Rafael Romo, CNN
December 11, 2013 — Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Supporters of legalizing marijuana demonstrate outside Uruguay’s Senate.
Montevideo, Uruguay (CNN) — The passage of a landmark marijuana legalization measure Tuesday means Uruguay is set to become the first country in the world to have a system regulating legal production, sale and consumption of the drug.
It’s practically a done deal. President Jose Mujica has to sign the bill before it becomes a law. But he’s long backed the measure, and there’s little doubt that he remains behind it.
Applause and cheers rang out in Uruguay’s Senate on Tuesday after the high-profile vote at the end of a lengthy debate on the bill.
The measure passed Uruguay’s lower house in July.
Supporters of the proposal have said it marks a turning point and could inspire other Latin American nations to take a similar approach.
It places the South American country at the vanguard of liberal drug policies, surpassing even the Netherlands, where recreational drugs are illegal but a policy of tolerance is in place.
“It is understood that a regulation-based policy has positive consequences for health and public security, given that, on the one hand, it can produce better results when it comes to education, prevention, information, treatment and rehabilitation in relation to the problematic uses of drugs,” said Sen. Roberto Conde of Uruguay’s Broad Front coalition, which supported the measure. “On the other hand, it helps fight drug trafficking, which fuels organized crime and criminal activities that affect the security of the population.”
Critics said legalizing marijuana could have dangerous consequences.
“This bill, which proposes an experiment in social engineering, as it was described in the public health commission, does not comply with any of the ethical safeguards of experimentation with human beings,” said Sen. Alfredo Solari of the Colorado Party. “Those safeguards are extremely important … given that we’re talking about marijuana, a substance that harms human beings.”
A letter sent by Mujica’s government to lawmakers last year presented the bill.
He told CNN en Español last year that he supported legalizing marijuana.
“If we legalize it, we think that we will spoil the market (for drug traffickers) because we are going to sell it for cheaper than it is sold on the black market,” he said. “And we are going to have people identified.”
Conservative critics of the measure have said it promotes drug addiction and have suggested that Mujica’s comments were uninformed.
Details still in the works
The proposed law would allow individuals to grow up to six plants of marijuana and possess as many as 480 grams for personal use. Marijuana clubs of anywhere from 15 to 45 members would also be allowed and granted permission to grow up to 99 plants at a time.
Users would have to register, and those claiming to use cannabis for medical reasons would have to show a doctor’s prescription. Marijuana would also be sold at licensed pharmacies.
Once the bill becomes law, there will be a 120-day period to give the government time to adopt regulations and implement it.
Consumption of marijuana has been legal Uruguay, but its production and sale are not.
“We seek to eliminate that incongruence,” the country’s top drug official, Julio Calzada, told CNN earlier this year.
The same debates about marijuana that exist in the United States — about medicinal properties, recreational use, the impact on the justice system — have been happening in Uruguay for a long time, Calzada said. The decision to push legislation to overhaul its drug policies did not come overnight.
“We have reflected on our problems,” Calzada said, and the government felt that Uruguay’s tradition of tolerance and equality merited action on the marijuana issue.
But many in the traditionally Catholic country of 3.3 million people feel supporters are espousing the wrong policy for the wrong reasons.
In a July poll from CIFRA/Gonzalez, Raga and Associates, 63% of Uruguayan respondents said they disagreed with the bill. Only 26% said they approved of the measure in the poll, which surveyed more than 1,000 Uruguayans and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Opponent Solari says making marijuana widely available has the potential to create even higher levels of addiction.
“It’s a very bad piece of legislation, mainly because it increases the availability of marijuana in the market,” he said.
Backers of the bill say the legislation addresses some of the concerns expressed by the opposition. For one, violators of the law would face sentences of 20 months to 10 years in prison. Those younger than 18 would not be allowed to use marijuana under any circumstances. The legislation also calls for mandatory classes in public schools aimed at drug prevention and bans the advertising of cannabis in any form.
December 12, 2013
Uruguay became the first country to legalize marijuana completely yesterday.
We’re not just talking about “decriminalizing” it, or allowing recreational use while still prosecuting pot’s cultivation and selling. The government will still limit amounts to six plants per home per year. And as with alcohol purchases in the US, selling pot in Uruguay will require a license.
In typical government meddling fashion, allowing personal use but not production and sale made a mockery of sense. Speaking of mockeries of sense, the usual arguments about marijuana being a “gateway” drug were out in force among the drug warriors. Colorado Senator Alfredo Solari, whose state is set to alllow its first legal weed sales in just a few days, said, “Competing with drug traffickers by offering marijuana at a lower price will just increase the market for a drug that has negative effects on public health.”
Apparently it is much, much better for “public health” for prohibition to breed cartel and gang violence, which is the inevitable result when politicians use their armed enforcers to prevent people from engaging in the procurement and consumption of something they really, really enjoy.
