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Int J Drug Policy. 2016 Aug;34:34-40. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.05.008. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Cannabis consumption patterns among frequent consumers in Uruguay.

Author information

1
Insights Research & Consulting, Canelones, Uruguay. Electronic address: fboidi@insightsresearchandconsulting.com.
2
Department of Social and Political Sciences, Universidad Católica del Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay.
3
Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University, Miami, FL, United States.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to fully regulate the cannabis market, which now operates under state control. Cannabis can be legally acquired in three ways: growing it for personal use (self-cultivation), cannabis club membership, and from pharmacies (not yet implemented). Users must be entered into a confidential official registry to gain access.

METHODS:

This article presents findings of a Respondent Driven Sample survey of 294 high-frequency cannabis consumers in the Montevideo metropolitan area.

RESULTS:

Frequent consumers resort to more than one method for acquiring cannabis, with illegal means still predominating after 1 year of the new regulation law. Cannabis users overwhelmingly support the current regulation, but many of them are reluctant to register.

CONCLUSIONS:

Some of the attitudes and behaviors of the high-frequency consumers pose a challenge to the success of the cannabis law. Individuals relying on more than one method of access defy the single access clause, a prerequisite for legal use, while the maximum amount of cannabis individuals can access monthly seems too high even for most frequent consumers, which might promote the emergence of a grey market. Reluctance to register among a significant proportion of high-frequency consumers raises doubts about the law's ability to achieve its stated objectives.

KEYWORDS:

Cannabis regulation; Respondent driven sampling; Uruguay

PMID:
27397717
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.05.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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