At first glance this novel proposal by the Uruguayan government to attack drug trafficking and the violence associated with it seems wacky. Should this bill pass, the Uruguayan government would be the sole distributor of weed to its populace, with a % of the revenue then going towards rehabilitating drug addicts. There are currently no laws against marijuana in the country and possession for personal use is not criminalized. An interesting question in all this is who provides the government with their stash? Probably themselves in the end as it would be quite odd for a state entity to purchase marijuana from a third-party. Conjures up images of bureaucrats laboring over open fields or better yet indoor hydroponic labs. Wonder if these are set up in carpeted cubicles so as not to fracture the normal government rhythm of things.
In the end something needs to be done, worldwide, to curb drug related violence. There are a number of legal substances that do more harm so I suppose why not. It does though call into question the purpose of government. Regulation is its natural role, so why not just regulate this with a private market setting the price and quality. You could probably even regulate the strength of the weed as well.
Marijuana though is slowly being integrated into the “not so bad for you” category, away from its previous housemates, cocaine, heroin, etc. From the outside looking in this could be an invaluable social experiment that the rest of world should be playing close attention to. If it works, we got a model, if not, Uruguayans will have paid a dear price.