Uruguay first country to legalize recreational marijuana

By Samantha Ravenscroft,

On Tuesday, Uruguay became the first country to legalize the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana. Winning by a vote of 16-13, the government-sponsored bill provides for regulation of the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana. Uruguay hopes that this will cut back on crime.

According to NBC News, consumers will be able to buy up to 40 grams each month from licensed pharmacies. This only applies to Uruguayan residents over the age of 18 that are registered on a government database that monitors their monthly purchases.

The law will be in effect in 120 days, with pharmacies being in effect in April. Not only will Uruguayans be able to buy cannabis, but they will also be able to grow six marijuana plants in their homes a year and form smoking clubs of 15 to 45 members.

President Mujica announced the proposal in June 2012 as a way to fight crime, according to CNN. It is Uruguay’s attempt at quelling drug trafficking.

"We begin a new experience in April. It involves a big cultural change that focuses on public health and the fight against drug trafficking," Uruguay's first lady, Senator Lucía Topolansky, told Reuters.

Uruguay is the first country to legalize recreational marijuana. Other countries such as Canada, the Netherlands and Israel have legal programs for growing medical cannabis but not for recreational use.

Do you agree with Uruguay’s decision?

Image:Wikimedia Commons


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