You know how most of the world laughs at alcohol prohibition now? Well, in the future they’ll laugh at us for not being able to see that prohibition of other substances was just as silly and destructive. Prohibition doesn’t actually stop anyone who wants drugs from getting drugs. It just makes the drugs a lot more expensive while adding a thick layer of violence and danger in the resulting black market.
It also gives government opportunity to fill its cages with non-violent drug consumers and low-level retailers, all of whom have their chances for employment permanently ruined as a result. That, however, is a mild insult added to the injury of incarceration resulting in their brutalization and possible rape.
So when people like Senator Solari talk about negative effects on public health, we can’t help but think that the same number people getting high without the cartels, gangs and government kidnappings represent an incalculable improvement in public health. Hell, it would be great if a few more people got high if it meant an end to police home raids, corner pushers and cartel mass murders. Busybodies and the fully propagandized will blanch, but a little pot next to the whiskey in the liquor cabinet will mean society becomes richer, happier and more peaceful. That’s what happens when you get diminish ugly bits of political violence like prohibition.
The drug that has a negative effect on public health is violence itself, a substance to which politicians and their world of enablers are severely addicted. They love using violence to get people to do what they want. Violence, however, begets more of the same. Prohibition is the clearest, most demoralizing example of this. Recreational drug use is a personal choice, a matter of aesthetics, but it’s exactly the kind of thing busybodies make a moral and collective issue that presumes ownership of other people. It’s exactly the kind of thing governments can’t help but get in on.
Like we’ve said before, the state is a self-licking ice cream cone; it creates its own demand. By manufacturing a crime, states create the need for their brand of monopolized, violent policy enforcement. But marijuana prohibition is now so nakedly absurd that it seems that the state is going to have to relent.
It’s still annoying to hear that there will be monitoring of purchases and other regulation, like where one can buy it and how much one can grow per unit of time. For our part we will not be celebrating till all the armed thugs who claim the right to monitor and control people go away. But we can hope that Uruguay’s legalization is another small sign that faith in the state and its proscriptions is flagging.
Portugal decriminalized the individual possession of small amounts of various recreational drugs and has seen addiction rates plummet. Uruguay is also going to see fantastic results.
It’s also important to note that this is happening in Uruguay. This is just another example of why we at TDV, along with many of our clients, are so enthusiastic about South America. TDV Passports offers a very popular passport program from neighboring Paraguay, and in keeping with our PT (Prior Taxpayer/Permanent Traveler) recommendations, clients who opt for the Paraguay citizenship and passport spend much of their time in Uruguay.
While the USSA is continues on the road of more imperialism, more fascistic regulation, more inflation and more debt, things are heading in the opposite direction in Latin America. That’s why Latin America, particularly the nation-state of Chile, was chosen as the place to found Galt’s Gulch.
Government experiment reaches new heights as it attempts to regulate marijuana business and find alternative to war on drugs
Jonathan Watts, Latin America correspondent
The Guardian, Wednesday 11 December 2013
A marijuana sample at Uruguay’s second Cannabis Cup in Montevideo in June.
A new law opens the way for the state to regulate the
production, distribution, sale and consumption of marijuana.
Photograph: Andres Stapff/Reuters
The world’s most far-reaching cannabis law has been passed by the Uruguayan parliament, opening the way for the state to regulate the production, distribution, sale and consumption of the planet’s favourite illegal drug.
The law, effective from next year, will: allow registered users to buy up to 40g of marijuana a month from a chemist’s; registered growers to keep up to six plants; and cannabis clubs to have up to 45 members and cultivate as many as 99 plants.
A government-run cannabis institute will set the price – initially likely to be close to the current black market rate of $1 a gramme – and monitor the impact of the programme, which aims to bring the industry under state control and push illegal traffickers out of business.
Julio Bango, one of the politicians who helped draft the bill, said it would probably be four months until the first harvest of legal cannabis, by which time the government would have a licensing system in place. “We know this has generated an international debate and we hope it brings another element to discussions about a model [the war on drugs] that has totally failed and that has generated the opposite results from what it set out to achieve.”
Before the passage of the bill, president José Mujica called on the international community to assist in what he admitted was an experiment aimed at finding an alternative to the deadly and unsuccessful war on drugs.
“We are asking the world to help us with this experience, which will allow the adoption of a social and political experiment to face a serious problem – drug trafficking,” he said earlier this month. “The effects of drug trafficking are worse than those of the drugs themselves.”
If the results of the law prove negative, Mujica has said it could be rescinded. The current illegal market in Uruguay is estimated to be worth $30m (£18m) a year, according to Martin Fernández, a lawyer working for the Association of Cannabis Studies, who says one in five Uruguayans have tried marijuana. The government estimates 115,000 people are regular users.
Consumption of marijuana has been permitted for many years in Uruguay – one of Latin America’s most tolerant nations – but production and sales are prohibited and largely run by gangs who smuggle drugs in from Paraguay.
The government is taking a political risk by trying to regulate the business – a move not supported by most voters. Opposition politicians have demanded a referendum.
