Uruguay Is Likely to Legalize Cannabis and Set the Tone for Latin American Drug Policy
This week, Uruguay’s senate is expected to pass the world’s most far-reaching drug legalization. The marijuana regulation bill, which has been passed by the lower house of the Uruguayan parliament, will allow registered users to buy up to 40 grams a month from a chemist, registered growers to keep up to six plants, and cannabis clubs to have up to 45 members and cultivate as many as 99 plants.
The government is designing a new set of legal, commercial, and bureaucratic tools to supplant a violent illegal market in narcotics, improve public health, protect individual rights, raise tax revenues, and research the medical potential of the world’s most widely used contraband drug.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that there are 162 million cannabis users — 4% of the world’s adult population. An estimated 10% of adult Uruguayans — 115,000 people — smoke cannabis. Existing law permits consumption of “reasonable” amounts of marijuana, but forbids sales.
Uruguay is trying to bring the cannabis market under state control by undercutting and outlawing traffickers. If the bill is passed, the government will arrange for a high-quality, legal product to be sold in a safe environment at competitive prices. “If one gram costs $1 in the black market, then we’ll sell the legal product for $1. If they drop the price to 75 cents, then we’ll put it at that level,” says Julio Calzada, a presidential adviser and the head of the National Committee on Drugs.
The market in Uruguay is estimated to be worth $30 million a year, according to Martin Fernández, a lawyer with the Association of Cannabis Studies. The pharmaceutical industry will have more freedom to develop and test marijuana painkillers and other treatments than any other country. The hemp, biotech, and marijuana farming industries are other examples of marijuana-related business opportunities that Uruguay can anticipate to yield big money if marijuana is legalized, as is expected.
President José Mujica, a reluctant advocate of marijuana regulation, says that legalization in Uruguay is “not about being free and open,” but is rather “a logical step” in taking users away from the black market. “We don’t defend marijuana or any other addiction. But worse than any drug is trafficking.”
Thanks to The Guardian
12:00, Friday. The sun was shining, a crisp breeze rustled the feathers of the late summer leaves. On a jaunt through the woods, equipped with two joints of Penelope Cruz, we patrolled the dirt footpath.
Throwing sticks as spears and clubs alike,slinging karate kicks, and overall disturbing the general serenity of the Midwestern brushwoods. Upon departing however, a gaggle of classmates with teacher/guide, obstructed the path, leaving us no other route to take but through. Clearly influenced by the voice of Mary and with her breath still lingering, we strode through the mass, into the sanctuary of solitude, chuckling like schoolchildren repressing laughter in class.
DRUGS by Bryan Lewis Saunders.
Each self portrait is drawn under the influence of different drugs taken daily. Within weeks of this experiment he became lethargic and suffered mild brain damage. He continues to work on this series but with much more time between doses.
One of my favorite things
that all life is not outward
nor all death within,
and that the age writes letters
with water and stone for no one,
so that no one knows,
so that no one understands anything.”
René Magritte (21 November 1898 – 15 August 1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images that fell under the umbrella of surrealism. His work challenges observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality.
Kiss of the Cretaceous Spider
Wow. Talk about unlucky. A hundred million years ago, this prehistoric spider had just grabbed lunch, literally. A wasp had been captured and was about to become spider chow. Just then, they were both engulfed in a drop of tree resin, and preserved in amber.
Although the Jurassic Park-style DNA-from-amber tricks aren’t actually realistic (sadly), it doesn’t diminish the coolness of capturing a prehistoric moment in a fossil freeze-frame.
(via Discover Magazine)