Uruguay Legalizes Pot Trade, But Who "Uses" The Most?

Tyler Durden's picture


"The attitudes toward cannabis are shifting rapidly," says a former DEA-agent-turned-pot-growing-company-lawyer, adding that "the potential social and financial returns are enormous." As ironic as that maybe, perhaps it is why Uruguay has just become the first nation in the world to allow its citizens to grow, buy and smoke marijuana. As Reuters reports, the pioneering government-sponsored bill establishes state regulation of the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana and is aimed at wresting the business from criminals. "Our country can't wait for international consensus on this issue," said one politician as demand is rising globally as the following chart shows...


DEA Agent becomes Pot-growing-firm lawyer... (via The Atlantic):

Patrick Moen is a 36-year-old former supervisor at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, where, until recently, he led a team based in Portland that fought methamphetamine and heroin traffickers. 


Now, he is embarking on a career change. A rather dramatic one.  The Wall Street Journal reports today in a delightful article that Moen has become the in-house lawyer at Privateer Holdings Inc., "a private-equity firm that invests solely in businesses tied to the budding legal marijuana industry."


In other words, the revolving door between business and government just made an unexpected, and very druggy, turn.




"The potential social and financial returns are enormous," Moen told the Journal said of his new business. "The attitudes toward cannabis are shifting rapidly."


Indeed they are.

As Uruguay appears to show (via Reuters):

Uruguay's Senate is expected to pass a law on Tuesday making the small South American nation the world's first to allow its citizens to grow, buy and smoke marijuana.


The pioneering government-sponsored bill establishes state regulation of the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana and is aimed at wresting the business from criminals.


Cannabis consumers would be allowed to buy a maximum of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) each month from state-regulated pharmacies as long as they are over the age of 18 and registered on a government database that will monitor their monthly purchases.


Uruguayans would also be allowed to grow up to six plants of marijuana in their homes a year, or as much as 480 grams (about 17 ounces). They could also set up smoking clubs of 15 to 45 members that could grow up to 99 plants per year.


The bill, which opinion polls show is unpopular, passed the lower chamber of Congress in July and is expected to easily pass the Senate on the strength of the ruling coalition's majority.




"Our country can't wait for international consensus on this issue," Senator Roberto Conde of the governing Broad Front left-wing coalition


Rich countries debating legalization of pot are also watching the bill, which philanthropist George Soros has supported as an "experiment" that could provide an alternative to the failed U.S.-led policies of the long "war on drugs."




"This development in Uruguay is of historic significance," said Ethan Nadelmann, founder of the Drug Policy Alliance, a leading sponsor of drug policy reform partially funded by Soros through his Open Society Foundation.


"Uruguay is presenting an innovative model for cannabis that will better protect public health and public safety than does the prohibitionist approach," Nadelmann said.

But who is "using" the most...



So USA is #1 in something!!

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Tue, 12/10/2013 - 23:12 | 4234837 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Even while high, I can't understand Obamacare, COngress, or any of it. No wonder we're #1. (Doing my part to help right now)


Tue, 12/10/2013 - 23:18 | 4234863 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture


Tue, 12/10/2013 - 23:49 | 4234948 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Dave's not here man....

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 00:16 | 4235024 Pooper Popper
Pooper Popper's picture

oh wait man,,,dont take those...

 What do you mean I already took them...

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 00:41 | 4235059 BellyBrain
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8 percent??  More like greater than 48 percent.  Seriously.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 01:09 | 4235107 Thomas
Thomas's picture

My wife is in Uruguay right now. I can assure you she is draining the stash.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 09:08 | 4235561 Doña K
Doña K's picture

That explains the high percentage of sheeple in the  US

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 13:53 | 4236662 Keyser
Keyser's picture

What? And waste all those $$$ and years spent on the war on drugs? Heresy I tell you!!! 


Wed, 12/11/2013 - 01:10 | 4235108 Thomas
Thomas's picture

My wife is in Uruguay right now. I can assure you she is draining the stash.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 02:10 | 4235197 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture


Wed, 12/11/2013 - 03:59 | 4235283 James-Morrison
James-Morrison's picture

Yea, right.

Legalize Pot, but criminalize avoiding sick-care -- with Obamacare mandate.

Are we there yet?

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 07:13 | 4235399 putaipan
putaipan's picture

medical marijauna, and yet no hemp water bottles or autobodies.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 13:52 | 4236658 The_Dude
The_Dude's picture

Yo...isn't that deja...um...you know man....that thing

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 01:44 | 4235155 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

Jamaica should be lite up on that world map like a red clown nose.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 04:51 | 4235313 zhandax
zhandax's picture

No shit; major call-out.  Maybe they were using some phony BLS 'import' numbers.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 00:24 | 4235036 BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

Im baked right now.

I help out that >8% number up here in the great white north, ok, the Toronto 'area'... I love Tim Horton's coffee and timbits.


The Mayor smokes cra/ck.