“Public perception, reflected in public opinion polls, is that this measure is the wrong way to address a serious problem,” Gerardo Amarilla of the National party said.
Drug rehab workers have mixed views about the likely risks and benefits. Nancy Alonso, a psychologists who runs an addiction treatment centre, believes the law will create social and health problems.
“Marijuana is highly addictive. It’s 15 times more carcinogenic than tobacco. It produces psychological disorders like depression, anxiety and – for big consumers – schizophrenia,” she said. “As a healthcare agent, I think the social harm will be huge.”
However, staff at the government-funded Ciudadela treatment centre are more upbeat. “I think the law is a positive step,” said Pablo Anzalone, a programme co-ordinator. “State regulation will reduce problematic consumption. We also hope that it will generate more money for us and other treatment centres.”
Growers were ecstatic that their pastime will no longer get them thrown in jail. To celebrate, several planned what they called “a final march with illegal cannabis” through the streets of Montevideo.
Marcelo Vazquez said he now had the opportunity to fulfil an ambition. “It’s a utopia,” he said. “I want to work, pay taxes and grow cannabis for clubs, for medicine, for whatever.”
Juan Guano, who runs a small shop selling growbags, heat lamps and books on cannabis cultivation, said he expected his market to expand. More hopefully, he predicted the measure could help Uruguayan and world society.
“Uruguay doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone, but obviously the outside world will be watching how this works. We are not regulating marijuana with the aim of encouraging others to follow our lead, we are doing it because this is what we need as a society. But one possible positive is that, if things go well, other countries in the region could take this as a model for marijuana regulation.”
Andres Stapff/REUTERS – Uruguay’s Senate voted for a government-sponsored bill
establishing state regulation of the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana
during a session in Montevideo on Tuesday. The law makes the small South American nation
the world’s first to allow its citizens to grow, buy and smoke marijuana.
By Nick Miroff, Published: December 10
MEXICO CITY — Lawmakers in the small South American nation of Uruguay voted Tuesday to legalize and regulate marijuana, going further than any other country in the world toward decriminalizing the plant and lifting the stigma from its use.
With the move, Uruguay leaps to the forefront of nations that have sought alternatives to criminal anti-narcotics enforcement, frustrated with the human and economic costs of fighting a drug war that rarely shows signs of progress.
The Uruguayan government will have 120 days to implement its plans for a sprawling reefer bureaucracy — the Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis — to manage the country’s new marijuana marketplace.
“Uruguay has taken a step forward,” said Sen. Luis Rosadilla, from the ruling Broad Front party, just before voting in favor of the measure, which passed 16 to 13 in the upper chamber. “We’ll see how it works, and we’ll continue looking for solutions.”
Unlike Mexico, Colombia and many other countries in Latin America that are mired in drug violence and the corrosive influences of transnational cartels, Uruguay (population 3.3 million) has relatively little crime. But lawmakers in the country said legalizing marijuana and tightly regulating its production, sale and consumption is a sensible alternative to the seemingly Sisyphean task of banning its citizens’ pot use.
Under the law, marijuana users will be allowed to buy a maximum of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) each month from government-regulated outlets, provided that they are at least 18 years old and registered in a database to monitor their cumulative purchases.
Growers will be allowed to cultivate up to six plants in their homes each year, not to exceed 480 grams. Aficionados will also be able to join forces and establish smoking clubs of 15 to 45 members with the ability to produce 99 plants a year. The green stuff won’t be allowed over the borders.
Nor will foreign tourists will be eligible to buy Uruguay’s legalized weed, making it improbable that Montevideo, the capital, will turn into a southern Amsterdam besieged by a flood of global stoners.
The experiment in Uruguay will be closely watched by other countries in Latin America and around the world, including the United States, where the Obama administration opposes marijuana legalization but has softened to state-driven ballot initiatives that decriminalize its use.
Voters in Colorado and Washington state have already approved recreational use of the drug, and 15 other states also have eased restrictions, many ostensibly for medical use.
Advocates for marijuana decriminalization in the United States followed Uruguay’s efforts closely, even helping to finance advertising campaigns in favor of the law. Other Latin American nations have also expressed interest in trying a regulatory approach to their drug problems, and could be encouraged to follow suit.
“For the first time, a country has said we’ll take the profits out of the drug trade and give criminals no reason to traffic the stuff,” said Sanho Tree, a drug policy expert at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. “It’s a counterintuitive solution to the problem.”
Many Uruguayans have been less enthusiastic, with polls showing that a majority of voters were not in favor of the measure.
“I hope I’m wrong, but this is going to contribute to the further deterioration of our education system, especially among the poorest classes,” said Sen. Alfredo Solari, before voting against the measure after more than 12 hours of debate.
The legislation has already cleared Uruguay’s lower house and has the backing of the country’s quirky president, José “Pepe” Mujica , a former Marxist guerrilla who says he has never smoked pot.