Soft spoken leftist Uruguayan President Jose Mujica’s dream of legalizing cannabis to curb violence and drug problems in his country may be on the outs along with his role as the country’s leader.
Uruguay voted Sunday, choosing between Mujica’s hopeful successor, Tabare Vazques or Louis Lacalle Pou, a young conservative member of the National Party. Vasquez does not have enough votes to win the election outright in the country’s first round of voting and will likely have to face a runoff election in November.
But Mujica’s recent social and legal reforms over the last few years – including marijuana and abortion – have more conservative Uruguayans chattering. Rou is listening, and told Routers that he would actively work to repeal Mujica’s marijuana policy if he is elected.
Mujica last year signed a law that legalized limited amounts of cannabis in that country, making the law official in the country after weeks of international attention. The measure 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 is allowed to purchase up 40 grams every month and cannabis sales will only be allowed to Uruguayans licensed in the program.