Marijuana Legalization in Uruguay???

Movida Cannabica Florida Uruguay display at the Legislative Palace (facebook.com/movida.floridauruguay)
The Uruguayan government's proposal to legalize marijuana was "fiercely debated" in the House today, according to The Washington Post about an hour ago. President Mujica's party, The Broad Front (Frente Amplio en español) has a wider majority in the Senate, so the House is seen as legalization opponents' best chance to stop it. Stay tuned.

Tony Newman sent out a press release for Drug Policy Alliance this week.

See some of our prior Uruguay stories here and here. Also, former Uruguayan Senator Margarita Percovich speaking at our 2003 conference, here. (Ms. Percovich was in parliament at the time, and became a senator later. I believe she is doing human rights work now.)

This will be huge and historic news if it happens -- the first time a country has legalized marijuana outright, anywhere in the world -- a direct break with the international drug control treaties.

Location: 
Montevideo
Uruguay
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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As for the initial points

As for the initial points which you quote and cite about the harmful effects, this raises two main questions. The first one you address directly: how does criminalising the substance actually affect usage rates?

The second is more an argument of principle. Even if we could indisputably determine that criminalisation did drastically decrease usage, is it the government's role to protect people from themselves, so to speak? Is self destruction a democratic right?

Yep this happens here in the

Yep this happens here in the Bay area more then it should. They will break into dispensaries take all of the cash on hand and in some cases they will take the wallets of employees and patients. They more often than not do not charge anyone with a crime. In fact, there was a recent raid in SF where the warrant was for "marijuana proceeds". They don't arrest anyone they just break in and smash the place up, scare the shit out of anyone that is there waving guns around and such, and steal all if the money on site. It is licensed/sponsored theft.

People obviously won't take

People obviously won't take care of themselves, and I'm not saying we need to be a nanny state, but we outlaw certain activities for a reason. I don't see how these destructive habits should be exempt for some reason.

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