A Marijuana Measure Worth Watching

This morning, Uruguayan officials will open 18 envelopes. Each will contain a proposal to grow two tonnes of marijuana on up to five hectares of land for sale to the Uruguayan government.

Within a few days, up to five of the 18 bidders (one of whom is a Canadian) will be selected, and another part of Uruguay’s experiment with legalizing and regulating marijuana will fall into place.

By regulating purchase and sale, Uruguay hopes to control the quality of marijuana, its use and distribution, and ultimately drive down consumption. The bidders knew in advance what profit level would be allowed, what kind of seed would be required, how the crop would be grown and how much the government felt it required.

The rest of Latin America, where the drug trade in all its manifestations is a scourge, is watching – as are people in far-off places such as Canada, where political parties have dived into the issue with loose talk and little reflection.

The Liberal Party has recommended legalizing marijuana. It did so in a particularly, and perhaps tellingly, slap-dash manner: a speech by Leader Justin Trudeau and a resolution at a convention. Neither showed that the leader or the party had thought seriously about the issue. No major policy paper was unveiled to illustrate that the leader and the party had thought deeply about the issue.

– Read the entire article at The Globe and Mail.