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Uruguay's move to legalise marijuana 'breaks international treaty'

Published on Dec 12, 2013 1:25 AM

VIENNA (REUTERS) - Uruguay's decision to legalise marijuana is in violation of an international convention on drug control, a Vienna-based body set up to monitor government compliance with such treaties said on Wednesday.

Uruguay became the first country to legalise the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana on Tuesday, in a pioneering experiment that will be closely watched by other nations debating drug liberalisation.

A government-sponsored Bill approved in the Senate provides for regulation of the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana and is aimed at wresting the business from criminals in the small South American nation.

But the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said the legislation contravenes the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, to which it said Uruguay is a party. "Cannabis is controlled under the 1961 Convention, which requires States Parties to limit its use to medical and scientific purposes, due to its dependence-producing potential," INCB president Raymond Yans said in a statement.

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