Marijuana legalized in Uruguay: news from the other side of the world should inspire reforms at home

Declaration by Marco Perduca

Uruguay enters the history books as the first country legalizing the production and personal use of cannabis derivate.
Last night, the Senate in Montevideo confirmed a Parliament bill after months of debate among national and international experts and public opinion. It is a victory of common sense over ideology. While the actual law is certainly not the best possible, reason will continue to guide Uruguay’s institutions in their decision-making, as has been demonstrated by the words and actions of President Mujica in this field. It can therefore be expected that in the application of the new norms, practical solutions to some structural problems posed by the law will be found.

We hope that the pragmatic approach adopted by Montevideo will not be stigmatized or attacked by its neighbours
, headed by Argentina and Brazil, and that Uruguay prepares itself to face the crossfire, which certain United Nations’ Agencies are most surely planning to launch during the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna next March.

Lastly, we hope that this wind of reformist courage blowing from the other side of the world – remember also the Argentinian Pope who abolished life imprisonment and introduced the crime of torture as soon as he took office in the Vatican- may start to stimulate also the Italian lawmakers, who never miss an opportunity to praise the contributions of Italians abroad. Well, in Uruguay a good 40% of Parliamentarians is of Italian origin, so instead of focussing all efforts on bringing one of their fellow countrymen into the Italian Senate or Parliament, it would be better to imitate them in their progressive decision-making.

Translation: Laura Harth