Uruguay authorities have announced plans to create a state monopoly to grow and sell marijuana, in order to reduce drug related crime and to remove the dangers of adulterated drugs, the Christian Science Monitor reported this week.
Announcing that the new scheme has been developed in response to the “the failure of the global ‘war on drugs,’ authorities said locals will be allowed to purchase up to 40 grams a month ‘of a safe product’.
“We’re putting this forward as international policy,” drug policy expert Sebastian Sabini, president of the parliamentary commission told reporters. “The war on drugs has failed. There are more consumers and more violence.” (http://bit.ly/PERtN4)
Julio Calzada, secretary general of Uruguay’s National Committee on Drugs, said foreigners will not be allowed to buy marijuana, however, emulating the latest ‘weed pass’ strategy recently introduced in parts of Holland to discourage ‘drug tourists’.
Discussing the new Dutch ban this week, which is scheduled to be introduced in Amsterdam at the beginning of 2013, Alternet reporter Elisabeth Garber-Paul said the trial run has been problematic. Noting that up to 90% of Amsterdam’s 200 coffee shop customers are high spending visitors, she said ‘local residents (in Maastrict) are also reluctant to put their name on any official list of marijuana users’. And while cannabis sales have switched to street dealers, overall spending is contracting.
“Staff at the coffee shops are getting fired,” Woody Van Der Heijden, a manager at high end Amsterdam café Barney’s told Alternet. “Everything is suffering—snack bars, even the city council is losing money on parking meters.” (Alternet: http://bit.ly/RDMAIf)
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