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Uruguay Secretary Provides Update On Nation’s Cannabis Policy Approach

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Uruguay will always hold the distinct title of being the first nation on the planet to pass a national adult-use cannabis legalization measure. Since Uruguay passed its measure in 2013, three other nations have also passed measures, with Malta and Luxembourg having more restrictive models and Canada having a less restrictive model.

Canada’s legalization model allows all adults, regardless of residency status, to make legal purchases from regulated outlets, whereas Uruguay limits legal sales to adult residents only. Still, Uruguay’s cannabis policy modernization effort has yielded tremendous insight.

Daniel Radio, Secretary General of Uruguay’s National Drug Authority, recently spoke about his nation’s pursuits at an academic forum organized by the Drug Authority titled “IV Academic Forum: The regulation of cannabis in Uruguay and the region: progress and challenges”.

Kraut Invest translated the Secretary’s speech from Spanish to English, a transcript of which can be found on their website. Secretary Radio describes cannabis use as “innate to humanity” and suggests that prohibition policies are to blame for issues of the past, not the substance itself.

“And under the pretext of some damage to the health of some users, our societies have shifted the problem and tried to solve it through criminal law. And as a result, they have given the bulk of the resources that might be useful to research and address some of these unfortunate circumstances of problematic use to the institutions responsible for maintaining public safety in a useless, impossible fight to lead that is demoralizing for those who lead it.” Secretary Radio stated.

“The Uruguayan experience had a peculiarity. Unlike other states where the regulation of cannabis was discussed in the context of its medical use, in Uruguay, throughout the period before the adoption of the regulatory law, the focus of the discussion was always on the regulation of adult (or recreational) use.” he also stated. Secretary Radio’s speech can be found in the embedded video below: