• Uruguay

    Overview of drug policy, drug law and legislative trends in Uruguay

    Drug consumption is not a crime in Uruguay. On 20 December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalise and regulate cannabis when President José Mujica enacted Law 19.172. This act regulates the production, marketing and consumption of cannabis. The state would henceforth control the entire cannabis industry chain, from production to consumption. The following questions explore recent developments on the drug policy issues in Uruguay.

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  • Uruguay is creating the world’s first nationwide regulated cannabis market

    Here’s how it will work

    Beginning on May 2, Uruguayan adults interested in legally purchasing cannabis for non-medical uses can register to do so at post offices around the country. When commercial cannabis hits the market in July, Uruguay will become the first country on the planet to establish a legal, nationwide market for non-medical cannabis. Because the law was passed in December 2013 and authorities have implemented it in careful, protracted steps, much of the related coverage has been incomplete. Here are the facts about Uruguay’s law, and how it will work moving forward.

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  • Getting regulation right

    Assessing Uruguay's historic cannabis initiative

    After close to three years, the final element of Uruguay’s historic cannabis law is set to be implemented in the coming weeks, as commercial sales are expected to begin soon. While advancements have been slow and deliberate, Uruguay is not alone in taking such a cautious approach. The U.S. state of Maryland, for instance, approved a medical cannabis program in 2013, but a series of careful adjustments has postponed sales until 2017.

    application-pdfDownload the report (PDF)

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  • Cannabis clubs in Uruguay

    The challenges of regulation

    The Uruguayan Cannabis Clubs (UCCs) constitute one of three ways to obtain cannabis under the new cannabis regulation laws. These organizations, formed by up to 45 adults and with a legal limit to grow up to 99 plants, appear to provide a safe method of procuring cannabis in a country that is trying to regulate aspects of cannabis production and distribution. This article describes the operations of the UCCs and the challenges these organizations face.

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  • Uruguay's legal marijuana policy en route to next phase of regulation

    As government opens registry for pharmacists wishing to sell marijuana, sales through pharmacies are expected to begin in the second half of this year

    Legal sales of cannabis through pharmacies are expected to begin in the second half of this year. This month the government opened the registry for pharmacists wishing to sell. These must install fingerprint recognition software to identify consumers as well as wall-mounted safety boxes to protect the maximum two kilos of marijuana each pharmacy will be allowed to maintain in stock. Consumers must register with the government and will be allowed to purchase 10 grams per week. Uruguay fully legalized the production and sale of marijuana in December 2013 after a decade-long grassroots movement managed to convince the government it was safer to legally sell weed rather than to allow drug dealers to run the market.

  • Infographic: How will Uruguay's regulation of cannabis work?

    On December 10, 2013, the General Assembly of Uruguay approved a law that made the country the first one in the world to fully regulate the cultivation, trade and consumption of cannabis for medical, industrial as well as recreational purposes. This infographic gives a short overview of the main aspects of the new law.

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  • Infographic: Why is Uruguay regulating; not criminalising cannabis?

    "The approval of regulation under state control in Uruguay marks a tipping point in the failed war against drugs. The trend is becoming irreversible: the era of a globally enforced cannabis prohibition regime is drawing to a close," says Martin Jelsma in a press release welcoming the approval of the law on December 10, 2013. The new law makes Uruguay the first country in the world to fully regulate the cultivation, trade and consumption of cannabis for medical, industrial as well as recreational purposes. This infographic gives a quick summary of the reasons why Uruguay is regulating cannabis.

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  • Uruguay’s pioneering cannabis regulation marks the tipping point in the failed war on drugs

    Uruguay’s senate voted today (10 December) to approve the world’s first national legal framework regulating the cultivation, trade and consumption of cannabis for medical, industrial as well as recreational purposes. The historical vote is expected to inspire and spread cannabis reform initiatives around the world and to have a major impact on upcoming UN-level drug policy evaluations.

    Download the press release (PDF)

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  • Uruguay moves one step closer to becoming first country to legally regulate marijuana

    On Wednesday 31st July 2013, the Uruguayan House of Representatives approved a marijuana regulation bill, bringing it one step closer to becoming the first country in the world to legally regulate the production, distribution and sale of marijuana. President José Mujica of the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) first proposed marijuana regulation last June as part of a 15-measure package aimed at fighting crime and public insecurity.

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