Uruguay ex-president Tabaré Vazquez wins a second term, saving state-run marijuana

Uruguay ex-president Tabaré Vazquez wins a second term, saving state-run marijuana
(Image credit: iStock)

Tabaré Vazquez, an oncologist who was Uruguay's president from 2005 to 2010, won another term in Sunday's runoff election, defeating Luis Lacalle Pou of the center-right National party, 53 percent to 40 percent. Vazquez's victory extended the rule of his leftist Broad Front coalition — outgoing President Jose Mujica is also a member — and preserves Uruguay's first-of-its-kind national government-run marijuana market.

Lacalle Pou had vowed to dismantle the state-run pot market, popular among visitors but less so in Uruguay, while allowing Uruguayans to grow marijuana plants. Vazquez said he will continue with the rollout of the national weed marketplace, unless it has negative repercussions. During his first term, Vazquez set one day a week aside to treat patients; this time, the 74-year-old doctor says he will give up medicine to govern.

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