Legal marijuana, but Uruguayans still prefer black market

Only 27 percent of Uruguayan consumers buy their drugs through approved channels, a figure that reaches 39 percent when taking into account sharing with friends
RTL Today / AFP (Luxembourg)
Friday, September 30, 2022

uruguay csc cultivoIn 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana -- which came into effect four years later -- permitting its sale in pharmacies, a move that helped to push many drug traffickers out of the domestic market. But a bland and insufficient state supply has meant most consumers still prefer the diversity of the black market. There are three legal ways for registered users to get hold of marijuana: purchasing it at pharmacies, through home growing for personal use, and by belonging to an official cannabis club. The most sought after legal method is membership of one of the 249 consumer clubs, which offer a greater variety to their 7,166 members than pharmacies. But many clubs have long waiting lists as they are limited by law to between 15 and 45 members.