Uruguayan President Wants to Legalize Marijuana, Lawmakers Voting Today

José Mújica
President José Mújica

Uruguayan President José Mújica is pushing for a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana in Uruguay.

The bill, which is scheduled for a vote on July 31, is just one vote short of the 50 required to pass the Lower Chamber. The Broad Front, a left-wing coalition behind the bill, is in the process of talking with additional potential supporters in the legislature.

Mújica has been a staunch advocate for legalizing marijuana in Uruguay for some time in order to fight drug trafficking. In 2012, the New York Times wrote, “Mújica has promoted the legalization of marijuana as a way to reduce the addiction and crime associated with harder drugs.” Earlier this week, the president met with José Miguel Insulza, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, to discuss the conclusions of a recent report on drug consumption in the Americas. The report favored decriminalizing marijuana.

If the bill passes, Uruguayans over the age of 18 would be allowed to buy a limited amount of marijuana per month from state-sanctioned distributors.

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