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Uruguay Legalizes Limited Sales of Marijuana

LADB Article ID: 80382
Category/Department: Uruguay
Date: 2017-08-18
By: Andrés Gaudín

More than three years after former President José Mujica (2010-2015) introduced the topic of drugs into the national debate, the Uruguayan government has found a way to implement his proposal to legalize the production, sale, and consumption marijuana. The legalization of marijuana sales, aimed at exploring a new way to combat illegal drug trafficking, comes exactly 43 months after Mujica opened the politically charged debate. On July 17, a small group of pharmacies in Uruguay began selling 5-gram envelopes of two varieties of cannabis flowers produced and regulated under state control. The agency that supervises cannabis production and use is the Instituto de Regulación y Control del Cannabis (IRCCA), which is part of the national agency that regulates and controls drug use, the Junta Nacional de Drogas (JND). IRCCA was created by law “to order and regulate the planting, cultivation, harvesting, collecting, production, elaboration, and distribution of cannabis and its derivatives.” Private companies authorized by the Ministry of Public Health, which guarantees strict technical supervision for the product, develop the marijuana that is sold in pharmacies.

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