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Uncertainties of cannabis regulation in Uruguay
May 29, 2014 12:15 PM   Subscribe

A couple of weeks ago, Uruguay unveiled marijuana regulation details... but it's easier written than done. The most famous cannabis activist in Latin America, Alicia Castilla, critizises the registries and points out several unknowns like supply. "I don't know how they'll come up with 22 tonnes of marijuana for November”.
posted by LetsKa (6 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have been in Montevideo for the past 2 weeks; I just got back last night. I was there specifically to research what's happening with marijuana down there, on behalf of a business in Washington state.

They have played fast and loose, especially Mujica, in a kind of "pass the law first, figure out it out later." This was primarily done because there was not enough public support to pass this law (I've heard only 20% actually supported it), and Mujica pushed this through on moralistic grounds of Stopping narcotrafficers. I recommend watching this Vice mini-doc to get a better understanding of Mujica's viewpoint. Pepe is very clear: he does not support stonerism, he does not support marijuana, and he is ONLY doing this to fight narcotraffic.

That being said... They are figuring it out. Very quickly. They are writing the laws on this, right now, and these laws are being "financed" (basically, written) by a number of foreigners who have vested interests in making Uruguay a hotbed of marijuana R&D. So while these laws are being worked out, and while the logistics of growing for an entire country are being developed, the big money is all going to be going into research.

I believe that, for the Uruguayans, what this means is they probably won't come up with 22 tons of marijuana for November. And this won't be a problem for most Uruguayans either, because they are used to their government not delivering on promises. HOWEVER, growing clubs are going to be huge, and in the past week I saw the formation of 5 growing clubs alone, and in the coming months EVERYONE who is interested in getting rid of this Paraguayan shit weed is going to become part of a growing club.

So the average Uruguayan pot smoker will likely become part of a club, or become friends with someone who is in a growing club. These clubs will do private growing and sale, much like in Washington state, and they will in all likelyhood produce vastly superior weed to that which will be grown by the government.

Meanwhile, the government is going to be getting in deep with pharmaceutical companies who want to use Uruguay as the first legal R&D market to be able to develop these drugs, so that once cannabinoids become rescheduled in the US and other markets they can have ready to go medications.

The government will eventually figure out how to grow 22 tons or whatever. That seems to be low on everyone's priority, however. Cannabis clubs, and R&D, is what's going to be hot there for the foreseeable future.

sorry for the wall of text. I am just excited about my trip, and currently working on my full on report, so the timing of this FPP is great
posted by special agent conrad uno at 12:40 PM on May 29 [41 favorites]


So much work. It's a plant. We don't have complicated laws for petunias or Easter Lilies. If you want to grow those in your backyard, you can. If you want to sell them, you can (you just need to collect sales tax, I guess).
posted by Thoughtcrime at 1:53 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Another concern is the price-setting at one dollar per gram. Why one dollar?

“I have heard that the price was calculated based on the values in the black market for Paraguayan brick-weed which is measured in 25 gram units. They've assumed that if they sell a better quality product to those whom they consider addicts they would finish with the black market”.
$28.34/oz?!? Even with built-in assumptions for income disparity that' still pretty cheap.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:01 PM on May 29


Meanwhile, the government is going to be getting in deep with pharmaceutical companies who want to use Uruguay as the first legal R&D market to be able to develop these drugs, so that once cannabinoids become rescheduled in the US and other markets they can have ready to go medications.

Of course. This never even occurred to me but it makes so much sense.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:20 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


R&D and cannabis clubs are a very positive things of legalization in Uruguay but there will still be registry for users in the latter. Registry is not cool whatsoever. Thanks for your comment btw, special agent conrad uno.
posted by LetsKa at 2:19 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Waitaminute, waitaminute....is everyone here for this drug guy?
posted by telstar at 12:23 PM on May 30


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