Judging from what Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica told me in an extended interview last week, there is a real possibility that people in his country will soon be able to buy marijuana legally from a state-regulated company that will be in charge of marketing and selling the drug. Earlier this month submitted Mujica a bill to congress that may be the boldest marijuana legalization proposal anywhere in the world. It calls for the state to "take over the control and regulation of activities related to the importation, production, acquisition, storage, marketing and distribution of marijuana."
A plan by Uruguay's leaders to turn the government into the nation's marijuana dealer has been presented to Congress, where the idea faces an uncertain fate. President Jose Mujica's entire Cabinet signed onto the proposed law, which aims to take over an illegal marijuana trafficking business estimated to be worth $30 million to $40 million a year. The law would have government control marijuana imports, production, sale and distribution, creating a legal market for people to get pot without turning to riskier illegal drugs.
While the Uruguayan president has endorsed a bill which would create a legal, state-run marijuana industry, congressmen in Chile are pushing a bill to legalize the cultivation of marijuana for personal use. Uruguayan President Mujica sent congress a proposal for a bill that would establish a legal, state-run monopoly on marijuana cultivation and sales. Two Chilean lawmakers submitted bill that would legalize small-scale cultivation of marijuana for personal and therapeutic use.