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Uruguay marijuana legalisation: consumers limited to 10 grams a week

Authorities in Uruguay have explained how marijuana will be produced and legally sold in the country under a bill due to be signed in

Authorities in Uruguay have explained how marijuana will be produced and legally sold in the country, with licensed pharmacies expected to sell the drug for under $1 (59p) a gram.

The public will be allowed to grow 40g (1.4oz) per month and each household can grow up to six cannabis plants, a bill expected to come into force next week has set out.

However, it will limit the amount people can purchase to 10 grams of marijuana per week.

The legislation was proposed by President Jose Mujica, who argued the global drug war was failing and said the bill could help tackle organised crime and drug cartels.

President Jose Mujica said on Friday "It's a complete fiction what they do in Colorado" in reference to adults there being allowed to buy up to 28 grams of the drug at a time.

Read more: Uruguay becomes first country to legalise marijuana trade

Mr Mujica said their system will also be more transparent than the medical marijuana laws passed by 21 US states and the District of Columbia, which he called "brutal hypocrisy" because he argued people can fake illnesses to get prescription marijuana. 

"There are places where there are forms already filled out with a doctor's signature. So you go, you say that you need marijuana because your ear hurts, they fill out the form, you prescribe it yourself and with the signature of a doctor," he said.

Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalise marijuana production and consumption in a move aimed at wresting the business from criminals in the small South American nation.

It will be legal to smoke the drug in many public spaces where smoking tobacco is allowed, except in the work place. The state will sell five different strains, containing a maximum level of 15 percent THC.