In a dramatic and surprise move Uruguay has become the first country to legalize marijuana, reports CBS News on Dec. 10, 2013. Uruguay has become the first country to legalize the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana. A government-sponsored bill was approved by 16-13 votes in the Senate which provides for regulation of the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana.
A primary objective of this new law in Uruguay is to hit the illicit marijuana business of criminals in the country. Supporters of the new law were seen smoking joints as they gathered together near Congress holding green balloons, and Jamaican flags in honor of Bob Marley with a sign saying, "Cultivating freedom, Uruguay grows." Meanwhile, BBC News has reported the the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) of the United Nations says the new Uruguay marijuana law is illegal.
The INCB says Uruguay's decision to legalize the production, sale and consumption of marijuana is in violation of international law. This UN drugs watchdog has warned legalization of marijuana will endanger young people and lead to the earlier onset of addiction. Nevertheless, in efforts to fight the powerful drug cartels, under this new law registered Uruguayans who are over 18 years old will be allowed to buy up to 40g (1.4oz) of marijuana a month in their country.