Uruguay plan: sell marijuana to registered buyers

Associated Press
FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2011 file photo, Uruguay's President Jose Mujica attends a press conference at the presidential residence in Montevideo, Uruguay. Mujica's government plans to take a step beyond legalizing marijuana. It wants to sell it. Local news media and lawmakers report that the government plans to send a bill to Congress on Wednesday that would legalize marijuana sales as a crime-fighting measure. Only the government would be allowed to sell the marijuana cigarettes, and only to adults registered as users. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico, File)
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FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2011 file photo, Uruguay's President Jose Mujica attends a press conference at …

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay has announced that it plans to send a bill to Congress to legalize marijuana sales as a crime-fighting measure.

The government would have a monopoly over the distribution and sales of the drug, which could be sold only to adults registered as users.

Minister of Defense Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro told reporters at a press conference in Montevideo the measure aims to weaken crime in the country by removing profits from drug dealers and diverting users from harder drugs.

Uruguayan newspapers had reported that money from taxes on marijuana cigarettes sold by the government will go toward rehabilitating drug addicts. The government did not provide details.

There are no laws against marijuana use in Uruguay. Possession of the drug for personal use has never been criminalized.

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