A bill that will make Uruguay the first country to license and regulate cannabis commerce for all adults at the national level, just passed its Chamber of Representatives. The legalization measure is supported by Uruguay's president, Jose Mujica, and the current majority party, Frente Amplio, but faces staunch opposition by the minority party. The president's party has a slim majority in the Chamber of Representatives, but controls the Senate more handily, leaving Uruguay's political observers confident that the legalization measure will pass the Senate and become law in the summer.
Uruguay's lower house passed a marijuana legalization bill Wednesday, bringing the South American nation one step closer to becoming the first to legally regulate production, distribution and sale of the drug.
After more than 12 hours of debate, the bill garnered the 50 votes it needed to pass in the House of Representatives. Forty-six lawmakers voted against the bill. The country's senate is expected to take up the measure in October.
President Jose Mujica has said he backs the bill, which would allow marijuana to be sold in pharmacies and create a registry of those who buy it. Only those 18 and older would be allowed to purchase the drug.
Uruguay moving forward keeps the momentum we are seeing across the globe for sensible cannabis law reforms. Hopefully, the momentum will continue and, as expected, Uruguay will end cannabis prohibition. Once the impacts of the sensible policy are known, more and more countries will realize that cannabis prohibition causes many more harms than cannabis use and other nations will also end prohibition. Know hope my friends, we didn't choose to wage this global war, as it is being waged against us, but we are now winning and we will continue the momentum for legalization until we are all free.