For the pro-marijuana camp, this is like winning the World Series, getting a Nobel Prize or learning you just hit the jackpot in Powerball.
Forget the quasi-legal state of weed consumption we have here in California. Uruguay just became the first nation in the world to legalize it, and cannabis lovers are elated.
The country's legislature voted to regulate the production, distribution and sale of weed for the 18-and-over set.
The government has 120 days to come up with exact regulations before the doors are opened to fully legal cannabis.
The law will allow medical marijuana, personal cultivation, membership clubs and sales in pharmacies. It will not allow driving while stoned, pot advertising or sales to those younger than 18.
President José Mujica first suggested the idea in June of 2012. Now American pot proponents are jumping for joy. An email blast from the Drug Policy Alliance had the subject line, "HISTORY!"
Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance:
Last year, Colorado and Washington; this year, Uruguay; and next year, Oregon and hopefully more states as well. We still have a long way to go but who would have believed, just five years ago, that legalizing marijuana would become a mainstream political reality so quickly both in the United States and abroad?!
Terry Nelson, a former U.S. Customs official in South America who is now a board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, says:
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... Marijuana will soon be regulated and controlled in Uruguay, thus reducing crime and violence. ... Uruguay has taken a strong step towards improving human rights, the rule of law and public safety. I hope that other nations will have the courage to do the same.
Okay already. Sheesh. We're happy for Uruguay. They're the new cool kid on the block -- what California used to be -- okay?
(Alright, maybe we're just a little jealous).