URUGUAY: is poised to become the first nation to create a legal, regulated marijuana market, encouraging growers and sellers to produce enough pot to keep users from depending on illegal drug traffickers.
The plan to put the government at the center of a legal marijuana industry has made it halfway through the congress, giving President Jose Mujica a long-sought victory in his effort to explore alternatives to the global war on drugs.
“I’m an old man … I never smoked marijuana, but I have come to notice what the life of young people is like,” Mujica said Thursday in a radio address defending the proposal that was approved late Wednesday by congress’ lower house. “The consumption is already happening – it’s around every corner, and it comes from a clandestine market that by nature has ferocious rules. It’s a monopoly of mafias.”