The Uruguayan Senate is set to approve an historic bill on Tuesday which will for the first time legalise the entire production chain of cannabis from plant to pharmacy.
Lawmakers turned away all requests for the pot plan to be amended after it was passed in the country’s lower chamber. It has the backing of the president who believes it is a vital weapon to defeat the drug barons.
“What we are supporting is a way of controlling this vice as an addiction. To attack it from the market side – in a way so that the marijuana trafficker does not bring it here because the State will sell it cheaper and with controls. Instead of fighting it from the police side fight it from the marketing side,” explained Uruguay President Jose Mujica
If it is passed the law will allow registered users to buy up to 40 grams a month from a limited number of pharmacies while a government-run institute will be set up to regulate the market, control prices and production levels.
Veronica Alonso is an MP who is opposed to the bill.
“We understand that this project in particular, if one analyses it carefully does not solve the problem of drug trafficking because if one seeks to find a definitive and true solution to the problem of drug trafficking then we should, or shortly we will be talking about the legalisation or regulation of cocaine which really is the most critical market,” she said.
Opposition has also come from psychiatrists who have predicted a rise in mental illness and pharmacists who say selling pot alongside prescription drugs hurts their profession. According to polls the public are also against it only about 30 percent back the bill.