Uruguay’s pot smoking populous was given the opportunity earlier this week to put their names on the list of residents who intend to grow weed at home.
On Wednesday, citizens wishing to take advantage of the country’s newly reformed marijuana laws, which, as of May, allow adult residents 18 and older to cultivate a personal cannabis crop as long as they register their intent to do so with the government. Under the new law, registered citizens are now permitted to grow a maximum of six female plants and harvest up to 480 grams a year.
However, a recent report from The Associated Press indicates that even though Uruguay has officially legalized marijuana, residents are still feeling a bit skittish about adding their names to a list monitored by the government. “There are some people who might feel persecuted,” said Juan Vaz, a local cannabis advocate. “For many years, they grew plants in secret and it’s hard to break from that way of thinking.”
Perhaps it is because Uruguay is the first country in the world to establish a nationwide recreational marijuana market, but home growers are not the only people apprehensive about admitting their cannabis affiliation. The law, which was passed by Parliament in December of last year, gives social stoners the legal right to establish private cannabis clubs; however, not a single organization has been formed so far.
In a recent interview with the AFP, Uruguay President Jose Mujica said legal marijuana sales in pharmacies was being postponed until 2015, due to unforeseen obstacles as the result of legalizing the herb. “If we want to do this sloppily, it is not hard to do that. That’s what the United States is doing,” Mujica told reporters.
Unfortunately, there are concerns that the entire legal marijuana market may get snuffed out before it ever has a chance to get started. Candidates in a bid to take over government offices in the upcoming October election have expressed disdain for the country’s newly reformed pot laws, and have vowed to repeal part, if not all, of the legislation if they are elected.
Leading presidential candidate, Luis Lacalle Pou recently stated that, if elected, he would continue to allow residents to grow marijuana, but plans to terminate the part of the law that allows pot sales in pharmacies.