Uruguay’s First Marijuana Club Seeks Recognition

URUGUAY:  A group has taken steps to become the first officially recognized marijuana-growing club in Uruguay, where lawmakers have made their country the world’s first national marketplace for legal pot.

The Association of Cannabis Studies of Uruguay began the process by registering with the Education and Culture Ministry, Drug Control Chief Julio Calzada said Tuesday.

The club will have 40 members and will be headed by Laura Blanco. She told the Uruguayan newspaper El Pais that members will pay $300 each to join, and a monthly fee of up to $65. Some of the members will use the marijuana to treat medical conditions.

Lawmakers in December approved Uruguay’s experiment with marijuana, giving the government the power to oversee production, sales and consumption of a drug illegal almost everywhere else.


Uruguay Opposition Demands Marijuana Referendum

URUGUAY: A conservative opposition MP in Uruguay has demanded a referendum to repeal a law legalising the sale and consumption of marijuana if it is passed by Senate on Tuesday.

Gerardo Amarilla, of the National Party, said it should be the citizens who decide the way to tackle the drugs market and said many believe legalization is the wrong way to deal with the problem.

The Senate is expected to vote on new legislation that would allow cannabis to be grown and sold under state controls to try to reduce drug crime.

It would be the first time a country had legalised the drug in an experimental law being closely watched by lawmakers around the world.

But Mr Amarilla has written to the director of Uruguay’s National Party to ask for the right to a referendum if the law is passed.