Uruguay government aims to legalise marijuana
Published: 21st Jun 2012 06:19:02
Uruguay has unveiled a plan to allow state-controlled sales of marijuana to fight a rise in drug-related crime.
Under the bill, only the government would be allowed to sell marijuana to adults registered on a database.
Defence Minister Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro said this was part of a plan to remove profits from drug dealers and divert users from harder drugs.
He said that the recent increase in murder rates was a clear symptom of a rise in drug trafficking crimes.
"We believe that the prohibition of certain drugs is creating more problems for society than the drugs themselves... with disastrous consequences," Mr Fernandez Huidobro said, presenting the bill.
"Homicides related to settling scores have increased, and that's a clear sign that certain phenomena are appearing in Uruguay that didn't exist before," he said.
The authorities blame the rise in crime in Uruguay on hard drugs, specifically crack cocaine.
The new bill envisages that some shops would be allowed to sell marijuana cigarettes at a price fixed by the authorities.
The government also wants to create a user database to supervise consumption.
BBC regional correspondent Vladimir Hernandez says the move is seen as groundbreaking in South America.
Several Central American leaders - including the presidents of Guatemala and Costa Rica - have spoken of the need to consider decriminalising some drugs in an attempt to undermine cartels.
In Uruguay alone, the illegal marijuana market is estimated to be worth about $75m (£48m) a year.
But the new bill has already proved controversial, and the debate in Congress could take several months, our correspondent says.
At 08:00:54 in EnglandAbout 400 jobs are to be created across Teesside and North Yorkshire thanks to £30m of investment from Quorn Foods.
At 07:59:42 in Northern IrelandAn independent ambulance service has said lives are at risk after £10,000 worth of equipment was stolen from one of its vehicles in Londonderry.
At 07:57:44 in WorldThe South Korean school devastated by the loss of many of its students in a ferry disaster last week has started to hold classes again.
At 07:51:52 in EnglandPart of the M42 in the West Midlands has been closed after a lorry overturned, spilling diesel on to the motorway.
At 07:46:39 in WalesThe One Show's Alex Jones, Olympic athlete Iwan Thomas and tenor and Radio Wales presenter Wynne Evans are among the baton bearers for the Wales leg of the of the Commonwealth Games build up.
At 07:44:08 in SportFootball Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford hopes the Uefa Super Cup will act as a platform in Cardiff's bid to be one of the host cities for Euro 2020.
At 07:38:26 in WorldThree foreigners have been shot dead by a security guard at a hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, officials say.
At 07:33:32 in BusinessSouth Korea's economy grew more than forecast in the first quarter, helped by a jump in construction and exports.
At 07:33:28 in SportTrainer Gary Lockett says talks have begun about a rematch between Enzo Maccarinelli and WBA light-heavyweight champion Jurgen Braehmer.
At 07:29:11 in EnglandPolice are continuing to question a 42-year-old woman suspected of murdering three of her children in south-west London.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Uruguay government aims to legalise marijuana [Online] (Updated 21st Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1435990/Uruguay-government-aims-to-legalise-marijuana [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
The last avalanche forecast of the latest Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) season has been published.
The Labour Party is looking to sever its links with the troubled Co-op Bank, bringing to an end one of the oldest political partnerships in UK.
The South Korean school devastated by the loss of many of its students in a ferry disaster last week has started to hold classes again.
South Korea's economy grew more than forecast in the first quarter, helped by a jump in construction and exports.
Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford hopes the Uefa Super Cup will act as a platform in Cardiff's bid to be one of the host cities for Euro 2020.