South America: Legal Pot Goes On Sale in Uruguay

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Uruguay rolls out recreational marijuana sales!

In 2013, the tiny South American country put the world on notice. They were done fighting the losing battle against recreational marijuana consumption and decided to try a novel approach – legalizing it.

On Wednesday, the long-awaited national experiment was fired up and the sale of recreational marijuana began in earnest for residents of Uruguay.

Legalized by the tiny South American country more than four years ago, the initial implementation has been agonizingly slow. Since announcing their historic marijuana reform policy, several other countries have jumped on the reform bandwagon.

Adults over the age of age of 18 can register to buy their recreational cannabis that’s available at 16 pharmacies throughout Uruguay.

Already permitted to cultivate their personal stash at home, Uruguayans can now purchase up to 1.41 ounces (40 grams) of flower every 30 days for their personal pleasure.

Perfectly legal, Uruguay’s two available cannabis strains are unfortunately less than stoney: ‘Alfa 1’ and ‘Beta 1.’ Both varieties maintain a relatively low THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content, ranging between 5 and 10 percent THC.

Initiated during the presidency of Jose Mujica, the leftist ex-guerrilla also advocated for a number of progressive reforms in Uruguay. His rationale at the time was sound — crack down on drug trafficking, allowing the government to regulate and tax a market that was being run by criminals.

Past Uruguayan president Jose Mujica

Past Uruguayan president Jose Mujica

The idea was far from popular at first. Initially polling at 60 percent, a majority of Uruguayans opposed the idea of reforming their marijuana laws. Cultivated at an excruciatingly slow pace, the authorization for Uruguay’s pharmacies to sell recreational marijuana — anticipated to occur by 2014 — was delayed multiple times.

Since then, other South American countries have rushed to reform their marijuana laws. Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Jamaica, and Mexico have recently relaxed their existing laws.

Hardly fire, Uruguay’s government-grown weed has a state-mandated price of $1.30 per gram.

About Author

Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.

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