HomeNewsBriefNew Regs for Uruguay Marijuana Law Aim to Prevent Trafficking
BRIEF

New Regs for Uruguay Marijuana Law Aim to Prevent Trafficking

DRUG POLICY / 8 MAY 2014 BY MIMI YAGOUB EN

Uruguay has announced many of the finer details of its marijuana legalization legislation, with regulations that demonstrate a concerted effort to minimize the risk of large-scale trafficking.

According to the new law's official regulations (pdf), Uruguayan citizens and permanent residents will be able to cultivate a maximum of six cannabis plants per household -- based on a yield of 480 grams per year -- for personal use. They can also join a cannabis club and buy up to 10 grams a week at a pharmacy authorized to sell the drug. The government is also offering an amnesty allowing individual growers to register existing plants.

During a press conference outlining the law’s newly thrashed out details, the secretary general of Uruguay's National Drug Council (JND) Julio Calzada announced that these will also limit commercial marijuana production to 10 hectares of state land to cover the country's estimated 18 to 22 ton annual consumption, reported El Pais. Between two and six private companies will be granted permits to produce marijuana, reported El Observador.

Commercial crop cultivations will be watched over by state security forces, with producers set to foot the bill for their presence.

InSight Crime Analysis

The security guarantees and limits demonstrate an encouraging attempt to allow sufficient production while guarding against criminals taking advantage of the drug's legal status. The use of state land for large-scale production will act as a shield against illegal cultivation, as well as making identification of legal plantations a clear-cut process. However, both unlicensed cultivation and the risk of large-scale trafficking remain a risk.

SEE ALSO: Uruguay: Marijuana Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

As InSight Crime pointed out in December, controlling the balance of marijuana production will be crucial. Too much restriction could encourage consumers to turn to the black market -- including illegal imports from South America's primary producer Paraguay, which has already expressed concerns regarding the law -- while excessive freedom would bolster the arguments of the legislation's many critics and increase the risk of trafficking.

The main feat for the government in the near future will be to crack down on unlicensed growth and encourage participation in the legal market, which should be made easier by the reasonable price of state-controlled marijuana -- roughly $1 per gram. Despite President Jose Mujica’s concerns regarding the entry of cheaper Paraguayan marijuana into the country, the fixed price is comparable to its current retail value in the country, according to the United Nations.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

DRUG POLICY / 23 JUN 2016

Security specialist Rubén Vargas called Peru's biggest coca hub a "time bomb" while discussing the failings of the outgoing administration's…

DRUG POLICY / 1 OCT 2014

Jamaica has taken further steps toward legalizing medical marijuana and decriminalizing possession of the drug for all users on the…

COCAINE / 17 APR 2019

It is abundantly clear, given decades of trial and error and escalating scientific evidence, that prohibition only makes risky drug use even riskier.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…