Delays in Uruguay Marijuana Law Leave Door Ajar for Drug Trafficking

Three years after Uruguay became the first South American country to create a legal market for marijuana, seven out of every ten cannabis consumers still acquire the product on the black market. The delays in the implementation of the legalization law have left the door open for drug trafficking, and it appears that the illegal marijuana trade will remain a lucrative business for at least the near future. 

Marijuana was initially to be sold legally in pharmacies and under the government's purview beginning in July 2016. But faced with reluctance from small business owners as well as other unforeseen events, President Tabaré Vázquez' administration was forced to push back the date to some point in 2017.

The regulation of the marijuana business -- a decision taken in 2012 by then-President José Mujica that took aback the international community -- has three...

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