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In the News: Uruguay’s President Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for Legalizing Marijuana

The president of Uruguay, José “Pepe” Mujica, has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. According to his advocates, his much talked-about marijuana legalization is in fact “a tool for peace and understanding.” The Drugs Peace Institute, which has backed Mujica’s marijuana legalization drive since 2012, for the second year in a row they are insisting that the use of marijuana should be guarded as a human right and has supported his candidacy, along with members of Mujica’s leftwing political party: the Latin American Coalition of Cannabis Activists (CLAC), the PlantaTuPlanta (Collective of Uruguayan growers) and the Frente Amplio.

In spite of a flood of global disapproval, in late December Uruguay became the first country in the world to completely legalize the manufacturing and trade of the popular herbal drug. Under the new law, which comes into complete effect in the beginning of April, Uruguayans will have numerous choices to gain access to it. The Drugs Peace Institute, a Dutch NGO, also supported Mujica’s candidacy in a letter sent to the committee last month. Along with his marijuana policies, the NGO commended Mujica’s growth from a leftwing guerrilla into an elected politician, after spending 14 years in prison — with more than 10 years in solitary confinement, according to The New York Times. And instead of seeking revenge, he became president.

Mujica stated in Havana, “I’m very thankful to these people for honoring me,” where he was appearing at a conference of Latin American leaders last week, according to Argentine daily La Nación. “We are only proposing the right to try another path because the path of repression doesn’t work. We don’t know if we’ll succeed. We ask for support, scientific spirit and to understand that no addiction is a good thing. But our efforts go beyond marijuana — we’re taking aim at the drug traffic.”

Last year, Mujica made it to the top 10 finalists for the award, gathering the backing of the former head of state of the Soviet Union and Nobel laureate Mikhail Gorbachev. The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize was given to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. In my opinion, I think that marijuana can definitely be a useful and helpful drug for many different reasons. It can help with so many different issues such as different types of cancer, eating disorders, PTSD, depression, anxiety and much more. I think it is amazing that Mujica has legalized it in Uruguay and he should be given some sort of award for that. Mujica has been the president of Uruguay since 2010 and when he became president, he vowed to give away 90 percent of his monthly income to donations that assist deprived individuals and small businesspersons. He seems like an honorable leader and someone who is deserving of recognition for his humble and genuine efforts in helping people. I think it would be very nice to see him win the Nobel Peace Prize. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.


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