While most people have been focusing on Canada and various U.S. states legalizing marijuana, recreational cannabis has been legal in Uruguay since last July. And the early reports show things are going well.
A new report from Uruguay says that drug-related crime has decreased by 20 percent since the country legalized marijuana. Many experts in the country say that legalization has taken the country out of the War on Drugs, and makes a safer environment for all. Many hope other countries plagued by drug cartels, such as Mexico or Colombia, will follow suit.
Citizens of Uruguay are allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at their home as well as purchase cannabis from pharmacies or clubs. While things are going smoothly, some are hoping the government relaxes some of the regulations. For instance, cannabis users are required to register with the government, which they say is both an invasion of privacy as well as hypocritical since the same is not asked for people who drink alcohol. Also, while citizens of Uruguay are allowed to buy and use marijuana, it's still illegal for foreigners to do so. In fact, one of the few areas where law enforcement has had to ramp up is by arresting locals who sell to tourists.
With marijuana legalization less than a year old in Uruguay, we're sure there will be further studies and reports showing how cannabis legalization is helping the country. And perhaps they will become a shining example for the rest of the world.