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Uruguay Legalizes Marijuana

Via WaPoUruguay votes to legalize marijuana

Under the law, marijuana users will be allowed to buy a maximum of 40 grams ­(1.4 ounces)­ each month from government-regulated outlets, provided that they are at least 18 years old and registered in a database to monitor their cumulative purchases.

Growers will be allowed to cultivate up to six plants in their homes each year, not to exceed 480 grams. Aficionados will also be able to join forces and establish smoking clubs of 15 to 45 members with the ability to produce 99 plants a year. The green stuff won’t be allowed over the borders.

Nor will foreign tourists will be eligible to buy Uruguay’s legalized weed, making it improbable that Montevideo, the capital, will turn into a southern Amsterdam besieged by a flood of global stoners.

This will make for an interesting experiment in the ongoing debate over marijuana use and its legality.  Uruguay does not, it should be noted, have the drug violence problems of many of its regional neighbors.  It is a also a small population country, with roughly 3.3 million.

The truly interesting issue to watch will be the way regulation works, as well as how personal cultivation works out.

It should be noted that smoking marijuana in Uruguay was already decriminalized.

More from the BBC:  Uruguay bill pioneers state control of cannabis market.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. KM says:

    Even if it’s a wild success, critics here will decry the results as atypical and not to be used as precedent due to…. well, due to it not be America. A ton of excuses will be brought to bear but if Uruguay pulls this off, they will not be held up as an example but rather as an outlier “that got lucky”. I’ve already seen complaints in the usual circles of how “they’re not like us” so we have to take everything with a grain of salt. America is different, you know (somehow).

    Of course, failure will be touted from the rooftops.

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  2. JohnMcC says:

    The rationale for the prohibition of MJ is shattered and is slowly falling into pieces. When repeal comes, it will be like the fall of the Berlin Wall, a sudden and signal event that catches the hoi-poloi by surprise.

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  3. Al says:

    @KM:

    Hey, it worked when Portugal tried a saner approach that proved to be successful. Why abandon a winning strategy?

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  4. al-Ameda says:

    This will make for an interesting experiment in the ongoing debate over marijuana use and its legality. Uruguay does not, it should be noted, have the drug violence problems of many of its regional neighbors. It is a also a small population country, with roughly 3.3 million.

    I can’t believe that they did not want to emulate our War on Drugs model.

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  5. michael reynolds says:

    @KM:

    I’m sure you’re right, the first reaction will be, “You go Uruguay, and I’ll go mine.”

    Sorry.

    Moving on, people will have a harder time dismissing Colorado and Washington state. They are, theoretically at least, American.

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  6. KM says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Moving on, people will have a harder time dismissing Colorado and Washington state.

    Washington is where those fancy coffee-drinking neo-hippies live. That will be summarily dismissed the same way it would in California as strongholds of liberalism (an automatic write-off). Colorado however, is another story. There’s enough red ink on the map to make the argument that this is something conservatives can and will live successfully with, not just those liberal citydwellers influencing things. After all, its awful close to the Real America (TM)…..

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  7. jd says:

    But..but..what about the madness?!

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