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Uruguayans skeptical as government takes control of marijuana market

As Uruguay embarks in a historic direction to control and regulate its marijuana industry, nearly six out of 10 of its citizens disagree with the policy according to the Latin American Opinion Project (LAPOP) at Vanderbilt University.

Law 19.172, passed in December 2013, made the small Latin American country the first in the world to take over all activities related to the marijuana market, including growing, distributing and selling cannabis and all its byproducts. While the measure has earned Uruguay kudos in some quarters for creativity, parts of law 19.172 violate treaties that comprise the International Drug Control Regime.


Miss Cannabis Brazil visited Uruguay

Juliana was the winner of a trip to Uruguay in a contest where qualifications were the participants' history with the marijuana plant

Every year the Miss Cannabis Contest is celebrated in Brazil to consider the stories of the participants with the winning plant.  In 2014 the winner was Juliana, a girl who used cannabis to enhance her cancer treatment.

Juliana's prize was a trip to Uruguay. On March 21 she traveled to our country and visited some of the most iconic places in the capital, plus some plantations and study centers of cannabis.


Uruguay's New Government Takes its Foot off the Gas: Marijuana Legalization Hits the Brakes

Since 2013 Uruguay has been a shining example of tolerance, respect and freedom with regards to cannabis. However, since Jose Mujica has been replaced as the head of the government, things could change. For now, the new president is taking legalisation cautiously, while his past opinions on the subject have always revealed his negative take on cannabis. In the interim, the UN is pressuring the country, profiting from the change of government. Will things end up going awry in this country, pioneer in marijuana normalization?



Uruguayan Cannabis Users Reluctant to Register

A high percentage of Uruguayan cannabis users are reluctant to enroll in the official registry compulsory by law for regulating the cultivation and sale of marijuana in the country, as reflected in an academic study presented today in Montevideo . The report by the Catholic University of Uruguay and the International University of Florida, US, shows the results of a survey which found that 19% of consumers stated that "no insurance" would be recorded, while 20 % said "probably not" .

In contrast, 31% said "yes safe" was recorded, 27% said "probably yes", 1% had already registered and 2% said "not knowing" what they will do.


Lessons from Marijuana Legalization Around the Globe

In the blink of an eye, global debates about cannabis regulation have shifted from “whether” to “how.” In 2014, Uruguay became the first nation to explicitly regulate cannabis from seed to sale. Its preferred strategy? State-regulated production, cannabis clubs, and personal growing. Meanwhile, four U.S. states and the District of Columbia have moved ahead with legal regulation, Colorado and Washington being the first, and the federal government seems unlikely to intervene. More states, possibly even California, look set to follow. Likewise, in the rest of the world, there are a number of gray-area regulatory systems, including in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. All offer insights into how the United States—and other countries—might tackle the “how.”



Study Alert: Negative Effect of Legal Access to Marijuana

Also, in his opinion, the Uruguayan law is better formulated compared to that of the Netherlands, since in the South American country the state regulates from production to marketing cannabis.

"Our results show that when a substance is legalized, people are more likely to consume and that can affect productivity," he told Efe this professor of Economics at the University of Maastricht.

Data were collected before and after implementation of a policy in 2011, which happened to allow only Germans, Belgians and Dutch could buy cannabis in the Dutch city of Maastricht.

"One of the effects we saw is that 5% was more likely to pass all courses," said the academic, compared to students of other nationalities in college, which became no legal access to marijuana.


Uruguay Plans Pharmacy-Run Marijuana Sales in 2015 Under Vazquez

(Bloomberg) -- Recreational pot will hit pharmacy shelves in Uruguay as President Tabare Vazquez moves to fully implement a sweeping cannabis law signed by his predecessor, a senior government policy maker said.

“The law is going to be implemented and we are going to end up selling marijuana in the pharmacies like the law says,” Milton Romani, secretary-general of the National Drugs Board, said in an interview Thursday.

Wedged between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay became the first country in the world to regulate cannabis for recreational, medicinal and industrial uses in December 2013. Former President Jose “Pepe” Mujica pitched the measure to Uruguayans as a way to allow legal growers to undercut a black market that government estimates put at about 22 tons a year.


New Uruguay President Postpones a Key Step in Jose Mujica's Marijuana Legalization Law

Uruguay's new president has pledged to continue the marijuana legalization policies left by his predecessor, but has also decided to postpone the implementation of public sales of cannabis, a key part of outgoing president Jose "Pepe" Mujica's weed legalization plan.

With just a few days in office, Vázquez is moving more cautiously on the revolutionary law aimed at completely regulating the production and sale of marijuana in the small South American nation.


UN drugs body warns US states and Uruguay over cannabis legalisation

The United Nations has renewed its warnings to Uruguay and the US states of Colorado and Washington that their cannabis legalisation policies fail to comply with international drug treaties.

The annual report from the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board, which is responsible for policing the drug treaties, said it would send a high-level mission to Uruguay, which became the first country to legalise the production, distribution, sale and consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes.

The UN drug experts said they would also continue their dialogue with the US government over the commercial sale and distribution of cannabis in Colorado and Washington state.


Perhaps the world's most humble leader — humbly steps down

Forget honorifics like “your excellency” or “Mr. President” or even “Sir,” Uruguayans call their outgoing president simply, "Pepe."

José “Pepe” Mujica is stepping down after five years as perhaps the world's most humble presidents.



“This man is a guru,” says journalist Uki Goñi, “He's the head of state that refuses to dress in the pomp and ride in a limousine."

Mujica never occupied the presidential palace, he has never driven around in chauffeured limousines, rather, the 79-year-old head of state continues to live in his own country house 20 minutes outside of the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo and continues to drive around in his old, beat-up Volkswagen Beetle.


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