Uruguay Legalizes Marijuana

Uruguay recently adopted the most far-reaching legalization of marijuana attempted by any nation in recent decades:

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….

Supporters of the proposal have said it marks a turning point and could inspire other Latin American nations to take a similar approach….

The proposed law would allow individuals to grow up to six plants of marijuana and possess as many as 480 grams for personal use. Marijuana clubs of anywhere from 15 to 45 members would also be allowed and granted permission to grow up to 99 plants at a time.

Users would have to register, and those claiming to use cannabis for medical reasons would have to show a doctor’s prescription. Marijuana would also be sold at licensed pharmacies.

The Uruguay law goes farther than legalization in such jurisdictions as Portugal and the US states of Colorado and Washington because it allows production and sale of marijuana to a greater extent than they do, as well as possession.

Uruguay’s action comes at a time when support for marijuana legalzation and skepticism about the War on Drugs more generally is rising in both the US and internationally.