Pot for convicts? A leading Uruguay health official told the United Nations last week that the country is interested in experimenting with medical marijuana to treat prisoners suffering from cocaine addiction.
"Jail is not a very suitable place for someone to safely overcome drug addiction," said public health sub-secretary, Leonel Briozzo, during a U.N. meeting last Thursday. Briozzo said it is crucial for Uruguay to explore "new strategies for drug addiction treatment… And in that sense, we harbor a possible hope that medical marijuana can play a role in this as well."
Ever since the turn of the new millennium, an inexpensive drug known as “Paco,” which is considered the bologna of cocaine derivatives, has been wreaking havoc on the dope fiends of Uruguay. The drug is extremely inexpensive -- approximately 30 cents per hit -- and can be smoked similar to American welfare favorites like crack cocaine. Paco has since created an epidemic in South American countries, including Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, with a high percentage of the people incarcerated in those areas forced to conquer their addictions behind bars.
Although there is not a lot of research outlining the effects of treating hardcore drug addicts with medical marijuana, countries like Colombia have thrown caution to the wind and are currently exploring it as an option. Members of the International Drug Policy Consortium say the marijuana method is not about pot taking the place of harder, more dangerous drugs, but rather to help alleviate some of the anxieties associated with withdrawals.
Other Latin American countries are also considering using marijuana to help addicted prisoners, but as Coletta Youngers with the IDPC points out, "They Uraguay [sic] are in a unique situation. Because of the legal markets they have much greater freedom."
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.