Pubdate: Thu, 28 Aug 2014
Source: Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2014 The Jamaica Observer Ltd,


MONTEVIDEO, August 28, 2014 (AFP) - Just a handful of people had 
registered by midday Wednesday to be private growers of marijuana in 
Uruguay, the first country to fully legalize the production, sale and 
distribution of the drug.

Under a controversial law passed last December, marijuana users who 
sign up for a national register are allowed to grow cannabis, buy it 
at a pharmacy or join a distribution club.

On the first day of registration for private growers, 10 people had 
signed up in the morning -- three in the capital Montevideo and seven 
in the South American country's interior, according to the newly 
created Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA).

To sign up, would-be growers must go to a designated post office with 
an ID card and proof of residence.

Registration is free and users' names are kept confidential. The 
program is open only to adults who are Uruguayan citizens or 
permanent residents.

Growers are limited to six plants per home and maximum production of 
480 grams (17 ounces) a year.

The first to register in Montevideo was Juan Vaz, spokesman for the 
Uruguay Association for Cannabis Studies (AECU).

"To me, being registered legitimates me instead of discriminating 
against me," he told journalists.

AECU estimates there are currently 30,000 to 40,000 cannabis growers 
in Uruguay.

Uruguay's leftist President Jose Mujica told AFP last month that 
direct sales to consumers would be delayed until next year because of 
difficulties implementing the new law.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom