This week in Montevideo, the EMCDDA is co-organising with the Uruguayan Junta Nacional de Drogas, a technical dialogue on cannabis policies. The event is one of a range of activities organised by the agency under the COPOLAD III programme to strengthen drug policy and evaluation systems (1).
Since 2014, the supply and use of cannabis for recreational purposes, as opposed to medical or industrial purposes, have been legalised in some American states, as well as in Uruguay since 2012 and in Canada since 2018. As Uruguay is preparing for an evaluation of its cannabis policies in the coming year, there is momentum for an exchange on cannabis policy evaluation. A preliminary needs assessment was carried out prior to the event to help focus the information exchange.
On 24 and 25 October, the participants will take part in on-site study visits to key Uruguayan institutions and organisations working on cannabis. These include regulatory authorities, private companies, law enforcement entities and non-governmental organisations. A seminar on 26 October will focus on cannabis policy models and evaluation in Europe and the Americas, and will be open to key organisations and institutions in the country.
Together, these events will provide an invaluable opportunity to exchange knowledge and to help validate the findings of a new edition of the 2020 EMCDDA report Monitoring and evaluating changes in cannabis policies: insights from the Americas. This report, to be published in the coming months, with be produced with COPOLAD support.