Uruguay Legalizes Recreational Marijuana
That’s right. On Tuesday, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize and regulate marijuana. By mid-2014, citizens (but not tourists) will be able to buy a maximum of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) from the government each month at $1 a gram and grow up to six plants in their homes each year. Marijuana smoking clubs can grow up to 99 a year. By keeping the price fixed at a low level, the government hopes to push traffickers out of the market and reduce drug-related violence. Take that, cartels!
The weirdest part is that a majority of Uruguayans are against legalization. But public opinion seems to be coming around. According to the most recent poll conducted by Equipos Consultores, 58% of Uruguayans oppose legalization, down from 68% in June.
Though Uruguay has violated United Nations drug policies, which prohibit the production and supply of all drugs not used for medical or scientific purposes, advocates of drug policy reform welcome the government’s progressive approach to tackling the drug war. Drug policy expert Sanho Tree put it best: “For the first time, a country has said we’ll take the profits out of the drug trade and give criminals no reason to traffic the stuff—it’s a counterintuitive solution to the problem.”
No human being held by United States authorities should ever be exposed to hunger, extreme temperatures, physical or verbal abuse, or denial of medical care.
Sen. Barbara Boxer said in a press release announcing a new bill to ensure humane detention conditions at Customs and Border Protection facilities.
In November, we reported that immigrants apprehended near the border sometimes are held in what they, as well as some Border Patrol agents, call las hieleras, or “the freezers.”
Now, Sen. Boxer is proposing a new bill that would implement standards for Customs and Border Protection facilities, such as adequate climate control, potable water, access to toilets, access to medical care and special treatment for pregnant women.
“The law has become tyranny. The revolution therefore is the only order.”—Abbie Hoffman
On February 18, 1970 five members of the Chicago 7 were sentenced to five years in prison (the guilty verdict was reversed in 1972) for crossing state lines with the intent to incite riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Rubin penned this dispatch for the Berkeley Tribe ten hours before he was set to begin his sentence. Artwork by Greg Irons.