The success of reformed marijuana laws in the US and Uruguay is beginning to have a strong impact on fellow countries all across the globe.
Many nations have seen the possible errors of their ways and begun to entertain the notion of loosening up the restrictions on what has always been a highly controversial issue.
According to The Washington Post, minor adjustments such as decriminalization have already been kicked around in countries like Argentina and Morocco, whereas other countries that have decriminalized fairly recently have also been noticed for their reformed ways such as Mexico and Jamaica.
The Washington Post also informed of increasing momentum building towards a large United Nations convention on drugs scheduled to take place sometime in 2016.
Since Uruguay has taken the vaunted big step in becoming the first country to fully legalize marijuana trade, the effects have been profound. Not everything has been smooth sailing, but the positive impact on the economy and the overall drug trade industry has been positive.
For years, Uruguay has been a nation in a bit of turmoil, which is part of the reason why their legalization has turned so many heads around the world. Issues such as high crime rates and a questionable public school system are still substantial in the country. Making such a bold statement with legalization could have easily elicited a massive worldwide outrage, but it has done the exact opposite.
The impact has been so immediate that Uruguay’s neighbor Argentina, a country that is notoriously against drugs has started to change its thought process considerably.
Juan Carlos Molina, head of the government’s counternarcotics agency has been an advocate of anti-marijuana laws.
“Argentina deserves a good debate about this,” Molina told Sedronar, a local radio station. “We have the capacity to do it. We should not underestimate ourselves.”
The biggest taking point from Uruguay’s decision on other nations is that the legalization has not resulted in total chaos. It has gone smoothly, causing nations to reevaluate the stance that crime and the marijuana trade are so closely related.
“In the same way that Colorado and Washington had a catalytic impact on opinion across the US, this bold move by Uruguay is helping to shape the debate in Latin America,” Molina added.
The state of Colorado is projected to bring in over $578 million a year in wholesale and retail marijuana sales, per the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly. Colorado also projects an additional $67 million in tax revenue.
Keep in mind that is money all being brought in from only 37 dispensaries around the state. The new laws will undoubtedly bring upon much more growth in that department.
The world has definitely taken note on the noble efforts of Uruguay, Washington and Colorado. The changes have inspired a decidedly positive effort to update many outdated stances on marijuana use. Even US President Barack Obama has recently spoken out with The New Yorker about his open-minded stance on the use of the drug, stating he agrees it is less dangerous to consumers than alcohol.
By Justin Hussong
The Washington Post