While hundreds if not thousands of people are in jail over (increasingly bunk) medical cannabis charges up here in the states, Uruguay is legalizing medical cannabis use for prisoners who have a doctor’s recommendation.
Uruguayan drug chief Julio Calzada announced Tuesday that prisoners suffering from mental and physical ailments could receive marijuana in jail. The open-minded approach to alternative medical care seems to be part of a larger movement in the South American country.
Daniel Olesker, minister Social Development in the country, also said this week that the government would be making medical marijuana part of the national healthcare system. The country already promotes other homeopathic treatments like acupuncture and herbal treatments alongside traditional Western medicine.
Calzada says that regulations are almost complete and that the country will begin licensing marijuana producers by the end of the month. Cannabis sales won’t likely begin until the end of the year.
Uruguayan President Jose Mujica approved the legalization of limited amounts of cannabis in December of 2013. It allows adults to cultivate up to six plants at home every year and keep up to 17 ounces of herb from those plants. The law also allows for people to create smoking and cultivation cooperatives with as many as 45 members. Growers, sellers, wholesalers and even customers will be tracked through government systems. Each adult will be allowed to purchase up 40 grams every month. Cannabis sales will only be allowed to Uruguayans licensed in the program.