Uruguay leads world in cannabis regulation but US law intrudes

Small pharmacies don’t usually attract crowds but most weeks in Uruguay thousands of people queue outside the country’s dozen drugstores licensed to sell cannabis
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Uruguay was the first country in the world to fully regulate the cannabis market and so break free from a global prohibitionist regime that has prevailed for decades and is now under strain. The nation of 3.4 million people justified its decision on public health and human rights grounds, arguing that it was in its citizens’ best interests for the state to step in and regulate an industry run dominated by drug dealers. Whereas legalization in several U.S. states almost always had strong popular support, Uruguay’s decision hinged on regulating, rather than promoting, access to cannabis. Uruguay’s regulatory regime has the potential to yield valuable data researchers could use to compare against other models and gain a clearer picture of which policies best suit different countries.