Lawmakers Open the Way to Legalize Cannabis in Uruguay

Wednesday 31 July : Uruguay’s lower house approved a bill to legalize cannabis, opening the way for an ambitous nationwide endeavor in overhauling drug policy. Following hours of debate, legislators have approved the bill supported by President José Mujica. Mr. Mujica argues that it is needed to redirect police resources towards fighting street crime and drug traffickers involved in smuggling other types of drugs.

Under the bill, which would become law as early as this month, people would be allowed to grow cannabis in their homes, limited to six plants per household. People would also be permitted to form cooperatives allowed to cultivate up to 99 plants and private companies could grow cannabis, though their harvests could be bought by the government only, which would market the drug through licensed pharmacies. In addition, in a move to prevent foreign tourists from rushing to Uruguay to buy cannabis, the legislation would restrict purchase to Uruguayans, with a 40-gram per person/per month limitation.

(Source: The New York Times)

Excerpt from the Dianova Network Manifesto

In principle, Dianova is opposed to the legalization of illicit drugs. Among other factors, this position is based on the following reasoning. The problems caused by drug abuse do not depend on the drug’s legal or ilegal  status, but on the variety of factors that cause people to engage in addictive behaviors in the first place.

Therefore, it is likely that if traditional control methods were to be suppressed, the sudden availability of these drugs would lead to a significant increase in consumption and the inevitable associated problems. Despite this position, Dianova recognizes that repressive policies alone have not been sufficient as a solution, and it is open to focusing future studies on complementary solutions.

For Dianova, the main aim of prevention is to promote a healthy life and to foster a modification of perceptions and attitudes with respect to drugs and addictive behaviors. Dianova takes the position that, in both preventive models and in treatment, the objective of abstinence should not be exclusive to the other objective of reducing the most negative consequences of drug abuse.

Dianova supports the use of prevention strategies, the efficacy of which has been demonstrated by scientific evidence; however, it takes the position that the sole use of information-based strategies is not sufficient to modify attitudes with respect to addiction, or to prevent addictive behaviors.