US: 'New greenhouse industry' on display at drug-policy talks

Dignitaries from three nations sniffed marijuana, walked through greenhouses full of tagged marijuana plants and learned about video pot surveillance on a three-day Weed 101 tour in Colorado, which has a regulated marijuana market and is planning to expand sales to all adults in a few weeks.

More than two dozen visiting officials from Canada, Mexico and Uruguay made the trip this week. Colorado is preparing to play host for 1,000 drug policy experts and legalization backers at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference.

"We see the hypocrisy of the American policy toward Latin America," said Julio Calzada, drug czar in Uruguay, which is expected to become the first country in the world to license and enforce rules for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adult consumers.

"We have thousands of deaths, simply a product of prohibition. And here you have a very regulated market, marijuana that is produced in a controlled fashion. That is where we are going."

Calzada and the other dignitaries toured marijuana dispensaries and growing sites. They also huddled with Colorado officials to learn about how the drug is taxed and sold.

Marijuana legalization will be a major topic at the conference. Colorado and Washington state have authorized pot possession for all adults over 21, with retail sales beginning next year.


Source: The Independent


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