News Americas, UNITED NATIONS, NY, Fri. Sept. 27, 2013: Guatemala’s President Otto Fernando Pérez Molina was full of praise for Uruguay’s moves to legalize marijuana, using his address to the United Nation’s 68th General Assembly Thursday to insist that “each country must experiment with new models to address the drug problem.”
The Guatemala President said Uruguay has provided leadership by example of this issue and called for more effective policies that emphasized health, reduced social violence, respected human rights and curbed the flow of illegal arms and funds that financed criminal networks.
Molina also praised United States President Barack Obama for respecting the voice of some Americans to pursue “innovative experiences” that addressed drug issues that focused on public health, prevention and respect for human rights.
But he said new models to address the drug problem must be done without abandoning international cooperation against transnational crime.
Uruguay’s lower congress in July voted to create a legal marijuana market.
The measure now goes to the Senate, where passage is expected to make Uruguay the first country in the world to license and enforce rules for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adult consumers.