Marijuana consumers in Uruguay are now able to legally purchase and possess marijuana. This can be hailed as a major win for the global cannabis community as well as the people of Uruguay. The distribution system has been criticized as overly strict, however, the state has taken the idea of regulation over prohibition as the direction they wanted to take. Legal sales started on July 19th at pharmacies around the nation.
The most criticized part of the distribution system is that it forces users to register with the government and provide a fingerprint scan with every purchase. To many this is seen as a violation of privacy, as you are not required to register for any other products nationwide, however, it is a step in the right direction. According to the founder of the Montevideo Cannabis Museum, Eduardo Blasina “The great responsibility we have in Uruguay is to show the world that this system of freedom with regulation works better than prohibition.”
The move follows the overwhelming sentiment throughout Latin-American countries, many of which are seeking new revenue streams to overcome failing economies. Despite the privacy issues and the fact that the system is 100% government controlled, down to the growers, most citizens are on board with the move. Many of those affected by the drug war and harsh drug laws are the poor. In moving toward legalization, Uruguayan officials are hoping to free up many who are currently tied to the criminal justice system over marijuana offenses. Officials are also hoping that Uruguay could become a marijuana tourist destination.
Cory Hughes is a former police officer turned cannabis cultivator and writer. After years of being on the wrong side of the law, Cory decided to hang up his badge and gun and move into an industry that truly has the potential of bringing people together. He has been an active part of the Colorado cannabis culture and has worked as a horticulturist in dozens of licensed grow operations. Cory now looks to share his knowledge of cultivation and horticulture with the world.