tabare vazquez

Uruguay: 1,200 Marijuana Growers Authorized

JulioCalzada(UruguayDrugCzar2014PhotoByPaulStanford)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A year after marijuana legalization in Uruguay, the small South American country of 3.3 million people has registered 1,200 cannabis growers, the head of the National Drugs Board, Julio Calzada, announced on Monday.

"It is encouraging to have 1,200 growers after three or four months since the law came into effect," Calzada said, adding that implementation is progressing "on a clear path, carefully and under control," reports EFE.

"Roughly 500" cannabis clubs have registered with the Institute for Regulation and Control of Cannabis, Calzada estimated. Each club can have up to 45 members and can cultivate up to 99 marijuana plants.

Calzada believes most marijuana users won't grow their own, and won't become club members. Instead he believes they'll just buy their weed through authorized pharmacies, which is still in the works.

President-Elect Tabare Vazquez, who will take office in March, said his government will abide by the law allowing cultivation and sale of marijuana through pharmacies, but left open the possibility of introducing changes in the regulations.

"We will abide by this law and we will have a very strict monitoring to see how it works," said Vazquez, a medical doctor. "If the need arises to amend the law, we will send a bill to parliament to be debated."

Uruguay: Presidential Election Safeguards Marijuana Legalization

UruguayFlagMarijuana

Frente Amplio Candidate Tabaré Vázquez Wins, Promises He Will Implement The Law

Frente Amplio (Broad Front) candidate Tabaré Vázquez defeated opposition candidate Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou in a Sunday presidential run-off election in Uruguay by 53.6 to 41.1 percent. The vote that had major implications for the future of Uruguay’s historic marijuana regulation.

While Vázquez has promised to continue implementing marijuana regulation, National Party opposition candidate Lacalle Pou had said that if he were to become president, he would repeal major parts of the law, including government-regulated sales to adults – the most distinguishing feature of the Uruguayan initiative.

“Sunday’s presidential election result safeguards Uruguay’s historic marijuana legalization,” said Hannah Hetzer, policy manager of the Americas at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “The Uruguayan people determinedly chose the presidential candidate who will continue the country’s progressive policies, including the roll out of the world’s first national legally regulated marijuana market.”

Uruguay: Presidential Candidate Wants To Roll Back Marijuana Legalization

Uruguay-LuisLacallePou

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Uruguay's leading opposition candidate for President said he would try to repeal much of the country's historic marijuana legalization law which allows the commercial cultivation and sale of cannabis if he wins Sunday's election.

The South American nation became the first in the world to officially allow the production and use of cannabis, but almost two-thirds of Uruguayans oppose the experiment which aims to take control of the marijuana trade away from drug gangs, reports Esteban Farat at Thomson Reuters.

But notably, even the candidate in question, Luis Lacalle Pou of the centrist National Party, would still allow home cultivation and cannabis clubs.

"I will keep the law's articles that allow users to grow their own cannabis at home and authorize smoking clubs and repeal the rest, in particular the state's commercialization of the drug," Lacalle Pou said.

"I will send a bill to Parliament to repeal it," he said. "We will need a majority in Parliament, and I will look for support.

Polls show Lacalle Pou trailing the left-wing candidate for the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) party, Tabare Vazquez, who has backed the legalization law.

Photo of Luis Lacalle Pou: Xinhua News Agency/Rex

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