Uruguay First Country to Legalize Marijuana Industry

Senate passes the bill 16-13

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Matilde Campodonico / AP

Activists gather in front of Uruguayan Congress as the Senate in support of the legalization of marijuana outside the Congress in Montevideo, Uruguay, Dec. 10, 2013

Updated at 8:30 p.m ET.

Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize the marijuana trade on Tuesday in a 16-13 vote. Supporters of the law gathered near Congress holding green balloons and Jamaican flags in homage to Bob Marley.

The Senate voted on a law that establishes a state-regulated industry and allows citizens to grow, buy and smoke marijuana, Reuters reports. The bill, which is supported by President Jose Mujica, passed a lower chamber in July. Mujica has trumpeted the legislation — closely watched by other Latin American countries — as an alternative strategy to tackle drug trafficking from the U.S.-backed “war on drugs.”

While other countries have decriminalized marijuana possession, and the Netherlands allows its sale in coffee shops, Uruguay is the first to allow the entire production and distribution chain. In the United States, Colorado and Washington state voted last year to allow a regulated recreational marijuana industry.

The law — which will be implemented in 120 days — allows consumers over 18 to buy up to 1.4 ounces every month from state-regulated pharmacies or grow up to six plants at home. It also legalizes smoking clubs of up to 45 members that can grow their own marijuana.

Not everyone is excited by the new law: according to a recent opinion poll by Equipos Consultores, 58 percent of Uruguayans oppose legalizing pot. But opinion is changing quickly — 68 percent opposed legalization back in June.

MORE: High Times in Montevideo: Uruguay Entering Brave New World of Pot Legalization

This post was updated to reflect the Uruguayan Senate passing the bill.

[Reuters]

221 comments
Afreedomfighter
Afreedomfighter

I am 57 and have been using cannabis for 40 years. I'm a husband, father, electronics engineer, community volunteer and successful business owner.  I vaporize cannabis (no smoke).  I am in excellent health and I run 15-20 miles per week.  According to the CDC web site no one has ever died from cannabis intoxication in all medical history. How long do we have to suffer the lies and ridiculous nonsense from a government whose own studies have shown cannabis all but harmless by comparison to  prescription drugs, tobacco and booze.  Stop the lies and Legalize! 

DavidStewart
DavidStewart

Don't worry uptight conservatives the 'druggies' will quickly discover that there are simply not enough Jazz musicians for all of them to have sexual relations with once "hopped up on the stuff" and you will have the last laugh.

Ronald Wann
Ronald Wann

Poyd Treechada is stunningly alluring with a radiance of a wolf-whistle glamour in the movie 掃毒 The White Storm ^_^

Gaurav GK
Gaurav GK

www.facebook.com/photogrv022 Hi, please like & share my page. I need the support all of you. Thnx

Afreedomfighter
Afreedomfighter

US CDC Figures directly from the CDC dot gov web site on numbers of deaths per year in the USA :

Prescription Drugs: 237,485

Tobacco: 81,323

Alcohol: 39,199

Marijuana 0, none, not a single death in all medical history

Sited direct from CDC dot gov. Stop the lies and Legalize! 

Vic Barry
Vic Barry

i hope that happens to the philippines too

Sean Delaney
Sean Delaney

Yes, I was busy. If I remember correctly, mailing pornography is illegal, and unlike alcohol and (in Uruguay) marijuana, you can't buy it in a grocery store. However, I have decided that if I'm going to argue this point, I can't just keep saying things from memory, since it appears to be failing me. I won't reply again, because I've decided not to argue my case without citing sources besides myself, but too busy right now with finals to do that. Better to keep silent than to defend the truth with a broken sword.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

The global supply of illicit drugs had likely not been reduced in the last two decades, the study said, and the availability of cannabis and opiates like heroin may even have increased.


"These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market though law enforcement are failing," said the paper published in the open-access journal BMJ Open.

Ricky Gordon
Ricky Gordon

i like how you never replied again after discovering that pornography was legal.. busy??

Bel Sullaphen
Bel Sullaphen

Adults are old enough to make their own decisions just as we're allowed to buy heavy alcoholic drinks which makes us evenly high in excess!!! It's natural & nature's wonder miracle to man!!!

nuzerxe
nuzerxe

Go read the last 2 paragraph's of the Toronto Star's article "Uruguay legalizing marijuana breaks drug control treaty, says watchdog". stating the INCB president Yans calls MJ addictive and it's a carcinogen when smoking it. And Uruguay broke the 1961 treaty.


Pedro Ruth
Pedro Ruth

They're all smiling. Wonder why.

