Uruguay is set to become the first nation to fully legalize recreational marijuana after the marijuana legalization measure was passed by the Senate on Tuesday. Now, the bill just awaits the signature of President Jose Mujica, who has long supported the legalization effort.
The proposed law will allow individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants and possess up to 480 grams for personal use. Additionally, the law would allow marijuana clubs to open and serve as many as 45 patrons. The clubs would be allowed to grow up to 99 plants at one time.
Marijuana users in Uruguay will be required to register with the government. Medical marijuana will also be sold from pharmacies for patients who have a doctor’s recommendation.
After the bill becomes law, the government will have a four month grace period to establish the program’s guidelines and implement the new recreational marijuana system.
Prior to this bill it has been illegal to possess or consume marijuana in Uruguay, while producing and selling it are legal. The new legislation will eliminate the grey areas and make marijuana legal for all.
“It is understood that a regulation-based policy has positive consequences for health and public security, given that, on the one hand, it can produce better results when it comes to education, prevention, information, treatment and rehabilitation in relation to the problematic uses of drugs,” said Sen. Roberto Conde of Uruguay’s Broad Front coalition, which supported the measure. “On the other hand, it helps fight drug trafficking, which fuels organized crime and criminal activities that affect the security of the population.”