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    Marijuana Legalization: Many Countries are Observing the Uruguayan Experiment

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    In Uruguay, the law that legalizes marijuana has just come into force: President Mujica has defended his plan for legalization by saying that it is better than the Colorado’s policy, because it is much more restrictive and controlled. In particular, Mujica said the Uruguayan law is different in the tracking of consumers: while in Colorado everyone can buy up to 28 grams of cannabis for every purchase (with no limit for who use it for therapeutic purposes) in Uruguay you can buy 10 grams of marijuana per week and only if you are entered in a special register.

    Mujica and Obama met last Monday in the White House and spoke about Uruguay’s progress: Obama said he is “constantly impressed” by the development achieved by the South American country since former president Mujica took office in 2010, and in particular by his commitment to democracy and human rights. He praised the commercial relations between the two countries, saying that the meetings in the Oval Office were “an opportunity to find ways to strengthen this relationship“. As for cannabis legalization, the two Presidents did not talk about it. It is known that President Obama, even if he does not totally condemn the use of marijuana, has always been opposed to the hypothesis of legalization in the USA, pointing out that this option would not solve the problems associated with drugs.

    Meanwhile, the Uruguayan experiment is carefully observed by many eyes: firstly by Argentinean institutions, dealing with the phenomenon of drug trafficking – exponentially grown in recent times – but also from other Latin American countries where the theme of combating the illegal market is heated and divides the political forces.

    In Costa Rica, the collection of signatures to hold a referendum for marijuana legalization started well: in about a week more than 18 thousand people joined the cause of the Medicinal Cannabis Movement. Volunteers began from universities: they went to University of Costa Rica (UCR), and National University (UNA) and soon they will go to the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (TEC).

    On May 10th, in Rio de Janeiro, about 12 thousands people participated in a “Marijuana March” on the seafront of Ipanema to call for the legalization of drugs, especially for medical use. Among the participants there were also lots of mothers with their children: they pleaded in particular for the use of cannabis-based medicines, hoping to treat epileptic seizures suffered by their kids. The scientific research supports the use of marijuana as a good therapy for many diseases: for example multiple sclerosis, arthritis, chronic pain, depression and so on. Besides, a new study has just revealed that cannabis use doesn’t impair brain function: it means that medical cannabis treatments may be safely used also for children diseases.

    By: Jimmy Simond

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