The President of Uruguay Luis Lacalle Pou said his country made a mistake in passing a law to legalize and sell marijuana that allows the state to be part of this trade.

In an interview broadcast by the BBC on Friday it said Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalize the sale and production of marijuana in 2013 under leftist President José Alberto “Pepe” Mujica Cordano, who saw in the law a way to keep its citizens away from drug trafficking networks, reports a local Arabic daily.

Since then, three ways to obtain cannabis are allowed, either to grow it at home for individual consumption, belong to private cooperatives to grow it or buy it from pharmacies, under state control.

Dozens of pharmacies sell cannabis at about $10 per five grams, which is competitive with black market prices. But for the current, center-right president, the state should not be part of the process of cultivating or selling “drugs” because they are “unprofitable.”

“We made a mistake,” Lacalle said, adding that the system has been in effect and “it is difficult to change it overnight.”

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