By Ladan Cher for Foreign Policy. PUNTA DEL ESTE, Uruguay — In December 2013, Uruguay offered itself as the world’s leading laboratory for marijuana policy. That month, the Latin American nation of some 3.5 million people became the first country to legalize and regulate the cultivation, sale, and consumption of the drug, turning itself into an outlier in a region where failed prohibition policies had been the norm. Marijuana legalization advocates from around the world eagerly waited to see how the case study would play out.

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