Uruguay, about to become the first country in the world where the state will fully regulate production, sale and distribution of marijuana, will spend the next few months selecting a good quality strain of the crop that can be sold at a price similar to current illegal prices.
In Latin America, where marijuana is the most widely consumed illegal drug, there is basically no home-grown research into its effects and properties. But possible legalisation in Uruguay and the Mexican capital could open the door to new studies.
The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday issued surprise guidance directing its attorneys not to sue states that have moved to decriminalise the recreational use of marijuana, so long as those states implement strict regulatory regimes.
Marijuana and the closely related hemp can provide medicinal, food and textile industrial materials that could attract substantial investment and development in Mexico if cannabis were legalised and its cultivation and sale regulated, experts say.
The controversial topic of medical cannabis has been put under a microscope after the internationally known neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta came out in support of its use this week.
If marijuana is legalised in the Mexican capital, as the local government proposes, this country would have to review its adherence to the three international drug control treaties, a trail already blazed by other nations.
Following the release of a major draft report on drug policy in the Americas, the secretary-general of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, called for the beginning of debate aimed at reforming those policies throughout the region.
Since the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington fully legalised marijuana via ballot initiatives in the November 2012 elections, efforts to medicalise, decriminalise, or legalise marijuana at the state level are sprouting up like so many hemp stalks on a sunny day.
The air is heavy with the smell of marijuana as Gibrilla (23) expertly rolls a large joint at the Members of Blood (M.O.B) gang base in a poor neighbourhood of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown.
With his shaky hands, eighty-year-old Moshe Roth can barely pour the green powder into his pipe. Seated in a wheelchair, he murmurs in a trembling voice, “Even the scent’s good.”
The legalisation of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, which will allow the drug to be taxed and regulated, in two U.S. states will prompt debate on anti-drug policies in Mexico as well, and on the coordination of strategies between the two countries, experts say.
In addition to the victories of the Democratic Party in retaining the presidency and the U.S. Senate, and of the Republican Party in retaining the U.S. House, there were major issue-related victories in Tuesday's election whose common threads are personal liberty and human rights.
"Drugs and crime threaten one of our most important goals - to ensure sustainable development around the world," United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated on Jun. 26, during a General Assembly debate on drugs and crime as a threat to development.
Over the last several years, many U.S. states have quietly adopted laws decriminalising the possession of marijuana or legalising medical marijuana.