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Opiates (sorta) for the masses

22 June 2012

The Uruguayan government is considering going into the marijuana business.  Next door neighbor Paraguay is the world’s largest marijuana producing nation and smoking marijuana is not illegal in Uruguay, but marketing and importing it is.  Uruguayans having rather… um… high levels of consumption (an estimated 8.5 percent of Uruguayans smoke weed) a bill to create a government-run marijuana sales and distribution system is being packaged by President Jose Mujica’s administration as a crime-fighting measure.

The goal was for “strict state control over the distribution and production” of cannabis, said Defence Minister Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro.

The government will also urge that marijuana sales be legalised worldwide, [Fernandez] Huidobro said, adding the measure could discourage the use of so-called hard drugs.

(Al Jazeera)

Using NationMaster figures (probably inaccurate, but relatively so), in the United States… one of the top marijuana-using countries… about 12.3 percent of the populace uses marijuana (other statistics say anywhere between 45 and 60 percent of USAnians have used marijuana at one time or another).  For Mexico … a producer country… the usage rate is only about 1.15 percent.

Legalizing marijuana in Mexico wouldn’t have much effect one way or the other on crime in Mexico.  I’m dubious that our largest customer would consider legalization except in some overly complicated half-assed way (sort of like the way they handled a simple thing like a national health plan) and the U.S. is allergic to the idea of state control of any industry, so I’d expect all that would happen here would be that we traded one set of gangsters — like the Sinaloan hillbillies — who bring some of their money back to Mexico, but put the the bulk of it into U.S. banks for a bunch of more refined gangsters — Montsanto, or Archer-Daniels-Midland,  that would not only sock ALL their profits in the U.S. (or, perhaps the Caymans) but controlling the production as well.

Tell me again when Mexicans should be expected to kill each other for U.S. consumers?

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