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EL ESPECTADOR

Uruguay, Big Pharma And The Global Marijuana Market

Foreign interests are eyeing Uruguay's recent legalization of cannabis use in its territory. Will big pharmaceutical firms be allowed to move in on this huge business opportunity?

Traffic regulation
Traffic regulation
Camilo Segura Alvarez

After Uruguay's new law last year that legalized the consumption and production of marijuana, government laboratories and authorities from Canada, Chile and Israel contacted their Uruguayan counterparts about the possibility of purchasing cannabis for medicinal use.

Though the recent law permits the sale, research and consumption of cannabis, it does not yet stipulate any regulations for exportation or investment by the world's large pharmaceutical firms. Still, some expect the government of President José Múgica to eventually open a global market for marijuana, with the potential of turning Uruguay into a new center of biotechnology research around the effects of the drug.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade: Will It Spark Anti-Abortion Momentum Around The World?

Pro-life activists celebrated the end of the U.S. right to abortion, hoping it will trigger a new debate on a topic that in some places had largely been settled: in favor a woman’s right to choose. But it could also boomerang.

Thousands of people demonstrate against abortion in Madrid

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Shaun Lavelle

The Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling establishing a constitutional right to abortion put the United States at the forefront of abortion rights in the world.

Other countries would follow suit in the succeeding years, with France legalizing abortion in 1975, Italy in 1978, and Ireland finally joining most of the rest of Europe with a landslide 2018 referendum victory for women’s right to choose. Elsewhere, parts of Asia and Africa have made incremental steps toward legalizing abortion, while a growing number of Latin American countries have joined what has now been a decades-long worldwide shift toward more access to abortion rights.

But now, 49 years later, with last Friday’s landmark overturning of Roe v. Wade, will the U.S. once again prove to be ahead of the curve? Will American cultural and political influence carry across borders on the abortion issue, reversing the momentum of recent years?

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