PIONEERS

José Mujica

Jose Mujica TIME 100
Mario Goldman—AFP/Getty Images

The revolutionary who legalized pot

Uruguay’s José “Pepe” Mujica has been called the world’s poorest President for his modest lifestyle. He doesn’t ride around in limousines, nor does he live in an opulent official residence. But that doesn’t make him any less of a leader than his counterparts elsewhere. Last year, he signed a new law making Uruguay the first country in the world to legalize the production and sale of marijuana. It was an important step, a bid to tackle criminal trafficking and regulate the supply of the drug while at the same time set up a new mechanism to help fill government coffers. It is still early days for the new policy. But on President Mujica’s watch, Uruguay has embarked on a bold and fascinating experiment that will be closely watched by supporters of legalization in other countries—including myself.

McCain is a co-host of Pivot’s TakePart Live

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