Uruguayan President Jose Mujica is no stranger to revolution. As a leader of the Tupamaros guerrilla group in the 1960s and 1970s, he orchestrated an armed uprising against financial institutions and the Uruguayan government — attacks that included political kidnappings and assassinations. He was captured in 1972, escaped twice and eventually spent 14 years in prison, including more than a decade in solitary confinement. Now, he finds himself heading a new rebellion, leading Uruguay on the path to become the world’s first country to legalize marijuana.
Late Tuesday, Uruguay’s Senate took an historic step and voted to approve a measure championed by Mujica that regulates the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adults. In doing so, the tiny nation of 3.3 million adds momentum to the movement building in Latin America — and in U.S., where Colorado and Washington state have already done so — to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
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