MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay's Senate gave final congressional approval Tuesday to create the world's first national marketplace for legal marijuana, an audacious experiment that will have the government oversee production, sales and consumption of a drug illegal almost everywhere else.
Uruguay's Senate has approved ground-breaking legislation legalizing marijuana, becoming the first nation in the world to oversee the production and sale of the drug. After a marathon debate, 16 leftist senators out of 29 lawmakers voted Tuesday in favor of the legislation championed by President Jose Mujica, who must now sign it into law. Outside the Senate, hundreds of cannabis-smoking supporters launched fireworks in what they dubbed "the last march with illegal marijuana." "The war against drugs has failed," said Senator Roberto Conde as he presented the bill on behalf of the ruling leftist Broad Front, calling it an "unavoidable response" to that failure.