Uruguay: Lawmakers Authorize Marijuana Production And Sales

Members of the Uruguay Senate late today approved legislation authorizing for the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to all citizens age 18 and older. Members of Uruguay’s House had previously approved the measure months earlier. The bill now goes to President José Mujica, who intends to sign the measure into law in the coming days.

Uruguay will be the first nation in modern history to regulate the licensed production and sale of cannabis.

“This is an attempt to bring an end to the illegal drugs trade by identifying the market and bringing it into the light of day,” said President Mujica in a statement.

Under the pending law, residents of the South American nation will be able to legally purchase up to 40 grams per cannabis per month. (Sales to non-residents are will not be allowed.) Price controls will set the cost of cannabis available at state-stores to $1 per gram. The forthcoming law would also allow households to grow up to six cannabis plants each; it also allows for the establishment of cooperatives, which will be able to grow as many as 99 plants.

Specific regulations overseeing the new policy must be in place 120 days after the measure is signed into law.

Under present law, the possession of personal use amounts of cannabis is not subject to criminal penalties; however, marijuana cultivation and sale are classified as criminal offenses.

29 thoughts

  1. What will happen now ?

    Will Uruguay be thrown out of the UN ?

    Will the United States treat Uruguay as a ‘rogue state’ ?

    Will other South American countries follow this example ?

    Will anyone ever visit Amsterdam where cannabis is up to $20 a gramme or will they go to picturesque and warm Uruguay where a gramme of cannabis costs $1 (!) ?

  2. Now is the time, stand up and end cannabis prohibition now wherever you live the wall is crumbling. Join the movement now.

  3. $1 a gram for crappy mass produced outdoor, I’d rather pay $20 a gram for expert grown properly cured high quality indoor any day.

  4. @phrtao:

    Uruguay’s President Mujica has made it abundantly clear that he does not want “drug tourists”. Only locals will be able to purchase legally. So that is to say that Amsterdam’s coffee shop industry is safe for now.

  5. @somedood Uruguay is indeed a place. It’s a country in South America, boarded right in between the popular Brazil and Argentina. It’s a beautiful, democratic country, and now it’s the first country to legalize cannabis. 🙂

  6. This is fantastic! A real nation has finally TRULY legalized cannabis!

    What’s more, I’ve seen a dozen news headlines today that all say something along the lines of “Uruguay is first country to legalize marijuana.” It is significant that they are calling it the “first” country, because it implies that more and more will follow. They are not trying to portray it as some sort of rogue nation, but rather as a leader, a pioneer, and at worst a daredevil.

  7. Good, right on, thank you President Jose Mujica for having the courage to be a real world leader, and standing up for freedom.

  8. Hell yes Uruguay! Hell yes Pres. Jose Mujica! Way to go! The walls of prohibition are slowly but surely crumbling. The only ones quaking in their boots are the prohibitionists, the black marketeers and the cartels. May they all Rest in Peace (not).

  9. @ taki,

    With due respect, how do you know it’s crappy massed produced outdoor? I’ve read a few articles about the MJ situation in Uruguay; those people seem to know a few things about sweet bud too. Just because something is inexpensive doesn’t mean it lacks quality.

  10. WHAT!!! Sales to Non-Residence not allowed??? That just ain’t right. What about possession and a non-resident. Getting busted in a foreign is serious. I don’t like laws with gray areas.

    Sounds like my trip to Seattle. It’s legal but you have to buy it from a drug dealer outside McDonalds.
    Strange town, Strange drug dealer. I don’t thing so. I may be forced to be an outlaw. But at least I’m not a stupid outlaw.

    This sux
    Jimmy Potseed

  11. The Drug Policy Alliance deserves a great deal of credit for this triumph. We have many allies out there. Our bravery for standing up to the tyranny of prohibition is catching on like a wildfire. Every day now there is new recruits and marijuana warriors to the cause. How about the “Marijuana Editor” of the Denver Post? It is SO vital that there is free press available to cover these historic moments, and defend the marijuana refugees that are flocking to Colorado with their epileptic children. Good journalism is imperative to the Democratic process. We need to “weed” out the corporate imposters who wish to make a failure of Colorado’s new regulations going into effect January 1st. Ironically, I’m not sure if the new marijuana editor has been able to hire a marijuana critic yet.
    For Uruguay, undertoes of inequality unrelated to marijuana will certainly be used to misconstrue the evidence of legalized cannabis.
    But the greater danger in the Uruguayan system is that it is state-controlled. This is not free-market marijuana sale and use. I regret to inform some of our jovial posters that they may want to wait before packing up their bags for Montevideo; Marijuana is only legal to residents of Uruguay. A residency is not as much trouble as getting a Visa to the U.S. however. Despite it’s growing division between the rich and poor, I hear the country is beautiful and worth visiting regardless.
    Viva la paz, Uruguay: Que sean ejemplo por todo Latino America y que Dios les bendiga.

