Uruguay Legalizes Marijuana

June 21, 2012

The uruguayan government has announced its decision to control the means of production and distribution of marijuana, making it the first country in Latin America to do so. The goal of this measure is to combat drastic consumption and narcotrafficking in a drug war that, according to politician Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro, “has already been won by the narcos.” This change from a prohibitionist attitude towards marijuana to a more relaxed approach has been contested by some, who claim that the legalization will only lead to increased drug use. Others, however, assert that the criminalization of marijuana has led to more societal problems than the actual drug itself. Notes Fernández Huidobro, at least 300,000 out of 3.3 million uruguayans have consumed marijuana at least once, and at least 1,500 use the drug regularly. It remains to be seen how the country’s taking control of the distribution and production of marijuana affects Uruguay itself, as well as its neighboring countries and North America.

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