Uruguay takes ‘war on drugs’ in new direction: state monopoly over the production and distribution of marijuana

Uruguay has long been at the vanguard of social reform in Latin America. Today, it is on the verge of passing into law one of its most radical ideas yet.

The Broad Front – the center-left coalition that holds power – is proposing a state monopoly over the production and distribution of marijuana, making Uruguay the first national government to sell cannabis directly to citizens. The government says the measure is necessary to combat rising drug-related crime, decrease health risks for users, and counter ineffective US policies on drugs. But within Uruguay, interest groups have labeled the legislation totalitarian, while some international bodies argue it breaches global conventions.  More »

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Marijuana shipment tracked to NFL player’s home

California authorities say they tracked a package containing 2.5 pounds of marijuana to the home of a Cincinnati Bengals player in suburban northern Kentucky.

Spokeswoman Michelle Gregory with the California Department of Justice says Bengals teammates Jerome Simpson and Anthony Collins, both 25, were at Simpson’s home in Crestview Hills Tuesday when the package arrived at the house. A woman named Aleen Smith, according to news website California Watch, signed for the package, which was sent from Eureka, Calif.  More »

Interview With Marijuana Legend Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson is 78 years old and spent this past summer headlining the multi-act Country Throwdown music festival which now bears his name. The veteran Texan became a country legend by writing classic songs like “Crazy” (most notably a hit for Patsy Cline in 1962) and as a pillar of the “outlaw country” sub-genre. Albums like 1973’s Shotgun Willie and Phases and Stages the following year, and 1975’s Red Headed Stranger helped define the so-called Outlaw Movement at the time and remain country music high water marks. But to younger audiences Nelson is perhaps equally well known for his pro-cannabis activism (he’s a co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and biodiesel advocacy (he formed Willie Nelson Biodiesel to market the bio-fuel to truck stops in 2005). Since 1985 Nelson has also been a co-organizer of the annual Farm Aid benefit concert, More »

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