Jose Mujica is not a man who compromises his beliefs. Before he became President of Uruguay, he was shot six times and spent fourteen years in a dungeon-like military prison. Now he lives a modest lifestyle, donates most of his income to social projects, and resides in a one-bedroom farmhouse with his wife, Congresswoman and former acting President of Uruguay, Lucia Topolansky. President Mujica, once known as the world’s poorest President (a nickname he is not fond of), is becoming known for something else - regulating marijuana.
Now that President Mujica’s bill has been made law, Uruguay is facing international opposition. Last week, the United Nations released a statement explaining its position - that Uruguay has violated a U.N. drug convention and not considered the facts about marijuana. Unfortunately, the U.N.I.S. statement is riddled with misconceptions and, as President Mujica would say, lies.
Not only has the International Narcotics Control Board shown ignorance to the science of marijuana usage, but also it has lied about Uruguay’s willingness to work with the U.N., according to President Mujica.
“Tell this old guy not to lie,” Mujica told reporters, according to Colombian daily El Espectador. “Any guy in the street can meet with me. Let him come to Uruguay and meet with me whenever he wants… He thinks that because he’s in an international position, he can tell whatever lie he wants.”
The INCB president said on Wednesday he was “surprised” that the Uruguayan government “knowingly decided to break the universally agreed and internationally endorsed legal provisions of the treaty.
But Mujica dismissed the criticism as a double standard, pointing out that the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington have already legalized weed and that both of the states’ populations individually exceed Uruguay’s 3.4 million inhabitants.
“Do they have two discourses, one for Uruguay and another for those who are strong?” Mujica asked.