The Uruguayan Minister of Tourism, Germán Cardoso, told a radio program. He was considering a change in legislation so that tourists visiting Uruguay could buy cannabis.
Germán Cardoso felt that allowing tourists to buy cannabis is an issue that “needs to be analyzed”. Beyond “the definition of a tourism policy”.
Once a decision has been taken by the government. So the rule that an Uruguayan can consume and a foreigner cannot is contradictory it seems to me. Said the Minister of Tourism.
During the interview, Cardoso said that he confirms that tourists consider Uruguay as a point of cannabis consumption and explained:
Cardoso point of view
I knew a person a long time ago who was even one of my classmates in high school and today he has a store of products, absolutely legal in Ciudad Vieja, and asked me to visit it.
He wanted me to experience the tourist behavior of the cruise passengers going down to the port. He said and added: In half an hour while talking to him, we could count 27 or 28 foreigners who came in to ask for cannabis, to acquire the substance,” he said.
According to the Minister of Tourism Germán Cardoso. Forcing tourists into illegality is not a solution, the law should apply in the same way to all people staying in the territory, whether residents or tourists. Cardoso said the current legislation “leads the tourist to illegality” because if he wants to use cannabis, he has to buy it on the black market.
The minister assured that changes are possible and this must be part of the debate. I have no doubt, at least we have to try it and therefore introduce changes [to the current law], he added.
In 2013, Uruguay will be the first country in the world to legalize cannabis. While the country has struggled to stabilize its three legal channels for selling cannabis – cannabis clubs, self-cultivation, and pharmacies – the model is currently working for the local population, allowing Uruguayans to consume legally and locally.
As for tourists, there is currently no unanimous position within the coalition of the National Party. The Colorado Party, the Open Cabildo, the Independent Party and the People’s Party.