JULY 29, 2012 - SOUTH AMERICA SEES DRUG PATH TO LEGALIZATION
Uruguay became the first country to legalize the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana on Tuesday, a pioneering social experiment that will be closely watched by other nations debating drug liberalization.
Cannabis consumers will be able to buy a maximum of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) each month from licensed pharmacies as long as they are Uruguayan residents over the age of 18 and registered on a government database that will monitor their monthly purchases.
The agricultural output of this country includes rice, soybeans and wheat. Soon, though, the government may get its hands dirty with a far more complicated crop —marijuana— as part of a rising movement in this region to create alternatives to the United States-led war on drugs.
Uruguay’s famously rebellious president first called for “regulated and controlled legalization of marijuana” in a security plan unveiled last month. And now all anyone here can talk about are the potential impacts of a formal market for what Ronald Reagan once described as “probably the most dangerous drug in America.”