Uruguay considers legalising marijuana as 'experiment', says President Jose Mujica

People wait outside the Parliament building while lawmakers pass the bill legalising marijuana, in Montevideo last week. The new bill aims to put the government in charge of the marijuana industry. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

URUGUAY wants to make a "contribution to humanity'' by legalising marijuana but will backtrack if the "experiment'' goes awry, President Jose Mujica has said.

Mr Mujica said he sees his country as a potential test case for an idea slowly gaining steam across Latin America - that the legalisation and regulation of some drugs could sap the cartel violence devastating much of the region.

"Like any experiment, naturally, there are risks, and we have to understand that if they prove too much for us then we must backtrack. We do not have to be fanatics,'' Mr Mujica said.

Last week a bill to have the government control and regulate marijuana sales and distribution was...

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