But all kidding aside, the plant has so many numerous benefits and is beautiful...earth, soil, sun...but i may be biased imo as well:)


Wed, 12/11/2013 - 00:30 | 4235040 BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

How does that Denmark owned island smoke more weed then the Mexicans?


No wonder they call it Greenland...they're all BAKED.


And Spain can add an *asterisks that 50% consumption is due to the island of Ibiza:)

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 06:28 | 4235371 Ar-Pharazôn
Ar-Pharazôn's picture

in Spain they're using the method of small community growing weed and then giving to people in the community.


working very well. and so i have to say that 50% from ibiza is totally wrong

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 09:12 | 4235573 Doña K
Doña K's picture

The  two people who live in Greenland both smoke

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 00:35 | 4235053 Jayda1850
Jayda1850's picture

I use a vaporizer. Nothing better than the first two hits, can really taste the herb. Truly amazing plant.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 05:00 | 4235319 zhandax
zhandax's picture

Didn't know they had that shit ready for a cartomizer.  I had wondered.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 05:44 | 4235343 Jayda1850
Jayda1850's picture

I was actually speaking of a stand alone vaporizer, like a volcano. However, you can easily make glycerine or acetate tinctures that can be used in a variety of E-cigs. They say weed kills your motivation, but us potheads are definitely motivated to come up with newer and better ways to get medicated.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 10:06 | 4235750 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

you can easily make glycerine or acetate tinctures that can be used in a variety of E-cigs. 

California clubs will sell you the whole rig -- nothing to make.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 13:38 | 4236602 SkottFree
SkottFree's picture

No man that's Draino!

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 03:31 | 4235262 Platinum
Platinum's picture

I'm searching for a strain that will work. Just when I think I've succeeded, they up their BS level. I then jump to the next strain in hopes that it will be my ticket home.


I call it - Quantum Weed.


Tue, 12/10/2013 - 23:13 | 4234846 tmosley
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Drugs should be legalized.  If people want to be addicted, they will become addicted whether or not you utterly destroy you lives upon finding out.  Better that they be able to freely seek treatment, avoid bad drugs that harm or destroy them, and not have to steal and murder to get enough money to afford their habit.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 00:01 | 4234994 tvdog
tvdog's picture

All drugs should be legalized, including really dangerous ones like cancer and heart medicines. There is no reason anyone should need a "prescription" from someone else to take a drug.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 00:37 | 4235050 Kirk2NCC1701
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But if you did that, then an army of people would be out of work or have their jobs and lifestyles cut back.

E.g., Local, State and Federal LEAs, the DOJ, lawyers, doctors, nurses, hospitals, jails, jail guards, bondsmen, social workers, gun shops and gun runners...

I doubt that these Special Interest people will stand for that, and will lobby & vote accordingly.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 00:49 | 4235074 BellyBrain
BellyBrain's picture

All those boot-licking authority lovers need to smoke a joint and chill the hell out.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 05:08 | 4235324 zhandax
zhandax's picture

If you shut down all the unconstitutional bureaucrats in the executive branch, there would be an even larger army of people out of work or have their jobs and lifestyles cut back.  Make an argument why that is not a good thing.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 01:18 | 4235118 tvdog
tvdog's picture

If drugs were legalized, then what would the police use their shiny new armored vehicles for?

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 01:59 | 4235177 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

Dog killing, duh.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 05:12 | 4235330 zhandax
zhandax's picture

And stopping those reprehensible duck hunters.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 10:52 | 4235908 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

If drugs were legalized, then what would the police use their shiny new armored vehicles for?

Heading the convoy.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 02:59 | 4235247 Mobius Poop
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"Most of the problems we see around us can ultimately be traced to the state."

 - Murray N. Rothbard

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 07:58 | 4235454 sleigher
sleigher's picture

"Drugs will never be legalized, there is too much money in it."  --Hillary Clinton 

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 13:57 | 4236680 The_Dude
The_Dude's picture

As long as I don't have to support them in any way (medical, SNAP, housing, etc...etc) then go for it.....let them wreck their lives...

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 13:59 | 4236690 Keyser
Keyser's picture

You ever heard of alcohol and tobacco? It's not about whether the general public should have access to drugs, it's always been about controlling the market and reaping the profits or taxes from the sale, which they have not been able to do, due to the decentralization of the black market in drugs. We should save the tax dollars for the war on drugs and set free anyone in prison for weed. 

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 23:13 | 4234847 Tinky
Tinky's picture

Hmmm...what's the going rate for a Haagen-Dazs franchise in Montevideo?

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 23:16 | 4234850 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Also, Tyler, would you post a fucking bitcoin address so we can send money so you can get rid of these ever multiplying ads?

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 23:22 | 4234871 Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

Get Firefox. It's free, and it's good.

Then go into addons and add the adblocker and popup blocker extensions.


Wed, 12/11/2013 - 01:26 | 4235129 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Ghostery works like a charm for me - and it blocks Google Analytics, etc. etc.

