Uruguay is poised to make history as the first government to run a legal marijuana market.
Sen. Lucia Topolansky tells The Associated Press they plan to license growers, sellers and users quickly after senate approval in September, protecting smokers from criminal dope dealers.
Uruguay has experience monopolizing addictive substances: The government has made Scotch whisky and other liquors for nearly a century.
The initial idea was to drive out distillers killing people with adulterated liquor. They also wanted to fuel cars with alcohol and avoid importing fuel. Gasoline companies won that global battle, but the distillery now makes money for the same government that fights alcoholism.
What’s next? Congress is working on a law to limit liquor ads and block nighttime alcohol sales outside bars and restaurants.