Colombian Congress advances drug legalization bill

Colombia’s Chamber of Representatives has approved a bill that would legalize the cultivation of drugs that grow as plants, bringing to fruition the start of more legislative drug reform efforts to come, as promised by South American leaders during the recent Summit of the Americas.

Colombia’s drug crop legalization bill would make growing marijuana, opium, coca and poppies legal, but drug trafficking, including sales, would remain a severe crime, according to Colombia Reports.

The U.S. is a strong ally of Colombia’s and the Obama administration has provided military support to the country, even going so far as to station U.S. soldiers and drone aircraft at Colombian military bases, ostensibly to help combat drug trafficking networks. The country has historically been a key U.S. asset in the region, so much that they’ve even accepted prior U.S. administrations sending aircraft over Colombian poppy and coca fields to spray the indigenous population with herbicide.

Colombia’s current and former presidents, however, have pushed to realign the country’s drug policies in spite of America’s insistence upon continued prohibition. Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s current president, said recently that the U.S. policy to arrest drug consumers is like riding on “a stationary bike” — in other words, going nowhere despite the effort.

“One extreme can be to put all users in prison,” he told an audience at the Summit of the Americas, according to CNN. “On the other extreme, legalization. In the middle there may be more practical policies, such as decriminalizing consumption but putting all the efforts into interdiction.”

Source: Raw Story



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