“We believe that the prohibition of certain drugs is creating more problems for society than the drugs themselves… with disastrous consequences,” Defence Minister Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro said.

“Homicides related to settling scores have increased, and that’s a clear sign that certain phenomena are appearing in Uruguay that didn’t exist before,” he said.

Uruguay police are blaming hard drugs, specifically crack cocaine, for the rise in in crime in the South American country.

The new bill envisages that some shops would be allowed to sell marijuana cigarettes at a price fixed by the authorities.

The government also wants to create a user database to supervise consumption and has plans that only the government would be allowed to sell marijuana to adults registered on a database.