Uruguay Says It May Sell Marijuana 
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Uruguay Says It May Sell Marijuana 
Posted by CN Staff on June 21, 2012 at 14:15:59 PT
By Emily Alpert in Los Angeles
Source: Los Angeles Times
World -- To fight cocaine, Uruguay may start selling marijuana. The unusual idea, announced Wednesday by Uruguayan officials, would be one of the boldest steps yet among Latin American leaders to alter a war on drugs driven solely by prohibition, which increasingly is resisted in the Americas as a failed strategy. Under a plan proposed by President Jose Mujica, marijuana would be sold by the government to adults and the taxes funneled toward drug rehabilitation, according to Uruguayan media. Drug users would be tracked in a government database to quash the resale of marijuana on the black market.
Marijuana laws are already liberal in Uruguay, where possessing marijuana for personal issue is not a crime and there are no laws against using it. However, “the idea isn’t to make it totally free,” Mujica cautioned El Observador. “We’re going to control it through a state network of distribution.” Selling marijuana is part of a package of measures meant to combat the abuse of cocaine and pasta basica, a drug akin to crack, diverting Uruguayan drug users toward marijuana instead. The measures come after a recent rash of gang and drug crime in the ordinarily peaceful nation. If Uruguayan lawmakers agree, theirs would be the first country where the government has not only legalized or regulated marijuana but taken over the market, experts say. Backers of drug legalization and regulation praised the idea as an intriguing step forward. “Mothers wanting to protect their children should realize that a strictly regulated market is much safer than an illegal market,” said Amanda Fielding, founder of the Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform based in Britain. "We need to let governments experiment -- cautiously -- with policies that might minimize harm." That argument was disputed by drug opponents, who contend that getting government into the marijuana business won't curb the black market or stop users from moving on to harder drugs. "Why would people pay taxes and higher prices and put themselves out there to be known by the government?" asked Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation based in Florida. Since the government will only sell to adults, "kids will become the target of the black market." Uruguay has put forward its plan as Latin American leaders express growing frustration with the traditional war on drugs, arguing it has failed to kill off the drug trade or ease violence. Earlier this year, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina suggested decriminalizing drugs. The president of Colombia and other leaders raised the idea at an April summit in Cartagena, spurring a new study of alternative strategies; Brazil and Argentina are already weighing drug decriminalization laws. Unswayed, President Obama has brushed off the idea of legalizing drugs, saying it isn’t the answer. The United States also has resisted carving out exceptions in the drug war, opposing a Bolivian attempt to exempt the traditional practice of chewing coca leaves from a U.N. convention on narcotics. The Uruguayan idea is expected to face the same fears of creating a slippery slope. “It’s very clear that the U.S. and U.N. drug control system don’t look kindly on this kind of opening in the debate,” said John Walsh, a senior associate at the Washington Office on Latin America. “The United States is looking to put this genie back in the bottle. But that’s not going to happen.”From The LA Times Blog.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: Emily Alpert in Los AngelesPublished: June 21, 2012Copyright: 2012 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on June 24, 2012 at 04:33:05 PT
Dr Ganj 
I agree with you.
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Comment #5 posted by Dr Ganj on June 23, 2012 at 11:38:40 PT
Not so fast, folks. Sounds good, but look what happened to Spain a few months ago. They wanted to get out of debt by growing medical cannabis, and it was voted down.
Having a government grow & sell is not workable. Nice in thought, but not realistic. 
It should be a free market, having licensed growers selling to licensed cannabis stores. If you read the fine print here, you have to register with the government of Uruguay, and if you consume too much, you go to rehab. Please. I repeat- please. 
How about all the drunks staggering around the streets of Montevideo, and have them "register" and go to rehab for a far worse drug- it's called ethanol!
So, don't buy your airline tickets just yet...
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 22, 2012 at 04:30:33 PT
I sure hope they do.
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on June 21, 2012 at 21:52:17 PT
"The current bill passed both the House and Senate with wide margins, making it likely that the Legislature could override Lynch’s veto next week."Let's hope for the best for the people. Eliminate Lynch from the veto and citizens win.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 21, 2012 at 17:04:44 PT
NH Gov Vetoes Medical Marijuana Bill
June 21, 2012Concord, N.H. (AP) -- As promised, Gov. John Lynch has vetoed a bill that would legalize the home cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes.
 The bill would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions or the patient’s designated caretaker to cultivate and possess up to six ounces of marijuana, four mature plants and 12 seedlings at a registered location. Lynch says that would lead to a virtually unlimited number of potential cultivation sites, making it impossible to control the distribution and prevent illegal use.
 Lynch also vetoed a similar bill in 2009. The current bill passed both the House and Senate with wide margins, making it likely that the Legislature could override Lynch’s veto next week. 
Copyright: 2012 Globe Newspaper Company
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on June 21, 2012 at 15:47:24 PT
I'm moving to Uruguay as soon as they are ready!
“The United States is looking to put this genie back in the bottle. But that’s not going to happen.”That's right! Because prohibition has never worked. It is a Rockefeller policy that fits their plan.See:
RockefellerDrugWars since the 1900's
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