This Tuesday, December 6th, the fourth debate of the legislative act that seeks to legalize the use of cannabis in the adult population of the country, proposed by the representative to the Chamber of Deputies, Juan Carlos Losada, who belongs to the Liberal Party, was approved.
Read more about the legalization of cannabis for adult use in Colombia and find other important cannabis news from around the world with the Hemp.im mobile app.
The approval was given in the plenary session of the Senate and, in this way, the initiative finished its first round in the Congress of the Republic
“Colombia is lagging behind the need to legalize” cannabis production, said the Minister of the Interior.
“Historic! For the first time, the project #CannabisDeUsoAdulto reaches the fourth of its eight debates. Colombia advances in a drug policy based on prevention approach, respectful of freedoms and that generates economic opportunities,” said the congressman upon learning of the plenary’s decision.
The approved bill aims to legalize the use of cannabis as it has been done in other countries of the continent and the world, and despite the various criticisms it may have among citizens, it should go hand in hand with a series of strategies to prevent the consumption of cannabis in schools, as well as the prohibition of its use in schools, public spaces or common areas.
Losada added that “in article 49 of the Constitution, the government of Álvaro Uribe included in 2009 the express prohibition of the carrying and consumption of psychoactive substances. We will create an exception for cannabis in that article that allows the creation of a legal cannabis market in which it can be bought, sold, and distributed, something that today is illegal in Colombia despite the fact that it is legal to consume, carry and grow it, up to 20 plants per person. In this project, we are allowing the creation of this legal market of cannabis for adult use in Colombia.”
Senator María José Pizarro argued before the plenary that the fight against drugs has been an absolute failure and that “after 50 years, consumption has not decreased and, on the contrary, the mafias have been strengthened, democracy has been distorted and we have lost thousands of lives in the midst of this war”.
He added that it is estimated that in Colombia “around 16 billion dollars (almost 80 billion) have been lost in this war. It has become evident how easily the money from drug trafficking (fattened by prohibition itself) penetrates all spheres of the State”.
On this issue, the Minister of the Interior, Alfonso Prada, has said in several scenarios that the progress of this initiative is historic and that it is a debate that should be approached without fear.
“Never before have these projects gone so far and we are very close to becoming laws of the Republic of constitutional reforms,” said the official, who stressed that “issues such as the recreational use of cannabis” give Colombia the possibility of “having, in the production of cannabis, a source of a dignified life for farmers and to move the economy.
The minister added that “in Europe, countries such as Spain already have it, where there is full control in stores. The same in several states of the United States, and in many states of the world. Colombia is lagging behind in terms of the need to regulate all this production and have the possibility to grow and produce legally, not as a prohibited drug, but rather controlled by the State,” he said.
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He added that this way of regulating the use of cannabis in adults “will be, with absolute certainty, one of the most important sources of income for the people, the peasants, and for the treasury.”
As it is a legislative act, the proposal still has four debates to be held, which will begin in March 2023, when the Congress of the Republic will resume its activities after the usual legislative recess.
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First published in Semana, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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