As was anticipated in July, Uruguay today became the first country in the world to fully legalize cannabis. The country is the first to legalize all aspects of the marijuana trade, with the government regulating the production, sale, and use of cannabis. The measure is aimed to stem the growing violence related to the drug trade and to offer treatment instead of punishment.
From Fox News Latino:
The Senate gave final legislative approval to the bill late Tuesday, and President José Mujica, who campaigned for the legislation, is expected to sign it into law. The 78-year-old president has said he wants the market to begin operating next year.
"Today is an historic day. Many countries of Latin America, and many governments, will take this law as an example," Sen. Constanza Moreira, a member of the governing Broad Front coalition, said as the bill passed with 16 votes in favor and 13 against. Congress' lower house approved the measure in late July.
"This is not liberalization of marijuana. It can be consumed within certain parameters established by law. I think it will reduce consumption," Sen. Luis Gallo, a retired doctor who favored the bill, told the Associated Press.
The government got help from a national TV campaign and other lobbying efforts supporting by billionaire currency speculator and philanthropist George Soros and his Open Society Foundation and Drug Policy Alliance. In September, Mujica met with Soros and billionaire David Rockefeller in New York to explain his legal-market plan.