UK
11/12/2013 04:19 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 16:01 GMT

Uruguay To Legalise Cannabis Trade, Taking Money Out Of Criminal Cartels

A South American country is bringing in laws that will legalise cannabis, with the government setting the price.

The drastic move is an attempt to kill the black market in Uruguay by making it state-controlled, the first country in the world to do so.

It would take it well beyond The Netherlands, where growing the drug is officially banned.

People will be able to buy up to 40g of marijuana from a chemist, while registered growers can grow up to six plants, the Guardian reported.

The state is expected to set the price at the current black market rate, in an attempt to price illegal dealers out of the market.

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The new law was passed by the country's senate on Tuesday. When it is signed into law by the President, Uruguay will control the production and supply of the drug.

According to the BBC, a new public body has been set up, called the National Institute for Cannabis Regulation.

It will provide seeds for people who want to grow marijuana plants, and ensure growers' crops do not exceed the legal limit.

Attempting to head off critics, the country's 78-year-old President, Jose Mujica, a former guerrilla fighter, said: "This won't be a weed-for-all country".

He says he is against drug consumption but wants to take it out of the hands of criminal cartels, the BBC reported.

Ecstatic about the new law, cannabis-growers are planning a celebratory march through the capital, according to The Guardian.