Will Legalising Cannabis Extend Prohibition?

The inexorable momentum towards cannabis legalisation has taken hold across the globe. New, courageous policies are emerging in all corners of the earth – from Uruguay to Canada, from Ireland to Germany, a wave of positive reforms are being passed or pondered over by policymakers. 


Why Does The United Nations Find It So Hard To Talk About Drugs?

I have just watched the closing plenary session of the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem here in New York. Presidents and Prime Ministers will now move on to the climate change summit that opens tomorrow, and the thousands of government and NGO delegates who have filled the UN building in Manhattan over the last 3 days will catch their flights back to all corners of the globe. So was it worth it – three years of preparation, tens of millions of dollars of travel and meeting costs, and countless hours of debate and negotiation. Is the international community any better placed to reduce the health, social and economic problems associated with illicit drug markets?


Uruguay to Test World's First State-Commissioned Recreational Cannabis

For a Latin American narcotics kingpin, Guillermo Delmonte cuts a low key figure. The 29-year-old Uruguayan has never smoked cannabis in his life. He’s never smoked a cigarette either, and he barely drinks. When asked if he has any vices, he has to pause to think. “I’m addicted to orange juice. Perhaps,” he eventually says with a bemused laugh.

Sitting in his minimalist office overlooking Montevideo’s main square, and wearing an open-necked Ralph Lauren shirt and expensive blue jeans, he looks every bit the fitness-obsessed executive.


Legalized Pot Spots

The debate over legalising marijuana fired back up in France on Tuesday after a minister said cannabis should be decriminalised.

Here are places where marijuana is already allowed for recreational or medical reasons. 

- Uruguay -

The South American nation became in 2013 the first country in the world to legalise marijuana, with a plan to distribute it through pharmacies for $1.40 (1.20 euros) a gram.

Under Uruguayan law, citizens and residents can buy up to 40 grams (1.4 ounces) of pot a month from the pharmacies, grow it themselves at home, or join cannabis clubs where members jointly tend to the plants.

The government has licensed two private companies to produce and distribute marijuana.


Uruguay's Legal Marijuana Policy En Route to Next Phase of Regulation

As government opens registry for pharmacists wishing to sell marijuana, sales through pharmacies are expected to begin in the second half of this year.

The first country in the world to legalize marijuana sales was Uruguay, a tiny South American nation with a population of only 3.3 million wedged between Brazil and Argentina.


Uruguay’s Half-Baked Marijuana Experiment

The small South American nation is the world's first country to legalize marijuana. But just because the drug is legal to buy doesn't mean you can buy it legally.

PUNTA DEL ESTE, Uruguay — In December 2013, Uruguay offered itself as the world’s leading laboratory for marijuana policy. That month, the Latin American nation of some 3.5 million people became the first country to legalize and regulate the cultivation, sale, and consumption of the drug, turning itself into an outlier in a region where failed prohibition policies had been the norm. Marijuana legalization advocates from around the world eagerly waited to see how the case study would play out.


Video: Wide World of Cannabis: Uruguay Pt. I

Welcome to the Wide World of Cannabis, a MERRY JANE original series profiling far flung parts of the world and how they have cultivated their own unique relationship with marijuana.

In this episode we travel to the South American country of Uruguay.

In 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to completely legalize marijuana in a move that has since been dubbed the "great experiment." While the legal cannabis is only provided to citizens, it's still a great place to have a relaxed and cheap vacation as a smoker.


What can Canada learn from U.S., Uruguay about selling marijuana?

As the federal Liberals map out their plan for legalizing marijuana, they can look at how — and how successfully — a handful of other jurisdictions have overturned the prohibition of pot.

In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first U.S. states to legalize marijuana. Within two years, each state set up a framework governing how retailers could start selling. 

But although the two states have much in common, they have different takes on key questions that Canada will have to consider, like whether residents will be able to grow their own plants as they can in Colorado, or whether laws should put limits on non-residents who buy marijuana here, like in Colorado — or leave the market open as Washington does.


Medical Marijuana can create a 'small development center' in Uruguay

The authorities have insisted they do not want to attract marijuana tourists, a subject for which the country has gained international fame in recent years.

The growing interest of international companies to settle in Uruguay to produce and export marijuana for medical use could lead to create a "small development center," said an official.

"Several international companies have shown interest in settling in Uruguay to produce and export medical marijuana," the secretary general of the National Drug Board, Milton Romani said in an interview with AFP.

"This is not what he had intended and can mean a small center of development for the country," he added.


The top pot-loving countries

Marijuana legalization has been a political issue in the United States for some time, and while it remains illegal in most states, others have softened their stance in recent years. Colorado and Washington both passed initiatives by popular vote to decriminalize and legalize cannabis in 2012. In 2014, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., followed suit. Many states including Massachusetts, California, Missouri, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada and Ohio have flirted with legalization for a few election cycles, with buzz growing.

The United States isn't the only country where people use marijuana legally or illicitly. In fact, it isn’t even the country with the highest reported marijuana use.


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