It’s been almost a year since Uruguay legalized marijuana, but the country has still not sold a single gram of legal weed. The South American country–the first nation to ever fully legalize cannabis–was expected to begin selling grams for less than an American dollar (per gram) by this November.
But because of concerns that legally produced marijuana would enter the country’s black market, The Economist’s “Man of the Year”, President Mujica, has decided to push back the program’s launch to early 2015. There is no exact timetable for the Uruguay program’s launch, but if it’s to happen under Mujica’s watch, legal sales must begin by March (when the president’s term ends).
Speaking with the AFP news outlet, Mujica explained the delay.
“If we want to get this right we are going to have to do it slowly,” Mr Mujica told AFP.
“We are not just going to say, ‘hands off and let the market take care of it,’ because if the market is in charge, it is going to seek to sell the greatest possible amount,” he added. [BBC]
For Uruguayan’s, the delay translated to at least a six month wait before being able to legally purchase $1 grams of marijuana from Uruguay-licensed pharmacies. Until then, it’s back to the black market for Uruguay’s patients and smokers.
When the country’s internal issues do get ironed out, registered Uruguayans will be able to purchase up to 40 grams of legal weed a month, go to work stoned, and, for qualifying prisoners, smoke weed in jail.