HomeNewsBriefUruguay Registers Marijuana Growers
BRIEF

Uruguay Registers Marijuana Growers

BRAZIL / 4 SEP 2014 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

The long process of legalizing marijuana production in Uruguay continues to inch forward, under the watchful eye of other countries in the region considering similar measures.

As of August 29, 54 individuals in Uruguay had registered to legally grow up to six cannabis plants in their homes, reported Spanish newspaper El Pais. In order to receive a personal license, individuals only had to present identification and proof of residence.

In addition, 22 companies are currently competing to win one of the five available government licenses to commercially produce marijuana. These companies -- of which eight are Uruguayan, ten are foreign, and four are joint ventures -- will supply pharmacies. The five-year licenses, which companies will be able to renew, require commercial producers to grow more than one ton of marijuana per year.

Although there have been several delays in the implementation of the law, selected companies are expected to begin cultivation in November.

InSight Crime Analysis

The registry of over 50 individuals demonstrates that in spite of considerable delays and significant opposition to the legislation among Uruguayans, the government is moving forward with plans to legalize the cultivation and consumption of marijuana for recreational use.

Uruguay's legislation is widely regarded as a test case for other countries in the region considering alternative solutions to the illegal drug problem. Despite a growing consensus in Latin America that drugs should be treated as a health issue, many criminal justice systems are still enforcing punitive measures against consumers, even in countries that have decriminalized personal drug use.

SEE ALSO: Uruguay News and Profile

According to President Jose Mujica, one of the main objectives in legalizing marijuana is to combat drug trafficking in the region. However, given Uruguay's relatively high level of security, the effects of marijuana legalization on organized crime will not necessarily be indicative of results for countries with more established criminal groups such as Colombia and Guatemala, which have also called for more lenient drug policies.

In addition, it is unlikely international drug trafficking groups will be greatly affected by marijuana legalization in Uruguay, due to the small size of its domestic drug market. However, if marijuana were to be legalized in countries with larger markets, the impact on international drug cartels would be more significant.

InSight Crime's recent field research on the Paraguayan border with Brazil found that 70 percent of marijuana production leaving Paraguay -- the largest producer of marijuana in South America -- is destined for consumption in Brazil. If Brazil were to someday legalize the consumption and cultivation of marijuana, these government-regulated prices would likely undercut Paraguayan traffickers and severely impact drug trafficking in the Southern Cone. 

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

'NDRANGHETA / 13 JAN 2022

Three shipments of cocaine were caught on the same day as they were about to head to France, Spain and…

BOLIVIA / 3 NOV 2011

Bolivian President Evo Morales announced that his government will eradicate 10,000 hectares of coca before the calendar year is up,…

BRAZIL / 2 NOV 2021

Organized crime groups in Latin America continue to expand into illicit synthetic drug production, including mass manufacturing of methamphetamine and…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…