Uruguay Becomes First Country to Legalize MJ

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  Uruguay Becomes First Country to Legalize MJ

Posted by CN Staff on December 10, 2013 at 17:45:20 PT
By Malena Castaldi and Felipe Llambias 
Source: Reuters 

Reuters -- Uruguay became the first country to legalize the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana on Tuesday, a pioneering social experiment that will be closely watched by other nations debating drug liberalization.A government-sponsored bill approved by 16-13 votes in the Senate provides for regulation of the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana and is aimed at wresting the business from criminals in the small South American nation.
Backers of the law, some smoking joints, gathered near Congress holding green balloons, Jamaican flags in homage to Bob Marley and a sign saying: "Cultivating freedom, Uruguay grows."Cannabis consumers will be able to buy a maximum of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) each month from licensed pharmacies as long as they are Uruguayan residents over the age of 18 and registered on a government database that will monitor their monthly purchases.When the law is implemented in 120 days, Uruguayans will be able to grow six marijuana plants in their homes a year, or as much as 480 grams (about 17 ounces), and form smoking clubs of 15 to 45 members that can grow up to 99 plants per year.Registered drug users should be able to start buying marijuana over the counter from licensed pharmacies in April."We begin a new experience in April. It involves a big cultural change that focuses on public health and the fight against drug trafficking," Uruguay's first lady, Senator Lucía Topolansky, told Reuters.Uruguay's attempt to quell drug trafficking is being followed closely in Latin America where the legalization of some narcotics is being increasingly seen by regional leaders as a possible way to end the violence spawned by the cocaine trade.Rich countries debating legalization of pot are also watching the bill, which philanthropist George Soros has supported as an "experiment" that could provide an alternative to the failed U.S.-led policies of the long "war on drugs."The bill gives authorities 120 days to set up a drug control board that will regulate cultivation standards, fix the price and monitor consumption.The use of marijuana is legal in Uruguay, a country of 3.3 million that is one of the most liberal in Latin America, but cultivation and sale of the drug are not.Other countries have decriminalized marijuana possession and the Netherlands allows its sale in coffee shops, but Uruguay will be the first nation to legalize the whole chain from growing the plant to buying and selling its leaves.Several countries such as Canada, the Netherlands and Israel have legal programs for growing medical cannabis but do not allow cultivation of marijuana for recreational use.Last year, the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington passed ballot initiatives that legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana.Uruguay's leftist president, Jose Mujica, defends his initiative as a bid to regulate and tax a market that already exists but is run by criminals."We've given this market as a gift to the drug traffickers and that is more destructive socially than the drug itself, because it rots the whole of society," the 78-year-old former guerrilla fighter told Argentine news agency Telam.Not All ConvincedUruguay is one of the safest Latin American countries with little of the drug violence or other violence seen in countries such as Colombia and Mexico.Yet one-third of Uruguay's prison inmates are serving time on charges related to narcotics trafficking that has turned Uruguay into a transit route for Paraguayan marijuana and Bolivian cocaine.Even though it is set to clear the Senate, the legislation faces fierce opposition from conservatives and Mujica has yet to convince a majority of Uruguayans that it is a good idea.According to a recent opinion poll by Equipos Consultores, 58 percent of Uruguayans oppose legalizing pot, although that is down from 68 percent in a previous survey in June.Critics say legalization will not only increase consumption but open the door to the use of harder drugs than marijuana, which according to government statistics is used by 8 percent of Uruguayans on a regular basis."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," said Senator Alfredo Solari of the conservative Colorado Party.If it works, the legislation is expected to fuel momentum for wider legalization of marijuana elsewhere, including the United States and in Europe. Decriminalization of all drug possession by Portugal in 2001 is held up as a success for reducing drug violence while not increasing drug use."This development in Uruguay is of historic significance," said Ethan Nadelmann, founder of the Drug Policy Alliance, a leading sponsor of drug policy reform partially funded by Soros through his Open Society Foundation."Uruguay is presenting an innovative model for cannabis that will better protect public health and public safety than does the prohibitionist approach," Nadelmann said.Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Kieran Murray and Cynthia OstermanSource: Reuters (Wire)Author:  Malena Castaldi and Felipe LlambiasPublished: December 10, 2013Copyright: 2013 Thomson ReutersCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #18 posted by FoM on December 17, 2013 at 14:48:24 PT
Sinsemilla Jones
Someday it will be like Uruguay. We aren't that far behind them. 
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Comment #17 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on December 17, 2013 at 12:45:29 PT
Good to see you, too, FoM!
And good to see CNews and a lot of the regular CNews crew still posting!I guess I should clarify that I was speaking theoretically, as I always do about cannabis, taking the point of view of a Uruguay citizen after legalization has taken effect.:)
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on December 17, 2013 at 06:15:48 PT
Sinsemilla Jones 
Actually talking about it at all on CNews isn't smart even if a person lives in a state that it legal. Trouble isn't something I want at this late stage of prohibition.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on December 17, 2013 at 06:09:02 PT
Sinsemilla Jones 
It's good to see you. It isn't about it being a good point. It isn't legal to consume cannabis so unless a person lives in a state that it is legal talking about it on CNews really isn't smart. We are trying to help change the laws that is all.
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Comment #14 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on December 17, 2013 at 02:40:53 PT
FoM, Mexweed actually has a good point -
When it comes to treating depression, less can be more effective, and more can be less effective, per dose.Although, dosage might be several times a day, every day.1 to 3 hits at a time, depending on potency (sativa better than indica), is probably enough. Although I don't think more necessarily worsens depression, it can be a waste of time, pot, and motivation, unless the goal is purely relaxation/recreation.That's been my own anecdotal experience, but there is some science that supports this -
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Comment #13 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on December 17, 2013 at 01:45:46 PT
UN on MJ - Legalization Bad, but Execution OK
The UN objects to WA, CO, and Uruguay legalizing cannabis, but I've never heard of them saying a damn word about Malaysia and Singapore executing people for possessing relatively small amounts of cannabis.FU UN.
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Comment #11 posted by The GCW on December 11, 2013 at 20:52:13 PT

