|Uruguayan President Jose Mujica|
The government of the South American nation of Uruguay plans to not only legalize marijuana, but to sell it, according to local news media.
Unnamed lawmakers from Uruguay’s ruling party were quoted as saying that the government would send a bill to Congress on Wednesday that would legalize cannabis sales as a “crime-fighting measure.” Only the government would be allowed to sell marijuana, and only to adults registered as “users,” reports Pablo Fernandez of the Associated Press.
Unfortunately, the plan seems to have a little too much government oversight.
People who smoke more weed than bureaucrats feel is appropriate (a source in Uruguay told Toke of the Town the limit would be 40 joints weekly), would be forced to undergo drug rehabilitation; money from taxes on the pot would go towards funding the rehabilitation of “addicts.”
The office of leftist Uruguayan President Jose Mujica hasn’t confirmed the report, but emailed the AP that the “marijuana issue” could be covered in an official announcement coming later.
Uruguayans should be allowed to grow their own marijuana, according to Juan Carlos Redin, a psychologist who works with drug addicts in Montevideo, the nation’s capital city, because the government could “run into trouble” if it tries to sell it.
Economic sanctions from the uptight United States would almost certainly be one of the consequences if Uruguay starts dealing weed to its citizens.
The big question, according to Redin, would be “Who will provide the government (with marijuana)?”
Uruguay has no laws against cannabis use. Possession of weed for personal use has never been criminalized, and a 1974 law gives judges the latitude to decide if amounts found on suspects were for personal use or for dealing.
There was, inevitably, the usual ignorant chorus of clueless “experts” claiming that marijuana leads to harder drugs.
“In the long run, marijuana is still poison,” lied Guillermo Castro, head of psychiatry at the Hospital Britanico in Montevideo. Apparently unfamiliar with any of the research done in the field for the past two decades, Castro claimed that marijuana is a “gateway to harder drugs.”