In order to better understand the situation around, and possibilities for, local and regional cannabis regulation, a series of six country reports were developed. The country reports provide detailed information about the state of cannabis policy, and the possibilities for change, within each country. This briefing identifies some of the key findings and implications for policy makers and advocates from this research.
Cannabis (or marihuana) is one of the most widely consumed psychoactive substances in the world. According to the United Nations World Drug Report, 183 million people, or 3.8% of the world’s population, used cannabis in 2014. Its cultivation was also reported by 129 countries. Cannabis is subject to the United Nations System for International Control of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (hereafter “drugs”) and is the most widely consumed of all the drugs. According to that control system, cannabis is among the substances with the strictest legal status; they are the most prohibited, supposedly because of the harm they cause and their lack of medical usefulness.
The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is a great innovation of the Treaty of Lisbon, enabling EU citizens to call directly on the European Commission to propose a legal act, if they can obtain the support of one million of their fellow citizens. The "Weed like to talk” campaign, launched by three French university students this year, aims to collect one million signatures from at least seven EU countries to call for a common cannabis policy based on a legally regulated market.
Uruguay has been on the vanguard of drug policy reform in the Americas, proposing a state regulatory market for the cultivation and consumption of marijuana. President Mujica always said he wouldn't push the proposal if a majority of Uruguayans didn't accept it. But few think this postponement means the project is forever shelved.