The status of support for cannabis regulation in Uruguay 4 years after reform: Evidence from public opinion surveys.

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The objective of this study was to measure the public support for marijuana legalisation in Uruguay, both overall and in its provisions, in nearly 4 years after its implementation.


Three separate cross-national surveys were conducted in early 2014, late 2015 and mid-2017 with national representative samples of adults. The first study was carried out during the initial months of implementation of the law and used face-to-face interviews (N = 1490); the second survey was conducted using a computer-assisted telephone interviewing system (N = 703); and the third study (N = 1515), using face-to-face interviews, was completed just before the implementation of pharmacy sales.


About 60.7% of respondents in 2014 were against marijuana legalisation; in 2017, 54.1% remained opposed to the marijuana law. In 2015, half of the people interviewed (49.9%) supported access to marijuana through self-cultivation, while 38.6% favoured the provision of cannabis clubs and 33.1% agreed with the pharmacy retail provision. Support for medical cannabis was high in 2015, with 74.5% favouring it.


This study shows a change in the public opinion toward legalisation of marijuana although most people still remain opposed to the law. However, the data do not provide indication of a significant change in its use. Results suggest that opposition to legalisation may be focused on the pharmacy retail provision.

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