The passage of a landmark marijuana legalization measure Tuesday means Uruguay is set to become the first country in the world to have a system regulating legal production, sale and consumption of the drug.
It’s practically a done deal. President Jose Mujica has to sign the bill before it becomes a law. But he’s long backed the measure, and there’s little doubt that he remains behind it.
Applause and cheers rang out in Uruguay’s Senate on Tuesday after the high-profile vote at the end of a lengthy debate on the bill.
The measure passed Uruguay’s lower house in July.
Supporters of the proposal have said it marks a turning point and could inspire other Latin American nations to take a similar approach.
It places the South American country at the vanguard of liberal drug policies, surpassing even the Netherlands, where recreational drugs are illegal but a policy of tolerance is in place.
“It is understood that a regulation-based policy has positive consequences for health and public security, given that, on the one hand, it can produce better results when it comes to education, prevention, information, treatment and rehabilitation in relation to the problematic uses of drugs,” said Sen. Roberto Conde of Uruguay’s Broad Front coalition, which supported the measure. “On the other hand, it helps fight drug trafficking, which fuels organized crime and criminal activities that affect the security of the population.”
Says President Mujica:
“If we legalize it, we think that we will spoil the market (for drug traffickers) because we are going to sell it for cheaper than it is sold on the black market,” he said. “And we are going to have people identified.”
Bet Snoop, Wiz Khalifa, Method Man, and Redman are looking for houses there as we speak…
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