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Uruguay: Another Latin American country goes against US drug policy

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Matilde Campodonico/AP/File

(Read caption) In this 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.

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InSight Crime researches, analyzes, and investigates organized crime in the Americas. Find all of Geoffrey Ramsey's research here.

The government of Uruguay is considering an unorthodox approach to combating drug trafficking: legalizing and regulating marijuana sales in an effort to cut cocaine consumption and remove a significant source of funding for criminal groups.

The administration of Uruguayan President Jose Mujica has announced that it plans to send Congress a proposal for a bill which would legalize the sale of marijuana, but make the government the only legitimate provider of the drug. It is currently legal to possess the drug. Under the plan, the state would sell marijuana cigarettes to adults who signed up to a government register, which would allow officials to monitor purchases. People who attempted to purchase more than a specified amount at a time would be required to undergo drug rehabilitation treatment.

See InSight Crime's map of drug policy across the hemisphere.

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