Uruguay Government to Sell $1 Weed

October 25th, 2013 | By

Congratulations to Uruguay on beginning what is increasingly looking like possibly the most sensible marijuana policy on the planet. The state is going to sell weed to the people. By 2014, they will be the first country to have completely legalised the sale and production of marijuana.  Colorado and Washington, check these guys out!

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Julio Calzada, the head of Uruguay’s National Drugs Board said:

“The illegal market is very risky and of poor quality, the price of marijuana from Paraguay that gets sold on the streets here is about $1 a gram, so we’re going to set the price of government-controlled cannabis at around that same price. We want to snatch the market (believed to be worth around $20-30 million annually) away from the drug traffickers.”

The proposed bill has already passed in the lower house and is expected to be completely approved in November. Weed on the street sells for around $1.40 (30 pesos) so the state weed will be slightly cheaper and of significantly higher quality. I can’t even believe I am writing this. Such sanity!

The government will also give advice on safe ways of consuming marijuana, educating people about the benefits of vaporisation and edibles. Users will need to give their particulars to a national database that will be private.

There are around 120,000 cannabis users with an apparent 20,000 smoking it every, single day!  The president estimates that they need to produce approximately 5,000 pounds of weed each month to make all cannabis users in the country happy! 

Yes, this country is going to sell marijuana through official government channels.  Licensed large scale growers will help to supply the completely legal market.  Residents will be allowed to purchase up to 40g per month per person.

Uruguay is not a huge country and the president José Mujica is very much in touch with the farming communities there – not difficult in a country measuring just over 300 miles wide and high. He lives in a run down farm and gives away much of his pay!

He says: “Consumption of cannabis is not the most worrying thing, drug-dealing is the real problem.”

If only some of our US and European leaders had half this man’s sense.

Locals will also be able to grow their own with up to 6 plants per household, and cooperatives for the legal exchange of different strains of cannabis will be able to cultivate up to 99 plants for the benefit of the group.

The price of $1 per gram works out at approximately £17 or US $27 per ounce. Could you even imagine such prices hitting your local area? And for good quality weed not rubbish!

To me this sounds like an excellent way to begin a legal cannabis system, although I can see potential holes immediately. Like somebody buying their share of weed and not smoking it so they can sell it on eventually. Using groups, larger amounts would easily be obtainable cheaply, and quality is going to be high so I would be very surprised if we didn’t see some small-time cross border smuggling going on from Uruguay into Argentina and Brazil.

How to stop this? Apply the same $1 system in surrounding countries. Then the entire world. Why not?

All this comes after warnings from the increasingly irrelevant United Nations. Their INCB ‘International Narcotics Control Board’, a backward looking prohibitionist group of idiots stated that this: “might have serious consequences for the health and welfare of the population and for the prevention of cannabis abuse among the youth”.

The same body has been using similar language towards the US States of Colorado and Washington after their voter-led changes. You would have thought the UN would encourage changes that reduce violence wherever that may be but apparently not.

Some are against the new measures and don’t believe they will cut down on crime. Verónica Alonso a local lawmaker stated that:

“There’s no scientific evidence that says the narcotraffickers will say, okay, we can’t operate in Uruguay, we’ll go somewhere else.”

Smoking cannabis has never actually been illegal in Uruguay.  Drug consumption is not criminalized, and in 2011, they legalised growing cannabis at home in small amounts for personal consumption.

Dominoes are falling folks. It’s good to see the UN upset; they can obviously appreciate the (massively needed) knock-on effect these changes in the Americas are going to have on the rest of the world. And, not a moment too soon.

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