Late Wednesday, Legislators in Uruguay's lower house voted on a bill that would ultimately legalize marijuana nationwide. In an effort to target the illegal drug trade across the region, Uruguay would become the first country to create a legal, regulated marijuana market in which the government would regulate production, guarantee quality, and set the prices and taxes on cannabis. Citizens of Uruguay would also be allowed to grow up to 6 plants in their homes for personal use. Uruguay is taking a very liberal approach with the introduction of this bill in hopes that people will stop buying cannabis from drug traffickers while also reducing the violence that has plagued the region.
If this bill were to pass, which is expected, it looks as if Uruguay will be the "guinea pig" of the legalization movement. Although Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana for recreational use within the U.S. it is not on a scale large enough to determine how successful it may or may not be, especially with recent raids on dispensaries by the federal government. So while the U.S. continues to push back against marijuana reform, Uruguay has taken the bold step to create a legal market that is regulated and taxed by the government. It is almost as if there is nothing to lose and much to gain here for Uruguay. Now if only the U.S. took a similar approach, we might just be ahead of the game at this point, but unfortunately our country's decisions are swayed more by political endeavors than common sense. Uruguay could prove to be a blueprint for the rest of the world, and if they can successfully create a marijuana market that is regulated and taxed, then the U.S. might want to reconsider it's approach. Stay medicated Uruguay!
grow, grind & prosper