The Minister of the Interior Luis Fernando Velasco, made a strong defense of the legislative act that seeks to legalize cannabis for adult use in Colombia. Velasco pointed out that the government of President Gustavo Petro is in agreement with the approval of this initiative that is being discussed in the seventh debate in the First Commission of the Senate.
Precisely, the head of the political portfolio asked the senators that makeup said commission to support the text that is being debated and reiterated that it has the endorsement of the Executive.
“I do believe that a good way to face drug addiction in Colombia is to legalize cannabis for recreational use. It will help us a lot and that is why the Government strongly supports this initiative,” said Velasco.
Minister Velasco’s position became known because Senator Karina Espinosa presented a proposal to file this legislative act with the signatures of Senators Jota Pe Hernández, and Paloma Valencia, among others.
Read more about the legalization of cannabis in Colombia and find the most important cannabis news from around the world with the Hemp.im mobile app.
Will Congress approve the legalization of cannabis
It is expected that this Tuesday – May 30th – the First Commission of the Senate will make a decision on the initiative and if it is approved, it will pass to its last discussion in the plenary of said corporation. If the majorities vote no, the legislative act will be automatically sunk.
Before starting the debate, the initiative that seeks to legalize cannabis for adult use in Colombia, led by representative Juan Carlos Losada and supported by the national government, became this Monday, May 29th, the bone of contention that led to a hard-cross on social networks between congressman Losada and senator Humberto de la Calle.
The clash started after a message posted by De la Calle on his Twitter account in which he shared with his followers that he will participate in the Book Fair in Madrid (Spain), where he will present the book he recently launched.
“I’m excited to share that my participation in the @FLMadrid is approaching. I was invited to present my novel ‘La inverosímil muerte de Hércules Pretorius’ on June 2. I invite all those interested,” said the senator and former peace negotiator.
What was a harmless message became a source of discord, after Representative Losada made it known that, because he was going to the Madrid Book Fair, De la Calle would be absent from the vote on the bill that legalizes marijuana in Colombia.
“Hopefully we will not need your vote for the regulation of cannabis today because, despite the fact that your event is on June 2, you decided to leave today and will not attend the vote. A tremendous act of irresponsibility,” Losada said with a visible tone of annoyance.
The liberal representative also said that De la Calle would not only miss the vote on the adult-use cannabis bill but also on the reform that creates the Agrarian Jurisdiction, which is a project of the peace agreement.
Legalization of cannabis in Colombia
A project that seeks to legalize the cannabis market has never gone this far before, and those who support it are certain that it is now or never. With the backing of a progressive government and a largely renewed legislature, approval is getting closer and closer. The initiative has passed six out of eight debates and is pending to be discussed by the First Commission of the Senate this week.
In spite of this, due to the congested legislative agenda of the Government, the project has a tight schedule and a considerable risk of sinking due to time. As it is a modification to the Constitution, it could not be debated in extraordinary sessions, so it will have to undergo its last two debates in the next four weeks.
However, it is possible to see the Government’s commitment to support the initiative. It is clear that this is a priority due to the speedy transfer of the bill to the Senate and the scheduling of the debate. In addition, President Gustavo Petro, in the last few days, asked the Congress of the Republic to “take the step” towards legalization.
“I expect from the Congress of the Republic, there are two debates left for a change in the Constitution, that it is approved, that we take that step. Undoubtedly I recognize that there are moral or ethical obstacles, because of what we have suffered around these productions and these consumptions, but that the world is moving in a different direction. It is going towards the legalization of this economy that was previously illegalized and that Colombia can have a great commercial, productive and popular advantage if the Congress of the Republic, like so many congresses in the world, takes the step towards removing the illegalization”, said the president in Nariño.
Although the First Commission of the Senate of the Republic is a conservative public, those who lead the project are confident that the congressmen who supported it in the first round of the project will do so in the second round. The detail is that for this stage it must be approved by the absolute majority, that is to say, the positive votes of the majority of the members of the legislative cell.
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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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