  12. A first kiss may not be the best, but it is memorable! I am grateful for President Mujica and the people of Uruguay.
    As for the negatives of price, quality, etc. we have 48 negatives left, and will be in chaos as a nation with these laws until all 50 states get it right and stay out of responsible peoples lives…..still it feels good to see progress anywhere.

  13. AAAAND….the UN is threatening Uruguay over this. That didn’t take long. Was I mistaken or did I previously see something about how they are going to revisit and reconsider their stance on MJ?

    I hope the prohibitionists are not going to be able to strongarm their way out of this. They seem to be throwing everything plus the kitchen sink at us at this point trying to keep their precious injustice in place.

  14. I just read an article that noted how much pressure the UN is already giving Mujica for legalizing pot in Uruguay. To his credit, he’s firing back, saying the UN is very selective in its pressure, condemning him for reneging on a 1961 UN mandate about drugs, while saying nothing to the US, Colorado’s and Washington state’s recent legalization notwithstanding. He also mentioned that the two US states have a larger combined population than his country!

    Apparently, Brazil is also giving him flak, but again, he’s brushing it off. Way to go! That’s the way you fight those guys. I’m even prouder of him now than I already was.

    The guy was a leftist guerilla in Uruguay, and spent some 14 years or so in prison, his capture no doubt funded in part by the good ole USA, so he knows a thing or two about fighting corruption. But he never smoked a joint in his life–just understands that the war on drugs is an expensive failure, funded in very large part, again, by the good ole USA.

  15. Separating cannabis from all the other recreational and legal drugs will not only remove the gateway classification, but it will allow cannabis to develop independantly without the baggage of ineuindo and fearfilled propaganda.

  16. For 15$ an hour, I will aggressively hard sell anyone the medicinal and recreational benefits’ legalizing marijuana will provide this country. I will be the most aggressive, most influential lobbyist this country has ever seen! Try me… I will produce!!

  17. Why is the Amsterdam coffee shop industry safe? Are we forgetting about Colorado legalizing bud and concentrates?

    Why would I ever fly to Amsterdam when I can just drive to Colorado?

  18. The weirdos don’t want you to go somewhere and buy marijuana. It is just for locals, and they need to get a “license to possess” first.

    Amsterdam coffee shop can only sell to locals also. The UN is basically insisting on this as a condition of not being further attacked for legalizing marijuana. There is to be no “marijuana vacations”–this would require the UN to wage economy warfare against any country that allows people to freely smoke marijuana via sanctions.

    Just think about how ridiculous this is, just like banning marijauana from Federal Land! No you can’t go for a hike or go fishing and smoke a jay, you have to hide in a hole in order to toke without harassment. As if arresting people for marijuana has something to do with being a Ranger.


  19. Thanks @Dave for mentioning the “On Federal Property” restriction, one of the “Holder 8 points”. One way to resolve that is– don’t go on Fed land just as a tourist or vacationer, go there to do serious work, like clip and pick up and haul away deadwood from drought zones to prevent $$ billion-dollar fires like in California recently. Urge Feds to tolerate “Occupational Use” by persons serving their country!

    Another Holder point is to tolerate small quantity use and possession– urge expanding the Federal language to include EXEMPTING any person from suspicion of committing any offense who possesses a vaporizer, pen vape, e-cig or 25-mg-serving-size Long-Drawtube-Augmented One-Hitter (choomette, kiseru, midwakh, sebsi)– indicating intention to abstain from using 500-mg H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide “rolling papers”, number #1 cause worldwide of complaints and defamation against cannabis users.

    Many restrictive local laws have been written in response to complaints of “marijuana smoke wafting” over into someone’s airspace– which happens with a “joint” (giant) or its nicotine-infested cousin, “blunt”, but never with a one-hitter!

    Form an organization to open One Hit Head Shops everywhere selling millions of modern dosage-restriction utensils to win respect for cannabis users. If you want to keep warm till April, open a shop in Montevideo selling Utensilios de una tocqada. Open a shop in Kingston with a big sign showing Bob serving a single toke with a choomette and the slogan, “More Marley, Less Monoxide!”

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