In various parts of America, you can find shops and boutiques that sell marijuana. It’s not uncommon to see them, especially in urban dwellings. However, there are still federal laws that prohibit the sell, possession, and use of marijuana, whether recreational or medicinal. Americans want to believe weed is legal, but it isn’t. Yet.
With that said, on December 10, 2013 Uruguay — an unintentionally unnoticed country in South America — has legalized the use and production marijuana, becoming the first country in the world to take such a bold step. The country shouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a tourist hot spot over the next couple of years. Eat your heart out, Amsterdam.
According to sources, government-regulated grams of marijuana will be sold for $1 per gram, a slighted blow against the illegal weed market that generally peddles its product for roughly $1.50. The catch is that every citizen who chooses to partake in the heralded wacky tobacc-y will have to first register with a special branch of their government whose job it will be to oversee and regulate the plant’s manufacturing, production, and dispersal.
While marijuana was not really criminalized in Uruguay in the first place, there were penalties in place for those who chose to sell and own it illegally. Now, citizens (of 18 years or older) can possess plants at their residences and buy up to 40 grams per month from their local pharmacies. As stated by Uruguay’s president, Jose Mujica:
“This is an attempt to bring an end to the illegal drugs trade by identifying the market and bringing it into the light of day.”
And while this may be a reason for some people to celebrate, rest assured that the legalization of marijuana in a country of approximately 3.3 million people will cause some social snags and hiccups. Los Angeles, California, experienced some of these ramifications at the height of its weed dispensary popularity. According to reports, crime in the areas that housed the smoke shops experienced substantial growth, with robbery-turned-murders occurring in various shops throughout Southern California.
Nevertheless, it’s apparent that Uruguay thinks it’s more important to send the message to the criminal factions of it’s land that the government is in charge, as well as letting its citizens know that it’s now okay — and legal — to walk around high. Rest assured that this won’t be the last we hear about Uruguay.
Via The Urban Daily