Nicole Kirch
Nicole Kirch

Marijuana is a gateway drug! HAHAHA, oh boy, I can't believe people are still saying that. Nice to know people are still running with rumors instead of facts!

Thew Swihart
Thew Swihart

Pablo, Mary! Your country's doing it right. :)

Melanie Bradford
Melanie Bradford

I think Anson was joking with that comment... he had to be

Rosina Rl
Rosina Rl

como URUGUAYA no se bien q pensar al respecto....muchas dudas q los años disiparan...

Luis Meyer
Luis Meyer

Con razón ayer no vino! Dijo que estaba enfermo!!!

Barongo Ateenyi
Barongo Ateenyi

I'm reminded of the day hell visited the earth! God save us.

Andrea Gil
Andrea Gil

Luis, ese es Bernardo con dreads fuera del senado? Qué bonito!

Christian Calderon
Christian Calderon

it is funny that the intended sarcasm of this comment is actually true.

Bea Pani
Bea Pani

Jake----areyou selfish ?

Bea Pani
Bea Pani

que tiene que ver la prostitucion con este tema de la Marihuana ?

Bea Pani
Bea Pani

Uruguayan people are very intelligent!

Bea Pani
Bea Pani

Aqui se consume mucho la pasta base de cocaina. Destruye el sistema nervioso central. La marihuana NO hace daño.

Guy Taylor
Guy Taylor

Stupid. What kind of a doped up world will I be bringing my children into? All it takes is one nation to start and the rest will follow, just like peer pressure!

Bea Pani
Bea Pani

we are against the Narcotrafico! Uruguayan !

Michael McGuire
Michael McGuire

Yep it is a free country and it is the individual's choice to be smart or stupid when making personal decisions. With all the information that is available to make the decision to smoke tobacco or weed, I am surprised how many pick up the habit.

Siul Onalag
Siul Onalag

I don't think so ask the Castro brothers.

J Ryan Daniel
J Ryan Daniel

Wrong. You are a brainwashed slave. All of nature is ours.

Afreedomfighter
Afreedomfighter

@DavidStewart people who constantly criticize and judge others are usually suffering from low self esteem. Try and get some help with that David. Is there anyone there you can talk to you. I hope you're feeling better soon!

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@nuzerxe Yans is a fool.  He is worried that his job as a reefer madness spokesman will become irrelevant.  U.N. treaty permits the licensed production of cannabis.


Article 28

CONTROL OF CANNABIS

1. If a Party permits the cultivation of the cannabis plant for the production of cannabis or cannabis  resin, it shall apply thereto the system of controls as provided in article 23 respecting the control of the opium poppy.

JoeyIsmail
JoeyIsmail

For the cartels, it's horrible news. For society in general, its long overdue ans well needed relief.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

You were hoping that you could perpetuate this murderous prohibition for another 50 years?  Are you a drug cop or a jailer?



KevinHunt
KevinHunt

A study in the August 2012 edition of The Journal of School Health finds that the generations old theory of a “gateway drug” effect is in fact accurate for some drug users, but shifts the blame for those addicts’ escalating substance abuse away from marijuana and onto the most pervasive and socially accepted drug in American life: alcohol.


Using a nationally representative sample from the University of Michigan’s annual Monitoring the Future survey, the study blasts holes in drug war orthodoxy wide enough to drive a truck through, definitively proving that marijuana use is not the primary indicator of whether a person will move on to more dangerous substances.


JoeyIsmail
JoeyIsmail

God save us from a nontoxic plant that god put here to begin with? Grow a brain.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

I'm reminded that man has no authority to ban a plant.


Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Genesis 1:29


Psalms 104:14-15 - He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;


Genesis 9:3 - Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.


Genesis 1:12 - And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.


JoeyIsmail
JoeyIsmail

Marijuana has been legally used for thousands of years, and society moved forward better thab today. Prohibition has only existed for the past 90 years, and it has been a disaster. Prohibition isn't a way of life, it isn't some magical glue holding civilization together, it's simply an experiment. And now that the experiment has failed, it's time to move on.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

Families of children with severe epilepsy are moving to Colorado from all over the country to get the cannabis oil that appears to have worked medical miracles. Parents are splitting up families and leaving behind careers to try a new treatment that strict federal drug laws have prevented from being rigorously studied or tested. They hope success here will push their states and the federal government to change marijuana laws.


In the meantime, they are leaving big cities and quiet farmland, blue states and the Bible Belt, and heading to the Rockies. They are rich and poor, Muslims like the Halabis and conservative Christians like their new next-door neighbors, who just moved with their epileptic daughter from Virginia. The one common thread is hope that marijuana can save their children.


They call themselves marijuana refugees 

nuzerxe
nuzerxe

Thank you KevinHunt for providing more info.