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Uruguay Legalizes Marijuana!

The Uruguayan Senate voted to approve a government-sponsored bill to legalize marijuana commerce. The Senate vote was the final vote needed for the bill to pass; all amendments to the bill were defeated, so it now goes to the desk of President Jose Mujica, who supports it. Once Mujica signs the bill into law, it will go into effect in 120 days. Uruguay now becomes the first signatory to the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs to break with the UN on the issue of marijuana legalization. The Netherlands has turned a blind eye to small-scale retail sales for decades now, but such acts remain formally illegal so the Dutch can remain in formal compliance with the treaty. Under the bill, the Uruguayan government will regulate the importation, cultivation, harvesting, distribution, and sale of marijuana. Would-be pot smokers will have to register with the government in order to grow their own (up to six plants), grow it collectively in a club, or buy up to 40 grams a month at a pharmacy. Opposition didn’t just come from conservative lawmakers. Some marijuana users aren’t very keen on the idea of having to register with the state in order to legally obtain their drug of choice. But President Mujica and the Broad Front argued that the bill would weaken drug traffickers and help reduce the estimated $80 million a year the country spends fighting drugs and imprisoning traffickers.

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