Uruguay Opens Registrations for Marijuana Purchase in Pharmacies

By: Karina Martín - May 2, 2017, 3:09 pm
The registration process takes less than five minutes and can be carried out in any of Uruguay’s 19 provinces (Flickr).


Starting on Tuesday, May 2nd, marijuana buyers will be able to officially register at 65 post offices throughout Uruguay.

People over 18 who have legal or natural Uruguayan citizenship, or foreigners with permanent residence may purchase the herb in quantities of five or ten grams at local pharmacies.

Post office sources explained that for the registration procedure it is necessary to show an ID and a proof of address.

Afterwards, they will verify that the applicants are not registered through any of the other ways provided by law, whether in a home-growing group or membership in a cannabis club.

At the time of registration, officials will take the fingerprints of the user, which will allow access to the substance in the future, without losing anonymity.

The next step will be to fill out a demographic form for statistical purposes.

According to local sources, the process takes no more than five minutes and can be done in any of the country’s 19 provinces.

Once the drug is on sale, each user will have access to up to 40 grams per month, but the exact date in which marijuana sales will begin in shops is not yet known, although it is currently scheduled for July.

The beginning of the registration is simultaneous to the launch of an advertising campaign which warns that marijuana use “limits concentration and memory” and “can cause diseases” and “psychological problems.”

The campaign “regulation is responsible”, seeks to raise awareness about the non-medical use of cannabis, and consists of several advertisements, sound clips, radio announcements, and graphics which also report on the registration of cannabis in pharmacies.

Uruguay has long led the Latin American region with developing liberal social policies.

Sources: Infobae; El Observador; La Tercera

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.

Ecuador Politicians Are Forgetting They Work for the People, Not the Other Way Around

By: Guest Contributor - May 2, 2017, 2:56 pm

By Jorge Chuya EspañolEcuador is undergoing hectic days. After the ruling party's presidential candidate, Lenin Moreno, won the election, the future is uncertain. In this context, one of Ecuador's biggest problems is the clear absence of the rule of law. It has no effective rules that limit the abuse of political power. April 19, a hearing was held by State Comptroller General Carlos Polit against nine members of the National Anti-Corruption Commission. The Comptroller required each of the nine members to pay US $100,000 and go to prison between six months and two years for slandering the Comptroller in a complaint about possible excess land pricing. The defendants are academics with a long history of working at the local level, among them the illustrious Isabel Robalino: the first woman elected to the Senate, the first councilor of Quito and one of the first women to graduate as a lawyer and doctor in Law in Ecuador. The vast majority of public officials have forgotten a small detail: the real rulers of a country are the citizens. All civil servants, from the lowest to the highest level, are there to serve each Ecuadorian. When members of civil society file a petition because they suspect embezzlement and other irregularities, it is absolutely necessary that the accused public official offer the nation clear accountability eliminating any suspicion. If we allow civil servants to judge the suspicions of civil society, what kind of country are we? What confidence can we give the public regarding the fight against corruption and freedom of expression? Read More: GOP Congressmen Meet with Cuban Foreign Minister in Havana Read More: Mexico Deports 49 Cubans with “Irregular” Immigration Status En Route to U.S. The case of the Pacific Refinery, for which the comptroller and other officials have been denounced, is a very controversial project. It began in 2008, and until last year US $1.5 billion was invested for laying the foundation, consulting, environmental studies, project management, salaries and more. After eight years, the actual construction has not yet begun, as investors are still unable to cover the $13 billion needed to finance it. This project has become the elephant in the room for Ecuador's economy, since it has grown without having a secure financing. In addition, the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index highlights the need for rigorous control over the use of public funds. Ecuador is in position number 120, only surpassing Paraguay and Venezuela in South America, possibly due to the corruption scandals that came out in previous months. The report shows that due to corruption, the range of trust is now between 28 and 35 percent, which places it in the group of countries with a high perception of corruption in the world. Auditing within a country is extremely important. When the money of more than 14 million people goes to state spending, and there is no transparent control of it, there is a serious lack of the rule of law. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   The day the sentence was delivered, as expected, the Controller won the trial. However, Polit withdrew the complaint, following a message from the incoming president, Lenin Moreno, in which he urged him to do so. What message do you want to give? That do you handle the judiciary? We already know that. No matter how hard they try to silence other voices, they are more brave citizens seeking a brighter future for the country. This whole political show set up by the comptroller's office is nonsense. It would be shameful to do such a thing! How can he sleep at night? Is it actually better to save face to continue enjoying power than to provide an explanation to your fellow citizens? Now the governed want to be the rulers? Perhaps a simple reminder should be attached to all the light poles: public servants work for their citizens, not the other way around. Jorge lives in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and is a student of Political Science & International Relations. He is currently the Coordinator of the Research Department of the Ecuadorian Institute of Political Economy. Follow him on Twitter: @JorgeChuya

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