Good Election News for the World’s First Country to Legalize Marijuana

In a Sunday presidential run-off election in Uruguay, Frente Amplio (Broad Front) candidate Tabaré Vázquez beat opposition candidate Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou by 53.6 to 41.1 percent, a vote that had major implications for the future of Uruguay’s historic marijuana regulation.

While Vázquez has promised to continue implementing marijuana regulation, National Party opposition candidate Lacalle Pou had said that if he were to become president, he would repeal major parts of the law, including government-regulated sales to adults – the most distinguishing feature of the Uruguayan initiative.

“Sunday’s presidential election result safeguards Uruguay’s historic marijuana legalization” said Hannah Hetzer, Policy Manager of the Americas at the Drug Policy Alliance. “The Uruguayan people determinedly chose the presidential candidate who will continue the country’s progressive policies, including the roll out of the world’s first national legally regulated marijuana market.”

Vázquez, a 74-year-old oncologist who was president from 2005 to 2010, pertains to the same left-of-center coalition as current President José Mujica, who has made world headlines in recent years for his austere lifestyle and progressive politics, including spearheading the marijuana legalization proposal. After President Mujica’s call for marijuana legalization and a year-long dynamic campaign by Uruguayan civil society groups, on December 10, 2013, the Uruguayan parliament approved the bill, making their country the first in the world to legally regulate the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adults.

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.