Fresh off two wins in three states at the ballot box, proponents of marijuana legalization clearly feel confident about the progress of their agenda. Earlier this month, the Drug Policy Alliance issued a news release stating that Uruguay soon could become the first country to regulate marijuana as a legal product, with lawmakers there having introduced a bill in their Congress.
And legalization activists in the U.S. and internationally have not been passively monitoring the proceedings in Uruguay. The original bill was recently changed with significant input from outside the country, as a prior call for the government to be the sole provider of the regulated drug has now been altered to allow home cultivation and membership clubs.
Possession amounts would be restricted to about 1.5 ounces under the proposal, according to the Drug Policy Alliance. The bill would establish a “National Institute of Cannabis” in Uruguay that would license producers and maintain a registry.
Colorado voters learned during this year’s debate on the Amendment 64 marijuana legalization proposal that outside influence (read: dollars) can carry a great deal of weight. Much of the support for the Colorado measure came from legalization advocates based in California. Given that this policy debate transcends any one government’s borders, it is good to see that treatment center administrators in Colorado also were able to mobilize at home on the Amendment 64 issue. This qualifies as a subject that should have the treatment community in general looking beyond its local area to make its voice heard.