[QODLink]
Americas

Uruguay reveals cannabis sale plans

Consumers will be able to purchase up to 10 grams of cannabis per week for less than $1 a gram at the end of this year.

Last updated: 03 May 2014 02:30
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
New regulations are part of an initiative by President Jose Mujica, a former guerrilla and doctor by training [AFP]

Uruguay has said that consumers can purchase up to 10 grams of marijuana per week at less than $1 per gram, as the country embarks on an experiment in drug regulation.

In December, the South American country became the first in the world to regulate the market for cannabis and its derivatives in what was considered a bold move by authorities frustrated with losing resources to fighting drug trafficking.

National Drug Board President Diego Canepa said on Friday that buyers would have to register first under the decree, due to be signed by ministers on Monday and published on Tuesday.

The government will call on private interests to plant cannabis "no more than two weeks after the decree enters into force," he added, noting that two to six licenses would be issued.

Canepa estimated that legal marijuana would be available in pharmacies for public consumption in December. The cannabis will be sold to the public at a price of 20 to 22 pesos ($0.90) per gram.

"There are no state subsidies," said Canepa, who added that the price was based on production costs and profits for the involved companies and pharmacies.

"The total volume consumed in Uruguay would be around 18 to 22 tons" of cannabis, National Drug Board Secretary- General Julio Calzada said. "Based on this, we need a maximum of 10 hectares (25 acres) to produce for this population of users."

Although it had not been illegal to use marijuana in Uruguay for decades, production and commercialisation of the drug had been illegal.

The new regulations are part of an initiative by President Jose Mujica, a former guerrilla and doctor by training.

277

Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
join our mailing list