by Michael Komorn under Komorn Law Blog,Legalization
Uruguay, which recently passed legislation to legalize marijuana, has set the price at $2.50 per gram to undermine the black market. The senate is expected to pass the bill which sets this price to be later signed into law by legalization proponent, President Jose Mujica.
Though the countries of Portugal and the Netherlands have drastically reduced the penalties for marijuana use, Uruguay is unique because the government will have complete control over the entire marijuana industry. Individual citizens, cooperatives, and private companies can grow a specified amount of weed each month, though it may only be sold to consumers by state-run pharmacies. Purchasers will have to register with the state and will be limited to 40 grams per month.
It is feared that these regulations will not persuade cannabis consumers to leave the black market, which is where the $2.50 price comes into play. The price is on par with current costs on the black market, which will deter any resale of the product into the black market. furthermore, the marijuana that is cultivated by licensed individuals will have to meet certain standards, and will be of a much purer form than the marijuana being sold and consumed through the black market. As Uruguay moves ever closer to implementing full blown legalization of the plant for adult use, the world eagerly looks in to see whether it will be more effective than the US led War on Drugs.