12 Dec 2013

Marijuana production and sale legalised in Uruguay

6:11 am on 12 December 2013

Production and sale of marijuana is now legal in Uruguay under a new law passed by Parliament on Tuesday.

The Senate chamber at the Parliament building in Montevideo.

The Senate chamber at the Parliament building in Montevideo. Photo: AFP

Uruguayans are permitted to grow the drug legally, or buy up to 40 grams per month from the government via pharmacies.

Private clubs for marijuana consumption will also be allowed, adding to existing rights to smoke it legally.

The ABC reports the law goes well beyond the marijuana legalization measures recently approved by the US states of Colorado and Washington, or the Netherlands and Spain.

Under Uruguay's proposed law, consumers over the age of 18 will be able to grow their own marijuana, though no more than six plants per person. In every case, users must be registered with the government.

The ABC reports the move is part of a push by the government to be the nation's sole supplier of the drug - from seed to smoker.

"The war against drugs has failed," said Senator Roberto Conde as he presented the bill on behalf of the government.

National campaigns have been running on television, as the country debated the issue for over a year.

A poll in September indicated that 61% of Uruguayans disapprove.

The bill passed the lower house of congress in August and was assured of passage in the Senate because the ruling coalition controls both chambers.