By Steve Elliott
Uruguayans who want to grow their own marijuana are able to register with the government to legally do so, as of Wednesday, when the government there launched the latest phase of its cannabis legalization program.
Under a law that went into effect in May, citizens or legal residents who are 18 or older can grow marijuana for personal use if they register, reports France 24. The limit is six female plants, with an annual harvest of up to 480 grams.
Only 10 people had registered with the government by midday on Wednesday to become private marijuana growers. Three of them were in the capital city, Montevideo, and seven in Uruguay's interior, according to the newly created Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA).
Marijuana activist Juan Vaz said he registered, and the process was easy, but added that he can understand why some people might be reluctant.
"There are some people who might feel persecuted," Vaz said. "For many years, they grew plants in secret and it's hard to break from that way of thinking."
Uruguay is the first country in the modern world to fully legalize the production, sale and distribution of cannabis. The law, passed by Uruguay's Parliament in December 2013, also allows growers and users to form clubs, and permits pharmacies to sell up to 40 grams of marijuana per month to registered users.