War on Drugs

Uruguay Poised to Become First Country to Legalize Marijuana Sales

Senate expected to give final approval today


Uruguay will probably become the first country in the world to legalize the sale of marijuana as the Senate today is poised to give final approval to a bill presented by President Jose Mujica.

Mujica, who controls 16 of the 31 seats in Senate, said the bill will undermine a $30 million-a-year trade by criminals, allowing pharmacies to sell as much as 40 grams of marijuana a month to registered users. His proposal, which has been approved by a 50-46 vote in the lower house, would create a state-regulated market with prices set by the government. The senate began debating the bill at 10.30 a.m. in Montevideo.