Uruguay's push to legalize marijuana is about halfway there, as one side of the country's congress voted in favor of the proposal just minutes before midnight on Wednesday.
The bill is backed by President Jose Mujica, who sees it as an aid to the nation's war on drugs and drug trafficking, The Associated Press reported.
The bill now heads to the Senate — where it's largely expected to pass within weeks. Once signed into law, Uruguay would become the first country in the world with a fully legal and government-regulated marijuana market, AP said.
"Sometimes small countries do great things," said Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director for the U.S. Drug Policy Alliance. "Uruguay's bold move does more than follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington [state]. It provides a model for legally regulating marijuana that other countries, and U.S. states, will want to consider — and a precedent that will embolden others to follow in their footsteps."
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