• Uruguay

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

    uruguayflagDrug 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.

  • Getting regulation right

    Assessing Uruguay's historic cannabis initiative
    Geoff Ramsey
    Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
    November 2016

    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)

  • Cannabis clubs in Uruguay

    The challenges of regulation
    Rosario Queiroloa, Maria Fernanda Boidib & José Miguel Cruz
    International Journal of Drug Policy
    Volume 34, August 2016, Pages 41–48

    publicationThe 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.

    Read the article (outside link)

  • 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
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, March 24, 2016

    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?

    Transnational Institute (TNI)
    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    Uruguay_FCB_info2AOn 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.

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

    Transnational Institute (TNI)
    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    Uruguay_FCB_info1A"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.

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

    Press release by TNI
    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    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)

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

    Hannah Hetzer, Drug Policy Alliance
    International Drug Policy Connsortium IDPC (UK)
    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    Cannabis_legalisation_UruguayOn 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.

  • Latin America Drug Policy Dialogue 2013 Maldonado (Uruguay)

    Maldonado_Chapel_2The ninth Latin America informal drug policy dialogue was devoted to "dilemmas in regulation of the cannabis market." The two-day dialogues were structured around seven sessions: (1) The Uruguayan proposal for cannabis regulation: dilemmas and challenges. (2) Current models of regulation: United States, Spain and the Netherlands. (3) The fine art of regulation: state monopoly vs. self-regulated market which works better and for whom? (4) Addressing cross-border differences and market mobility. (5) Tensions between cannabis regulation and international drug-control treaties: What options do governments have? (6) Cannabis reforms under way in Latin America. (7) Strategy and paths to reform: scenarios and next steps.

    application-pdfDownload the Executive Summary (PDF)
    Download the full Report (PDF)

  • Uruguay steps forward with Marijuana legalisation vote

    The vote by Uruguay’s House of Representatives to legalize and regulate the country’s marijuana market represents a major step forward for the landmark reform effort
    Press release by TNI and WOLA
    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    tni_wola2The bill will now be taken up in Uruguay’s Senate—where the governing Frente Amplio coalition also holds a majority—and could soon arrive on the desk of President José Mujica, who has supported the proposal since its introduction in 2012.


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