Finally, a nation that has come to its senses and looks like it will legalize one of the most innocent and beneficial plants on the Earth, marijuana!
Lawmakers in Uruguay Vote to Legalize Marijuana
Uruguay’s lower house late Wednesday night approved a sweeping bill to legalize marijuana, opening the way for the authorities to create one of Latin America’s most ambitious nationwide endeavors in overhauling drug policy.
Following hours of debate, legislators in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, voted 50 to 46 in favor of the legislation, which now goes to the Senate, where lawmakers have assured President José Mujica that they have a comfortable majority to approve it. Mr. Mujica supports the bill, arguing that it is needed to redirect police resources toward fighting street crime and smugglers involved in trafficking other types of drugs.
“This is a very innovative bill, with the state deciding to regulate the entire chain of production, distribution and access to the substance,” said Laura Blanco, president of Uruguay’s Cannabis Studies Association. She said the bill sent an “encouraging” sign to other Latin American nations, as political leaders in parts of the region debate whether to follow Uruguay’s example.
A majority in Uruguay is still thought to be against the legalization, but lawmakers moved ahead with the vote after nonprofit groups banded together in an educational campaign to explain the medicinal uses of marijuana and the economic benefits of cultivating the plant in Uruguay, where criminal networks now smuggle marijuana largely from Paraguay.
Under the bill, which could become law as early as this month, people would be allowed to grow marijuana in their homes, limited to six plants per household. They would also be permitted to form cooperatives allowed to cultivate 99 plants. In addition, private companies could grow marijuana under the bill, though their harvests could be bought only by the government, which would market the drug in licensed pharmacies.
To buy marijuana in pharmacies, Uruguayans would be required to enter their names into a federal registry, which is intended to remain confidential, and would be limited to buying 40 grams per month. And in a move to prevent foreign tourists from flocking to Uruguay to smoke marijuana, the legislation would restrict legal purchases to Uruguayans. Marijuana use is already largely tolerated by the Uruguayan authorities.
The thugs at the DEA and other jack-booted federal agencies whose main reason for being is to trash the Bill of Rights and toss people in prison for getting stoned will come out in force against this sane move by Uruguay, since this type of sanity threatens their very existence.
The Pharmaceutical Industry won't be happy either, since they realize this kind of common sense thinking could spread and impact the 300 + billion Americans spend each year on prescription drugs.