Inhaling deeply from a large joint of unadulterated cannabis, Marcelo Vasquez grins at the imminent prospect of his outlawed passion becoming Uruguay’s newest state-sanctioned industry.
This week, the country’s senate is expected to pass the world’s most far-reaching drug legalisation, which should transform Vasquez from a petty criminal into a registered user, grower and ultimately, he hopes, a respected contributor to society.
That would be quite a change. After a police raid earlier this year, Vasquez – whose home doubles as a marijuana nursery – was jailed and 70 of his plants were confiscated. But the court case that followed now looks likely to go down as one of the last cannabis trials in his country’s history.
The marijuana regulation bill, which has been passed by the lower house of the Uruguayan parliament, will allow registered users to buy up to 40g a month from a chemist’s, registered growers to keep up to six plants, and cannabis clubs to have up to 45 members and cultivate as many as 99 plants.
Vasquez, who smokes four joints a day, is delighted. “It’s a great step forward that couldn’t happen anywhere but here,” he says. “There’s a lot more to marijuana than smoking and getting high.”
– Read the entire article at The Guardian.