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Regulate Pot? Uruguay's been there, with whisky

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — The government of Uruguay makes Scotch whisky. It also makes and sells rum, vodka and cognac, and has done so for nearly a century. Many people consider this sideline of the state to be an historical accident — a wasteful and even eccentric contradiction.

But President Jose Mujica says Uruguay's long experience at the center of the nation's liquor business makes it more than capable of dominating another substance: marijuana.

Final Senate approval of Uruguay's marijuana law is expected by late September, and the government plans to license growers, sellers and users as quickly as possible thereafter to protect them from criminal drug traffickers, said ruling party Sen. Lucia Topolansky, who is also Uruguay's first lady.

The law specifically creates a legal marijuana monopoly, making the government alone responsible for importing, producing, obtaining, storing, commercializing, and distributing a drug still considered illegal around the world.

A state...

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URL: 
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/regulate-pot-uruguays-been-there-whisky