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Thread: Uruguay Considers Selling Marijuana

  1. #1

    Default Uruguay Considers Selling Marijuana

    Uruguay is showing a novel approach to Latin America's growing fatigue with the war on drugs with a new proposal: normalize marijuana use and hand over its distribution and marketing to the government.

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    European Pressphoto Agency

    President José Mujica says Uruguay needs a new approach to marijuana.


    Under a plan Defense Minister Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro announced late Wednesday, which the leftist government will soon present to lawmakers, the state will oversee sales, which would be allowed only to adults 18 and older.

    Mr. Fernández Huidobro said the government would try to attain "regulated and controlled legalization," saying the prohibition of drugs and the violence that entails is causing "more problems than the drugs themselves."

    The government said it would use the revenue from its role as marijuana vendor to fund drug-rehabilitation programs.

    The Drug Policy Alliance, an American nonprofit group that backs a less punitive approach to the drug war said the plan, if enacted, would make Uruguay the first country in the world where the state took charge of selling marijuana to its citizens.

    "We are doing this for the young people, because the traditional approach hasn't worked," Uruguayan President José Mujica told the Brazilian newspaper O Globo while in Rio de Janeiro for the Rio+20 environmental conference.

    "We have to find another way, and some may find this way too bold. Uruguay is a small country, where these sort of things are easier to do," he said.

    Use of Marijuana isn't illegal in Uruguay, though government officials acknowledged that putting themselves at the center of the trade was a bold gambit.

    The move comes after several years when a number of Latin countries, including Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, have liberalized policies on the use of small quantities of narcotics.

    Governments in the region have grown weary of the violence associated with the drug war. In Mexico, bloody battles against drug traffickers claimed more than 12,000 lives last year alone.

    "The U.S., and not just President Obama, but its Congress, its society, needs to look at alternatives that reduce the cash flow to these criminal groups," Mexican President Felipe Calderón said in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, adding that alternatives could include "market solutions" such as legalization.

    Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think tank, said: "The striking thing about this is that it comes from a country like Uruguay, which is not exactly associated with the drug problem. I think this is a sign that the region is beginning to assume leadership on this issue" from Washington.

    The proposal doesn't please everyone. "We were waiting for measures to combat insecurity, and now the government proposes legalizing drugs," said Uruguayan opposition leader Pedro Bordaberry. "It makes no sense."

    Mr. Fernández Huidobro said that criminalizing drug use, a policy he said was pushed on Latin America by Washington since the Nixon administration, hasn't only failed to halt addiction, but has also fomented the creation of violent trafficking networks.

    President Mujica added, "There are similar proposals in Europe but someone has to get going in South America. Someone has to be the first because we are losing the war against drugs and crime in the continent."

    Mr. Fernández Huidobro said the government estimates that marijuana is a $750 million a year business in Uruguay, with about 1,200 sellers and distributors. The government estimates there are 150,000 consumers in the country out of a population of 3.3 million.

    Some details of the proposal remain sketchy. Initially, the government had suggested it would maintain a registry of users.

    But in a radio interview on Thursday, Mr. Fernández Huidobro seemed to backtrack, saying the registry "sounds a little authoritarian and perhaps we should avoid it."

    Mr. Fernández Huidobro said Uruguayan farmers would plant the marijuana, but said more details would come soon.

    "The laws of the market will rule here: Whoever sells the best and the cheapest will end with drug trafficking," Mr. Fernández Huidobro said, according to Associated Press. "We'll have to regulate farm production so there's no contraband and regulate distribution.…We must make sure we don't affect neighboring countries or be accused of being an international drug production center."
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...googlenews_wsj

  2. #2
    Super Grandmaster Picard's Avatar
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    Some of the peeps on this forum are going to be overjoyed.

  3. #3
    King of the Hippies copacetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    Some of the peeps on this forum are going to be overjoyed.
    Yep, the folks who are tired of the needless violence, ruined lives, and are champions of common sense, compassion and harm reduction.

    I am proud to be one of those people.
    Behind every dark cloud lies the sun, waiting to boil you alive.

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    Psychonaut seven satanboy's Avatar
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    thumbs up
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  5. #5
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    Hellz yeah! I think I know where I want to immigrate to once the genocide starts.

  6. #6

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    Makes more sense for government to earn money from it than to spend money on it and take it out of the control of gangsters hands. Even someone who is not pro legalisation should agree with that.
    "The only things that are infinite are the universe and human stupidity, and im not sure about the former"
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    Yay for the zolballs!

  8. #8
    Grandmaster Jase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copacetic View Post
    Yep, the folks who are tired of the needless violence, ruined lives, and are champions of common sense, compassion and harm reduction.

    I am proud to be one of those people.
    I saw the topic and the first reply that popped into my head was: 'copacetic is contemplating moving to Uruguay!'
    If any question why we died tell them because our fathers lied

  9. #9

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    ....and immigration into Uruguay increased by 600% following the announcement....

  10. #10
    Super Grandmaster porchrat's Avatar
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    Good move.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLIXEMPIE View Post
    Hellz yeah! I think I know where I want to immigrate to once the genocide starts.
    You should be planning to move BEFORE the genocide starts.

  12. #12

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    One of the problems with the world..."doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results"

    This is doing something different, lets see if it changes things for URU.

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