Uruguay Becomes the First Country to Legalize Marijuana

Today the Uruguayan Senate approved a
marijuana legalization bill that was passed by the House of
Representatives last July. After President José Mujica signs
the bill, Uruguay will become the first country in the world to
fully legalize cannabis. Under the bill, which Mujica championed,
the government will grow marijuana and distribute it to pharmacies,
where adults will be allowed to buy up to 40 grams (about 1.4
ounces) a month. The bill also
home cultivation of up to six plants and nonprofit
distribution by cannabis clubs similar to Spain’s. Uruguay’s drug
control agency has until mid-April to write regulations for the new

While Uruguay is smaller in population and land area than
Colorado and Washington, the two U.S. states that have legalized
the commercial cultivation and sale of cannabis, it is the first
nation to officially allow marijuana distribution for recreational
use. Although the Dutch government for decades has tolerated retail
sales of marijuana at so-called coffee shops, the drug remains
illegal in the Netherlands. “It’s about time that we see a country
bravely break with the failed prohibitionist model and try an
innovative, more compassionate, and smarter approach,”
Hannah Hetzer of the Drug Policy Alliance. “For 40 years,
marijuana prohibition has been attempted, and it simply hasn’t
worked. But rather than closing their eyes to the problem of drug
abuse and drug trafficking, Uruguay has chosen responsible
regulation of an existing reality. Let’s hope others soon follow

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/10/uruguay-becomes-the-first-country-to-leg

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