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Uruguay limits pot purchases to 10 grams a week

MONTEVIDEO--Uruguay on Friday took a major step in setting rules for the government-regulated sale of marijuana, a daring experiment supported by the country's iconoclastic president.

Officials said that customers can buy up to 10 grams of marijuana a week at a price of 20 to 22 pesos (about US$0.90) per gram.

The small South American country in December became the first in the world to announce that it would regulate the market for cannabis and its derivatives, a bold move by authorities frustrated with losing resources to fighting drug trafficking.

The new rules state that the officially sanctioned marijuana will have a 15 percent concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the plant's main psychoactive ingredient — and come in five varieties.

Buyers must be 18 or older, residents of Uruguay, and must register with authorities.

The decree regulating pot sales is due to be signed by ministers Monday and published Tuesday, said National Drug Board president Diego Canepa.

The new rules are supported by President Jose Mujica, a former guerrilla and medical doctor who leaves office this year.

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In this Dec. 18, 2013 file photo, Juan Palese, a marijuana grower, shows his crop outside Montevideo, Uruguay.

(AP)

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