Uruguay plans to legalise cannabis

22nd Jun 2012
Written by: Macca Sherifi

Uruguay plans to legalise cannabis

Uruguay looks to introduce radical measures to tackle crime

The Netherlands used to be the place to go for a legal high. However, in the future this may not be the case as Uruguay plans to legalise cannabis.

The South American government wants to control sales of cannabis to fight other drug-related crime and it would be the first country in the world to completely legalise the drug. Not only would it be legalised, but the government said it would control the production, distribution and commercialisation.

It is thought that citizens would have to be registered to buy it, with citizens allowed to buy up to 40 ‘marijuana cigarettes’ a month.

Uruguayan president José Mujica said: “Uruguay is not proposing a legalisation that allows anybody to go to a shop and buy the amount of marijuana that he likes. The state will control quality, quantity and price.

“And if somebody buys 20 marijuana cigarettes, he will have to smoke them. He won’t be able to sell them.”

The government said the measures were an attempt to tackle the increase in drug-related crime. The murder rate has nearly doubled in the last year – from 76 to 133 – according to the interior ministry.

Eleuterio Huidobro, the defence minister, framed the plans as a “war on cocaine”, a drug which the government views as responsible for social problems in Uruguay, a country of just 3 million people that borders Argentina and Brazil.

Mr Huidobro said the legalisation will reduce drug traffickers’ earnings and encourage cocaine addicts to opt for marijuana, which is recognised as being less harmful.

“We are fighting against both consumption and trafficking,” he said. “We believe that prohibition is creating more problems for Uruguay than the drug itself.”

According to a government survey, 8.3 per cent of the population consumed marijuana over the last year, compared to one per cent who consumed cocaine.

What do you think to the legalisation on cannabis?

Also, if you haven’t heard, the Netherlands is set to ban cannabis from cafes, causing uproar among tourists and locals alike.

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