For years, organized crime groups shuttled drugs through this small South American nation, leaving behind a legacy of crime and violence.
On Tuesday, Uruguay’s government took a radical new tack: To fight the traffickers, it formed a kind of drug cartel of its own.
The Uruguay Senate approved a bill to legalize marijuana and put its trade into state hands, in what many experts said marks a new model for the war on drugs in its principal battleground of Latin America. President José Mujica plans to sign the bill, which passed the lower house of Congress in July, into law.
Under the law, which is among the world’s most liberal marijuana initiatives, private companies will grow pot and a state agency will oversee its distribution and sale. Residents who are 18 or older will be allowed to grow up to 480 grams, or 1.06 pounds of pot per year, or buy from licensed pharmacies up to 40 grams of the drug monthly, the equivalent of about 60 cigarettes.
The law is intended to cut out drug traffickers from the lucrative business and reduce the violence and social ills connected to the trafficking.
– Read the entire article at The Wall Street Journal.