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It looks like Uruguay is about to blaze an innovative, new path in cannabis policy by legalizing state-controlled marijuana.  From the BBC:

21 June 2012

Uruguay government aims to legalise marijuana

Uruguay has unveiled a plan to allow state-controlled sales of marijuana to fight a rise in drug-related crime.

Under the bill, only the government would be allowed to sell marijuana to adults registered on a database.

Defence Minister Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro said this was part of a plan to remove profits from drug dealers and divert users from harder drugs.

I'm not sure that having the govt. grow the marijuana will have the best results, but it will definitely put a dent in the profits of organized crime and could have other benefits, such as increased, legal research into the medicinal qualities of the cannabis plant.

It could also become a trigger for other Latin American governments to institute more sensible marijuana policies, which would, in turn, put more pressure on the U.S. to institute a more sensible, federal cannabis policy.

BBC regional correspondent Vladimir Hernandez says the move is seen as groundbreaking in South America.

Several Central American leaders - including the presidents of Guatemala and Costa Rica - have spoken of the need to consider decriminalising some drugs in an attempt to undermine cartels.

In the best case scenario, this might just be the beginning of the end of insanely stupid, restrictive cannabis policies in Latin America.


Originally posted to Lawrence on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Legalizing = regulating = only way to go. (4+ / 0-)

    A Government growing weed is not going to work, but a clear step in the right direction otherwise.

    I wonder when the drone strikes will commence, given that this represents a significant new threat to children in the USA.....

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:38:52 AM PDT

  •  score me some next time youre there (0+ / 0-)

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:08:04 AM PDT

  •  Watch their debt go down. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    People will always want a cold beer or a little pot.
    Most people anyway.  Not all the time, but they do.

    Religious fanatics seem to have too much control, and every now and then sane people decide to grow a set, and do the smart thing.  Looks like Uruguay is about to grow their economy, put some hurt on the drug cartel, and increase tourism.

    Religious fanatics once made liquor illegal here in the U.S.
    Sort of like the Tea Party of the 1920's   They decided that "God" didn't want liquor to be sold.  Most people were too busy to pay attention to these nut bags, but like the NRA of today, they blackmailed elected officials into voting for prohibition, and just like that, liquor became illegal.

    It took about 13 years to reverse this law that a minority of religious fanatics decided would be best for our country, but it was reversed.  

    I hope people take a good lesson from Uruguay and let common sense trump religious fanatics.    

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:08:43 AM PDT

  •  Marijuana use is apparently already legal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mariachi mama

    at least according to this one line the AP wire story:

    There are no laws against marijuana use in Uruguay.
    The proposed law would establish a government-run distribution network, which in addition to removing criminals from distribution would also regulate use by consumers.  Those exceeding the legal monthly limit for consumption would be required to undergo drug rehabilitation.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:57:36 AM PDT

  •  I love Uruguay. It's one of the secret gems of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, xxdr zombiexx, Mokurai

    ...the world that nobody knows about.   Universal health care.  Universal education.  Every child is given a laptop for school.   The first country in South America to recognize gay marriage and allow gay adoptions.   One of the very few nations in the world who was immune from the 2008 recession...  

    My wife and I are going to retire there.   And I'm not gay, nor do I smoke pot.  It's just one of the coolest places in the world, and it's on nobody's radar.

    •  A friend of mine spent half a year in Montevideo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and said that it's one of the most civilized cities that he's ever been to. Have you been there during the carnival?

      I'm going to be in Buenos Aires this winter and I definitely plan on going across the river to Montevideo for at least a couple of days.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 07:34:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Never been during carnival, but I plan to go. One (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ....bit of advice for you:  if you're going to BA, consider flying into Montevideo and taking the boat to Buenos Aires.  It's usually way cheaper.  Argentina levies high use fees at Buenos Aires airport, which the airlines of course pass on to the customers.  

        Many people find they save significant money by flying into Montevideo and taking the ferry boat over to BA.  The money saved on the airfare by flying into MV more than covers the cost of the ferry.  

        So if this is an option for you, you can kill two birds with one stone:  save some money for your trip, and see Montevideo.  

        •  Thanks, that is something that I will keep in mind (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There are actually some ridiculously inexpensive( 500 euros) return fares to Montevideo from Europe starting in october.

          I can't wait to go... I definitely won't mind missing large parts of the dreaded German winter.  :)

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 07:49:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You don't have to 'smoke pot' to support (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RerumCognoscereCausas, Lawrence

      doing things correctly.

      Regulation of marijuana is not about 'smoking it".

      it's about getting the illegal black market defeated, generating some tax revenue and having police officers focus on actual crime.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 08:53:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for your shout-out (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, RerumCognoscereCausas

      I work with One Laptop Per Child, making presents for millions of children almost every day. Peru is the other country with OLPC laptops for all schoolchildren. Venezuela and Brazil are doing the same with other computers. Several countries, led by Bangladesh, are digitizing all of their textbooks for free distribution.

      Rwanda plans to be the next country to give computers to all students, specifically OLPC XO-3 solar-powered tablets. How cool is that?

      Busting the Dog Whistle code.

      by Mokurai on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 12:57:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "The weed" is a weed. What you gonna do about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that? I mean, around the planet, who don't have it? And how many hundreds of millions are already simply not even on the radar screen of the modern proclivity for "prohibition"?

    Right now we're doing nothing more than catching up to where we used to be, and where the mast majority of the world population simply never accepted our invitation to leave.

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 08:32:48 PM PDT

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