In a First for Latin America, Uruguay Rolls out Program Legalizing Marijuana

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Diego Prandini is bent over in a small, brightly lit room, watering marijuana plants of all shapes and sizes. He crawls into a corner to reach some smaller specimens, labeled with names like “Ushua” and “RGB1,” all of which will be part of the next two-kilogram harvest.

“I've been at this for seven hours today,” he says, standing and smiling. “So my back is starting to get a little tired.”

Until recently, this job would have been illegal, and he might have worked for dangerous narcotraficantes, perhaps in hidden in nearby Paraguay. But Prandini, 37 and sporting a T-shirt and mohawk, tends his plants in a pleasant middle-class neighborhood of Uruguay's capital, and as a break, he heads downstairs to enjoy a joint with his co-workers and watch YouTube videos. 

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