January 10 In History: Uruguay Legalizes Cannabis
Illustration (Pixabay)

JAKARTA - Today, eight years ago, or January 10, 2013, Uruguay approved a law (UU) legalizing the cultivation and sale of cannabis on a national scale. The effort was made by Uruguay so that the illegal market for marijuana trade would shift to a legal market. As a result, the coffers of income from the cannabis industry can enter the state treasury.

Launching The New York Times, the President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica became the main supporter of the law. Even so, Mujica himself never consumed marijuana. Mujica thinks that legalizing cannabis will reduce the circulation of the five-finger plant on the black market. For him, the war on drugs that occurred during the last century, was nothing more than the talk of the rich countries.

“One year later, marijuana was completely legal and a commodity for Uruguay. All citizens over 18 can buy it at various pharmacies as long as they have registered with the government. Every month someone can only buy 40 grams of marijuana, "said Aristides Julian in the book Allegory 420 (2018).

Under the law, it was agreed that Uruguay would soon establish an Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis. This was done so that the state could oversee the cultivation, harvesting and sale of cannabis. Awaiting the legalization of marijuana, local pharmacies have received a long list of buyers preparing to buy cannabis products.

The registration allows buyers to take home up to 40 grams of cannabis a month for $ 1 per gram. However, for those who do not want to buy from the pharmacy, they are also allowed to plant themselves provided they have formed a community of no more than 40 members. Each marijuana growing community is also only allowed to give 480 grams of marijuana a year to its members.

Previously, most Uruguayans had opposed legalizing marijuana. However, slowly the legalization agenda became quite popular as a form of revolutionary legal policy that had occurred in Uruguay. As a result, the cannabis legalization bill was included in the discussion agenda at the Uruguay congress.

"We are confident that we can apply our own policy on drugs according to international norms," said Roberto Conde, a senator in Uruguay's Broad Front coalition.

The legalization of marijuana in Uruguay was then opposed by neighboring countries. Because of the excitement of the legalization, the UN even spoke up to express its concern. The same thing was also expressed by the Senator of the opposition in Uruguay, Alfredo Solari.

"We could turn into a regional center for cannabis tourism, as the region is concerned about," said Alfredo Solari.

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