With new legislation passed yesterday, Uruguay now has the claim of being the first legal nation on the planet to oversee the production and sale of marijuana.
It wasn’t too long ago, back in August, Uruguay House of Representatives passed the bill to legalize marijuana which also spurred their interest in Colorado’s recent legalization victory. Officials from the country visited Denver back in October to discuss regulation and state oversight that is currently being implemented for Colorado’s own state recreational distribution. So when I say all eyes on Colorado for this social reform experiment, I can now safely say I was right about that, however, the eyes are now all on Uruguay.
So now that the Uruguay’s Senate has passed the bill that was approved by the House back in August to legalize, and President José Mujica has signed and announced that in the coming days this will become a reality, where do we go now. As much as I would like to think this was done for the reason of freeing this wonderful plant so that all can enjoy it’s many benefits, it’s true reason for its liberation was to only curb the increase of drug related violence in the region, nothing more. Will this effort actually do as it was intended to do, or will drug trafficking focus on harsher drugs for income?
Many of the citizens in Uruguay actually opposed this measure, but despite the public rejection, the leftist majority passed the law 16-13. Most of the citizens as well as the international community feared Uruguay would become the marijuana tourism capital of the world. This would all seem to be an irrational fear seeing as the new law only makes marijuana legal for citizens of Uruguay who can now enjoy the freedom of growing 6 plants for their own consumption.
Overall it’s going to be a push for other neighboring countries to consider similar legislation as marijuana trafficking moves out of Uruguay and amps up in neighboring countries. Hopefully this will be a positive for the country and it’ll show us just how ambitious the illegal drug trade can be.
Will we see a backlash from the illegal drug trade, will we see drugs like cocaine production increase to compensate for the loss of marijuana, or will Uruguay free itself from all drug related violence and push those criminals off onto neighboring countries…? Only time will tell but at least marijuana will be used for the good of a country rather than being the fuel for negativity and violence.
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