Stories

Uruguay becomes first country to legalize marijuana

John Locher / AP

Uruguay just became the first country to fully legalize marijuana — but a local bureaucracy will decide everything from how it's produced to how its sold and consumed, WashPost reports.

How it's different: The government will control the amount of psychoactive compounds and the overall genetic makeup of the marijuana plants it uses. Also, WSJ notes the country won't be opening any weed cafes or novelty shops like you'd see in Amsterdam or Colorado. And consumers won't need a doctor's note or medical marijuana license to purchase the country's government-curated drugs at $1.30 per gram.

Bottom line, an Uruguayan public health office who designed the country's regulatory system: "To us, marijuana is a vegetable substance with a capacity to generate addiction, so what we're trying to do is control the production, distribution and consumption of that substance as effectively as possible."