• Connect with us on Linkedin

Officials in Uruguay, Chile Submit Marijuana Legalization Bills

  • Written by Claire O'Neill McCleskey
  • Thursday, 09 August 2012

While the Uruguayan president has endorsed a bill which would create a legal, state-run marijuana industry, congressmen in Chile are pushing a bill to legalize the cultivation of marijuana for personal use.

Linkedin
Google +

On August 8, Uruguayan President Mujica sent congress a proposal for a bill that would establish a legal, state-run monopoly on marijuana cultivation and sales. The proposed law would give the government total control over the importation, production, sale, and distribution of the drug.

The principal objectives of the bill are to separate the legal and illegal markets for marijuana and to allow the state to focus its resources on combating more dangerous drugs.

The law would require customers to register with the government, in order both to prevent non-residents from buying state-produced marijuana and to track users’ monthly purchases. If a user goes above a certain limit, he or she must undergo drug rehabilitation treatment.

If the bill passes, the government plans to begin growing marijuana in September, although it has yet to provide details on how exactly the new system would work. Officials have concluded that in order to adequately serve the country’s 70,000 marijuana users, the government would have to produce around 5,000 pounds a month.

Also on August 8, two Chilean lawmakers submitted bill that would legalize small-scale cultivation of marijuana for personal and therapeutic use. Senator Fulvio Rossi, who admitted to regular marijuana use in a controversial interview last month, said that he introduced the legislation in hopes of initiating a serious debate about the appropriate limits for personal cultivation and possession. Although private consumption of marijuana is legal in Chile, cultivation is punishable with up to five years in prison.

InSight Crime Analysis

Concern over the power of organized crime and the desire to separate drug users from traffickers have led governments across Latin America to implement or at least consider decriminalization or legalization of marijuana and other drugs. Uruguay’s proposal, however, is unprecedented; according to the New York Times, establishing a legal, state-managed monopoly for marijuana would make Uruguay the “world’s first marijuana republic.

Drug trafficking and related violence appear to be on the rise in Uruguay, which has long been one of the safest countries in Latin America, but recent polling suggests that the Uruguayan public is skeptical of the government’s argument that legalizing marijuana will reduce organized crime and drug addiction. As of late June, 69 percent of those surveyed said the law would not reduce the drug trade. While creating a legal, regulated market for marijuana would certainly make purchasing and using the drug safer, many have questioned the government’s reasoning that access to marijuana will reduce consumption of cocaine paste, an addictive drug similar to crack.

Linkedin
Google +

---

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We also encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, provided that it is attributed to InSight Crime in the byline, with a link to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

InSight Crime Search

The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas

InSight Crime Social

facebooktwittergooglelinkedin

InSight Crime Special Series

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

Los Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

See entire series »

 

Uruguay's Marijuana Bill

Uruguay: Marijuana, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug.

See entire series »

El Salvador's Gang Truce

El Salvador's Gang Truce

The truce between El Salvador's two largest gangs -- the MS-13 and the Barrio 18 -- opens up new possibilities in how to deal with

See entire series »

Juarez After The War

Juarez After The War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality.

See entire series »

The Zetas And The Battle For Monterrey

The Zetas and the Battle for Monterrey

InSight Crime delves into the Zetas' battle for Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, getting to the essence of a criminal gang that defies easy definition.

See entire series »

Slavery in Latin America

Slavery in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into modern slavery, looking at how Latin America’s criminal groups traffic human beings and force them to work as slaves.

See entire series »

FARC, Peace and Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is being dangled before Colombia. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, the enemies of the negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the process are high.

See entire series »

Displacement in Latin America

Displacement in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into the new face of displacement in Latin America, where organized criminal groups are expanding and forcing people to flee.

See entire series »

Target: Migrants

Target: Migrants

The growth of organized crime in Mexico and Central America has led to an increase in violence and insecurity across the region, posing challenges to citizens, public security forces, and travelers.

See entire series »

Zetas in Guatemala

The Zetas in Guatemala

Mexico's Zetas have taken Guatemala by storm, and they are testing this country and the rest of the region: fail this test, and Central America sinks deeper into the abyss.

See entire series »

Most Read

Mexico Govt Struggles to Control Cartel-Run Highways

Mexico Govt Struggles to Control Cartel-Run Highways

The continued presence of criminal groups along some of Mexico’s highways, especially in the embattled northeast, has become a litmus test for just how much control the government really has in certain parts of the...

Read more

Construction Site Extortion in Peru Shows Evolution of Local Org Crime

Construction Site Extortion in Peru Shows Evolution of Local Org Crime

Peru is reportedly home to at least 60 criminal groups which extort the construction industry under the guise of trade unions, indicating the development and expansion of local organized crime.

Read more

St Lucia Latest Caribbean Paradise to Turn Gang Battleground

St Lucia Latest Caribbean Paradise to Turn Gang Battleground

Police on the island of St Lucia have blamed gangs for a recent wave of murders and shootings, as the Caribbean region continues to suffer from violent and powerful streets gangs and rising drug trafficking.

Read more

IDRC9-01