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Slideshow: Push to legalize marijuana in Latin America

Two years ago Uruguay became the first country on the planet to okay the use of marijuana. This caused neighboring countries throughout Latin America to rethink their drug policies, and for pro-marijuana supporters to push even hard for legislation to decriminalize weed and make herb smoking and growing a legal act.

While many countries have made it a little easier for casual marijuana smokers to puff freely, there’s still some resistance to all all-out okay to cannabis use.

Click through the slideshow about to see which countries have adopted looser rules regarding marijuana and whether Uruguay will remain the legal-weed country.


Paraguay Next to Legalize Marijuana Says President of Congress

A high-profile Paraguayan senator has called for marijuana decriminalization in the landlocked South American country, in a bid to “put an end to the drug-traffickers’ business.”+

Senator Blas Llano, chair of the National Congress, made the proposal in the southern Paraguayan town of San Juan Bautista during a camp for the youth wing of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, one of the country’s principal opposition parties.+

As long as the narcotic remains illegal, “marijuana trafficking will continue to be a discussion topic,” he told camp attendees over the weekend.+

This is not the first time that a Paraguayan congressmen has proposed drug-law reform. However, Llano is the most senior political figure yet in the country to back legalization.+


Paraguay, world’s second largest producer of marijuana will not legalize

Paraguay is thought to be the world’s second-biggest producer nation of Marijuana after Mexico, and responsible for 15 percent of global supply.

Has Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes been watching “Reefer Madness”?

That’s the burning question after the recently elected conservative leader responded to neighboring Uruguay’s decision to legalize marijuana with remarks reminiscent of the 1930s scaremongering anti-pot flick.

“I have seen former high school classmates suffer and die because of the effects of marijuana,” said Cartes, 57, explaining why his administration would not also be legalizing the soft drug.


Why Uruguay’s Pot-Growing Neighbor Paraguay Won’t Follow Suit

Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana on Tuesday.

But don’t expect South America’s biggest pot-grower, Paraguay, to follow that path any time soon.

The landlocked country produces most of the weed consumed in nearby Brazil and Uruguay, and a 2013 report by the U.S. Department of State called it a “major drug transit country and money laundering center.”

That hasn’t translated into momentum for legalization. Instead, the country has seen a growth in government corruption tied to the drug trade.


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