Uruguay’s marijuana experiment should not be seen as relevant to the Caribbean
Two weeks ago, after a fierce debate, the lower house of the Uruguay Parliament took the first step towards legalising the production and possession of ganja/marijuana for domestic personal use. If, as expected, the decision is endorsed by the country’s Senate in October, Uruguay will be the first nation in the world to have decriminalised the narcotic.
Uruguay’s objective is to create a regulated market in ganja, end local user’s dependence on the illegal production, and halt associated domestic criminality. It intends doing so by having the state control a legal local industry in ways that its President, Jose Mujica, says will recognise that marijuana is widely consumed in Uruguay ‒ reportedly 200 tonnes per annum ‒ while seeking to tackle what he describes as a mafia monopoly making huge profits enforced through murder and extortion.
Under the new law, Uruguay’s government would license growers, sellers and consumers and maintain a confidential registry to stop people from buying more than 40g a month at pharmacies. Groups of growers of up to 45 members would be encouraged, while licensed consumers could grow up to six plants at home all overseen by an Institute for Regulation and Control of Cannabis. The growing of the …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.