On December 10, 2013 Uruguay decided to become the first nation to fully legalize marijuana -- medicinal, recreational, and all. Now a month later, Al Jazeera is taking a look at how Uruguay is managing the logistics of growing, pricing, and managing their legal weed.
The president of Uruguay, José Mujica, signed law 19.172 on the regulation of marijuana on December 23, but it won't go into effect until April, which will allow the government to create specific regulations around the new laws. Though consumption of marijuana has not been penalized in Uruguay for quite some time, it has remained illegal to grow and distribute the drug until now.
What the government will be trying to regulate is what strains will be grown and sold at pharmacies, who will be growing it, and how much it will cost consumers. The lawmakers are being careful to match prices with the the existing black market for weed (~$1.50/gram) to ensure that residents will be smoking their regulated yield.
The Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis will strive to "put the availability of marijuana for users in the hands of, or under the control of, the state," said Senator Roberto Conde of the Broad Front. "A free market of marijuana or other drugs is not being created here. People will have access to marijuana by planting it themselves, in cannabis clubs, or from pharmacies, by presenting their ID card."
If you sign up with the federal registry, you'll be allowed either 40 grams per month or up to 40 joints. Individual growers will be allowed six plants or up to 480 grams a year.
All in all, it sounds like Uruguay is shaping up to be a great home for marijuana. Be sure to save some for us guys!