Latin America

Legal marijuana in Uruguay: example or cautionary tale?

Legal marijuana cannabis Uruguay: example or cautionary tale?
Photo: Greta Schölderle Møller/Unsplash

Uruguay blazed a trail worldwide in the legalization of marijuana. Under the left-wing administration of former President José Mujica, the tiny South American nation of 3.5 million people allowed the recreational use of cannabis in 2013. Four years later, it went on to be the first nation where the sale of the drug is also legal.

The system, however, is tightly regulated — with consumers having to register with the authorities and being limited to purchasing 10 grams a week (enough for roughly 20 joints). Regulators also control the permitted levels of THC — the main psychoactive component of...

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