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 02:02 | 4235166 Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

Ghostery is good, but be careful about that blocking thing.

They're just inserting themselves as middlemen in the analytics trade:


It's main advantage is speeding up page loads, by lowering the amount of shit loading per click.

Oh... There are also a number of cookie deletion option available.

I would recommend using one of those as well, especially to get rid of LSOs.. BetterPrivacy seems OK so far...

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 05:20 | 4235333 zhandax
zhandax's picture

The latest hosts file will rid even the IE slaves from the bulk of those ads.   http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm


Tue, 12/10/2013 - 23:16 | 4234860 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

Added to the list of countries with more freedoms than the USA 

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 23:21 | 4234868 monkeydart
monkeydart's picture

buy high, get high profits! 

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 23:30 | 4234894 akak
akak's picture

Billow Wryly's head explodes in 4, 3, 2 ....

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 23:39 | 4234901 evernewecon
evernewecon's picture



I've my own state as marijuana retail 

partner under a public health umbrella

proposal out there.

It's not intended to be an encourager--

just something there, a "rationalizer;"

though, it obviously would likely balance

Sacramento's (my state capital--substitute

your own,) budget, along with affording

cutting taxes and financing lavish public

education (educate, don't incarcerate)

and though the California Medical

Association, currently a little more liberal on 

this than the AMA, says regulate as in the 

manner of alcohol, I'm personally good with

accounting for the fact THC concentrations 

available today are sometimes much greater

than what was available at Woodstock.

It's a plan that runs from barely intrusive to

catching blips on the radar, with progressive

consumption braking combined with 

health ed informed by a couple medical specialties


Most recently the issue of estrogenicity arose,

but actually legumes are estrogenic, so the 

same issue should arise for the guy consuming

a bowl of chili (in Cinci (regarded as chili

capital) with beans--in Texas I

believe w/o, so it wouldn't matter there.)

There's also this as to that.




"Obesity May Influence

Heart Function Through

Sex Hormones"

(Obesity Raises Estrogen,

Lowers Testosterone)

Only an idiot would spam Tyler with an 

address, but this bundle of issue comparisons

should be of interest to all.



There's no link to me there.

Someday I may yet put one in, 

but not till long after this

column's appeared, in fairness

to ZH.







Tue, 12/10/2013 - 23:45 | 4234938 401K of Dooom
401K of Dooom's picture

Proof of the ill effects of Canabis.  Just wait until welfare expenditures go up to take care "of the children." 

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 00:29 | 4235038 evernewecon
evernewecon's picture



Woodstock was the year before I 

entered undergraduate school.

Though I left NY a long time ago,

I was living not far from the event

(well Scarsdale.)

I knew many who attended.

No one ever knew anyone who 

ever had anything to do with LSD.

No one who attended witnessed 

LSD use or heard of anyone who 

used it.

Many did consume marijuana.

All known to myself have normal

ambitions and motivations, have

not experienced physiologic change

that might be associated with marijuana

use, and, frankly, all are/have been 

engaged in constructive lives, have

happy families, and generally have

kids finishing graduate/med/law/


Marijuana is used culturally in some

parts of the world, of course, where 

they consume foods of far greater

nutrional value than is typically 

consumed along sprawl boulevard.


As to the proposal above in my own

comment, the final step in state as

retail partner under a public health 

umbrella will catch the alcohol abuser

as well as the person seeking witchdrawal

in marijuana.  Both will pass throught the

same pathways.  

The lyrics in the intro to "Cheers" resonate

with what many abusers of many substances

typically say to social workers, who're typically

called in by parents.

We all live along very many slippery slopes,

though on a more practical level the ones

people are driving on this month being owed to the 

unbalanced transport owing to puppets'


If the kids who attended Woodstock had

been the deciders since then our

banking, health care, food chain, and 

local education systems wouldn't be

privatized and our habitat wouldn't be



Tobacco's dramatically more harmful 

than marijuana, and it's a likely gateway

to marijuana.


Per se that's not a plus for marijuana, but 

by way of the transitive property of math, it is.

If you think marijuana's a gateway and thus

should be banned, then, if tobacco is a gateway

to marijuana, tobacco also has to be banned.

(If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.)


But the evidence is marijuana's not

addictive*** and is not a gateway.


***Legal by toll (my comment above)

DOES address particular susceptibility.


The default decision, the monopoly of

the nefarious, no watching of THC

concentrations, etc., does not.


It would, after consumption

braking and health ed intervention, finally 

invite the then-clear abuser to disclose health

coverage combined with their being advised 

that not a single person will judge them

because no one's experience or biology 

can ever be a basis for that.

The money aspect of health care is of 

course a whole different subject.

I've never known a single health provider

who ever wanted to send any substance

abuser to jail.  They're not evil.


Actual abusers withdraw for no fault 

of their own.

Puppets and their masters buying 

policy, then profiting from the adversity,

and then using the latter to blame

the vulnerable and the government they

bought to justify privatizing generally 

lead to withdrawal.



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