Send to

Choose Destination
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

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



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.


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


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.


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.


Cannabis regulation; Respondent driven sampling; Uruguay

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center