Uruguay becomes first country to legalize marijuana
In a closely watched vote, Uruguayan lawmakers approved a proposal to make recreational marijuana legal for adults and to regulate its production, distribution and sale.
Once it’s signed by President Jose Mujica, who initiated the proposal, Uruguay will be the first nation in the world to fully legalize the drug.
In the year and a half since President Mujica announced the proposal in June 2012 as part of a comprehensive package aimed at fighting crime and public insecurity, a strong coalition of LGBT, women’s rights, health, student, environmental and human rights organizations joined forces with trade unions, doctors, musicians, lawyers, athletes, writers, actors and academics under the banner of Regulacion Responsable (Responsible Regulation) to support the initiative and created a lively public campaign in favor of the proposal.
Under the proposal, people will have four ways to access marijuana: medical marijuana through the Ministry of Public Health, domestic cultivation of up to six plants, membership clubs similar to those found in Spain and licensed sale to adults in pharmacies.
The bill was approved in the Chamber of Deputies in late July and passed in the Chamber of Senators on Tuesday.
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