Montevideo (AFP) – With Canada preparing to become only the second country in the world to legalize the use of marijuana on Wednesday, experts in Uruguay say its pioneering move three years ago has helped drug trafficking in the South American nation.
Uruguay legalized the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for recreational purposes in December 2013, before the drug can be sold in pharmacies from July 2017.
In the country with 3.5 million people it seems to work well, only 10 percent of the Canadian population
There are three ways to get access to cannabis in Uruguay: at home with a limit of six plants per person ; to grow it in a club as part of a cooperative; or buy at the pharmacy
Fear makers who predicted that the project would lead to a barrage of botched incidents have so far proved wrong, according to Monitor Cannabis.
The academic group that says the government's marijuana project that cannabis use "has shown an increase before legalization that is not exceptional in terms of trend".
The main difference between the illegal and legal periods is that it has become easier to track development
Official statistics from the Cannabis Regulation and Control Institute (IRCCA) show that 54 percent of those who consume cannabis do so regularly using legal means that was not available to them before.
Four types of marijuana are available in Uruguay, sold in five grams (.18 oz.) Packages cost $ 1.40 per gram. Registered users – citizens or foreign residents – can buy up to 40 grams per month.
– Logistical Difficulties –
Logistically it is not easy to sail.
There have been many challenges from problems with harvests to banking system restrictions imposed on companies in the cannabis sector due to United States legislation.
But Uruguay has 7,000 registered cultivators, 107 cooperative production clubs, 28,500 registered buyers and 17 merchant pharmacies banking restrictions, fear of crime due to the presence of drugs in stores and the simple resistance of some pharmacists to the project has led to only one small number of pharmacies selling marijuana.
But between July 2017 and July In 2018, 100 percent of the 1,200 kilograms of marijuana were sold to the public.
Buyers would even hire out of pharmacies as soon as stock was depleted By the pharmacists themselves.
However, production does not satisfy demand, which means that some people continue to illegally buy the drug even if they do would rather not do it.
"The priority is to increase the range of the system". Sociologist Sebastian Aguiar says in his publication: "A year of progress and opportunities."
If every registered buyer could buy the maximum 40 gram allocation, "50 percent of the total annual cannabis demand would be taken off the illicit market, which equals $ 22.5 million."
This is especially important Mujica, in presenting his plan, said the legalization strategy was aimed at tackling the illicit drug trafficking.
However, not everyone wants to encourage the increased use of marijuana] President Tabare Vazquez has launched a campaign on October 1 entitled "Regulation is Responsible", which provides an education about "the risks, repercussions and potential harms" that should be triggered by the use of cans, Nabis should allow.