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Uruguay’s Lower House Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

Uruguay President Jose Mujica has pushed for marijuana legalization for the past year.

Late Wednesday Uruguay took a big step towards legalizing marijuana. After hours of debate the House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill that would legalize and heavily regulate cannabis for adults. The bill was passed 50 yea to 46 nay.

Now that the bill has cleared the House it goes on to the Senate where it is also expected to be approved.

President Jose Mujica has been the main force behind the bill, which has been publicly debated for the past year. Mujica believes legalization is the best way to drive criminal organizations out of the marijuana business.

The bill would allow adults over the age of 18 to buy small amounts of cannabis from a tightly regulated legal market. Consumers would need to register with the state. Individuals would also be able to grow a limited quantity of marijuana at home for personal use or join small cooperatives. Several provisions in the bill closely mirror aspects of the ballot initiatives approved last year in Colorado and Washington State.

If this bill is signed into law it could have major international implications. It would not only politically make it easier for other Latin American politicians to come out in support of ending prohibition, but it will also help to address many of the practical issues. Uruguay could serve as an example to study on which regulatory policies work best for a legal marijuana market.

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Uruguay’s Lower House Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

Uruguay President Jose Mujica has pushed for marijuana legalization for the past year.

Late Wednesday Uruguay took a big step towards legalizing marijuana. After hours of debate the House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill that would legalize and heavily regulate cannabis for adults. The bill was passed 50 yea to 46 nay.

Now that the bill has cleared the House it goes on to the Senate where it is also expected to be approved.

President Jose Mujica has been the main force behind the bill, which has been publicly debated for the past year. Mujica believes legalization is the best way to drive criminal organizations out of the marijuana business.

The bill would allow adults over the age of 18 to buy small amounts of cannabis from a tightly regulated legal market. Consumers would need to register with the state. Individuals would also be able to grow a limited quantity of marijuana at home for personal use or join small cooperatives. Several provisions in the bill closely mirror aspects of the ballot initiatives approved last year in Colorado and Washington State.

If this bill is signed into law it could have major international implications. It would not only politically make it easier for other Latin American politicians to come out in support of ending prohibition, but it will also help to address many of the practical issues. Uruguay could serve as an example to study on which  regulatory policies work best for a legal marijuana market.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com