Uruguay to approve legal marijuana dealing in bid to curb organised crime


Uruguay seems determined to create a legal marijuana market despite warnings from educators, psychiatrists and pharmacists of dangerous side effects.

The Senate is set to open debate on the pot plan on Tuesday, and since lawmakers turned away all requests for amendments after it passed the lower chamber, the vote will be final.

President Jose Mujica says the point is not to promote marijuana use, but push out organised crime by denying traffickers profits from an illegal trade.

Psychiatrists predict a rise in mental illness. Educators warn of failures at school, and pharmacists say selling pot alongside prescription drugs hurts their profession.

But marijuana grower Marcelo Vazquez tells The Associated Press he can't wait to pay taxes on the weed he's grown illegally for 20 years.