U.N. sounds pro cartel
Uruguay marijuana move 'illegal' - UN drugs watchdog think it's time for the U.N. to take a deep breath and stop meddling and peddling failure. Countries are exasperated trying to cage people who choose to use cannabis.
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Comment #10 posted by boballen131313 on December 11, 2013 at 14:07:56 PT:

Mexweed ingestion restrictions?
Tripping! Mexweed, what if I come home from a hard long day of cleaning up other folk's mess and you reckon I need to cut back from my usual consumption? In my opinion, I am looking for a longer lasting, inspirational high that would require only ingesting those minute amounts that you are flogging in this forum, but, the bottom line is... you can only smoke the weed that is available! Peace.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on December 11, 2013 at 13:29:47 PT

I have such a hard time with you promoting how cannabis should be consumed. It isn't an issue for people on CNews. We are trying to change laws so all people can consume cannabis without fear of getting arrested. How it would be consumed is a person's personal preference. Thank you for understanding what the reason of CNews is. 
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Comment #8 posted by mexweed on December 11, 2013 at 12:05:24 PT:

"Ein Berliner"
Berliners laughed at the Kennedy quote in its time because the local idiom "Ich bin Berliner" translates to English "I am a Berliner" whereas "Ich bin ein Berliner" suggests you are a certain type of meat sandwich, analogous to a hamburger in Hamburg.Relevant on another level because you can't get more Deep Prussia (Depression) than Berlin (burrow in) and some are anxious that cannabis will be used by some bipolar depressives to liberate their "mania" phase- road smashes, violence, terrorism etc. Good reason to promote Dosage Moderation-- 25-mg one-hitters instead of 500-mg joint.
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Comment #7 posted by HempWorld on December 11, 2013 at 11:55:23 PT

Watch video on page with thousands in 
Uruguay celebrating the decision.However, the UN has cried foul, as is to be expected.

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Comment #6 posted by Paulpot on December 11, 2013 at 04:47:12 PT:

Noble Peace Prize for President Mujica
A Noble Peace Prize to President Mujica and his colleagues. 
What they have done in Uruguay will prove to the world that there never was a need for the totalitarian police state approach to marijuana consumption. 
Over the next year the most importanat news we will hear from Uruguay will be the same news we heard from Colorado and Washington over the last year since they legalized, which is no news.
There have been no plagues of kids on drugs or road smashes due to marijuana. 
The hospitals are not full of OD's or schizophrenics high on drugs. 
Criminals have not taken over the state. 
It's just another day. 
What happens in Uruguay will echo around the world. 
As other nations follow and legalize, crime corruption, violence and terrorism will gradually decrease. 
Nothing could do more for world peace than ending the drug war.
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Comment #5 posted by HempWorld on December 10, 2013 at 21:26:02 PT

JFK "Ich Bin Ein Berliner..."
Und Die Mauer Geht Um!Alles Wird Sich Andern!Everything will change!This, will change everything!God Bless!
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Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on December 10, 2013 at 21:05:47 PT

tear down that wall
To carry the wall metaphor a little farther, this is like the Berlin Wall where so many people came out and started beating on it with hammers that the authorities could not stop them, then became even more bold and brought out construction equipment and knock the whole wall down.  It was great. The whole world rejoiced.
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on December 10, 2013 at 20:02:11 PT

The wall looks like swiss cheese.
Legal pot supported by California majority for first time, Field Poll shows feel like: There are so many holes in the IGNOID'S wall, it's so close to falling all at once.-0-Lots of California talk. -2014 or 1016? They should go now, 2014. It will bring out young voters like never before.In fact, California should just legalize and regulate it without putting it through the polarizing voting process."
"Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who's chairing an American Civil Liberties Union panel on legalization, agreed the poll numbers shore up a "growing consensus to move on this in 2014 and not wait until 2016, and that's a big shift even from six months ago." CONT.I think We'll see at least one other state RE-legalize in '14. I hope to also see California progress with them in '14.
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Comment #2 posted by John Tyler on December 10, 2013 at 18:59:54 PT

social club 
I could see where a cannabis social club could be really nice and a lot of fun. 
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on December 10, 2013 at 17:54:19 PT

Bless Jah! The Day Has Come!
Peter Tosh Thank You!
[ Post Comment ]

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