Affordable Cannabis


In my ongoing series about the legalisation of cannabis we can look at Uruguay for the model for legalisation. Their model is not dissimilar to that which our MPs put in place for synthetic cannabis.

Uruguay is set to become the first country in the world where the sale of cannabis will not only become legal and government-controlled, but at around $1 a gram probably also the one with the most affordable marijuana anywhere.

A senate vote to legalise the drug that is expected in mid-November as part of an effort in the South American country to explore alternatives in the war on drugs.

The head of Uruguay’s National Drugs Board, Julio Calzada, said the government would set the price of cannabis low in the hope of pushing drug traffickers out of the market.

“The illegal market is very risky and of poor quality,” he said. “The price of marijuana from Paraguay that gets sold on the streets here is about $1 a gram, so we’re going to set the price of government-controlled cannabis at around that same price. We want to snatch the market away from the drug traffickers.”  

It will take a few months after that to organise a system through which cannabis will be sold freely at pharmacies.

“The system will be in place around mid-2014,” Calzada told the Uruguayan newspaper El País. “So there’ll be time to harvest and start selling.”

Smoking cannabis has long been legal in Uruguay, but growing, carrying, buying or selling it has been punishable by prison terms. About 120,000 of the country’s 3.4 million population consume cannabis at least once a year, according to the National Drug Council. Of these, 75,000 smoke it every week and 20,000 every day.

“In reality, cannabis only costs about half a dollar a gram to produce in Uruguay,” said Juan Vaz,46, a computer programmer and veteran legalisation campaigner from the capital city, Montevideo. “So when the government says that by next year we could be buying it at $1 a gram, that sounds very reasonable.”

The proposed price it is considerably lower than that of legal cannabis in the US states of Washington and Colorado where the drug has already been legalised. In those American states marijuana sells for between $8 and $17 a gram.

A dollar a gram makes an ounce about $28-30…now that is affordable weed!

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.