HomeNewsBriefUruguay Slows Marijuana Push Amid Criticism
BRIEF

Uruguay Slows Marijuana Push Amid Criticism

DRUG POLICY / 19 DEC 2012 BY JACK DAVIS EN

President Jose Mujica of Uruguay has urged congress to hold off on its debate over the decision to legalize the state sale of marijuana, citing a lack of public support.

The president told the press that the people of Uruguay were “not yet ready,” for a law that would legalize marijuana sale through government outlets, El Pais reports. He then urged parliament not to push forward with the legislation until majority support is reached among the public.

In the speech, President Mujica said he intended to generate a wider debate on the issue among the population of Uruguay and will not vote on the law simply because it holds a legislative majority.

InSight Crime Analysis

According to a recent report, 60 percent of the Uruguayan population oppose the government’s plan to legalize marijuana sales. Among their concerns is a doubt that the law will limit consumption of the drug in any way. More importantly perhaps, there is widespread doubt that the law would in any capacity halt the regional drug trade.

Some other Latin American countries where the use and sale of marijuana is widespread have already dismissed the possibility of legalization. While others, like Uruguay, hope to keep the discussion open. 

The push for legalization may be furthest in Colombia, where the president has stated his openness to legalization and the supreme court ruled in June to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot and cocaine. Keeping the subject open last month, the United Nations approved a proposal backed by several Latin American countries that raises alternative approaches to the war on drugs, including drug law reform and legalization.

Legalization of marijuana will likely continue to be a hot subject for debate in Latin American countries, considering the United States, where demand for the drug is the highest, is beginning to liberalize its own marijuana laws. As one former foreign minister of Mexico asked, “Why are Mexican troops up in the mountains . . . searching for tunnels, patrolling the borders, when once this product reaches Colorado it becomes legal.”

For Uruguay, however, considering more than half of President Mujica’s own party still oppose the legislation, it is likely to be some time before the law comes any closer to implementation.

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 / 20 MAY 2022

A spate of gang-related killings has caused panic in a marginalized area of Uruguay’s capital of Montevideo, raising debate about…

CHINA AND CRIME / 6 JUL 2022

Uruguay has made the rare move of capturing a Chinese fishing vessel, suspected of illegally fishing tons of squid…

DRUG POLICY / 2 NOV 2020

Facing increased economic hardship, poppy-growing communities in southwest Mexico want to join a state program offering alternative projects, but this…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…