Marijuana Legalization in Uruguay: Progress and Challenges Three Years Later

In December 2013, the Uruguayan Chamber of Senators approved Law 19.172, through which the General Assembly regulated the production, marketing and possession of marijuana in Uruguay.

According to the Scientific Advisory Committee for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Policy for the Regulation and Control of Marijuana in Uruguay, Law 19.172 decriminalizes users of recreational cannabis, and helps concentrate the country’s institutional efforts in the promotion of drug prevention programs, as well as medical care for the potential affected users, while fighting drug trafficking.

Nearly three years after the creation of this law, it is worth examining how its implementation is doing.

Why did Uruguay Go First?

Despite its small population (about 3,300,000), Uruguay has been a pioneer in Latin America in promoting laws that have allowed citizens to exercise individual liberties. In 1907, legislators enacted the Law 3245, which legalized divorce by mutual consent between the parties involved.

In 1913,...

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