A monthly bill to legalize cannabis in Colombia cleared another vital hurdle on its path to enactment on Tuesday, advancing as a result of a Chamber of Representatives committee that delivers it a lot more than halfway as a result of the legislative method.

The legislation, which the Chamber and Senate reconciled to be equivalent in December following previously clearing just about every whole human body in differing types, wants to go as a result of 8 overall stops in the Colombian Congress about two consecutive decades. Tuesday&#8217s 26-6 vote by the First Committee of the Chamber marks the fifth stop, sending it to the flooring for thing to consider prior to returning to the Senate for ultimate votes.

The Senate overwhelmingly accepted its variation of the reform legislation in December just after it acquired preliminary acceptance in the Chamber.

In an op-ed for Semena that was published on Tuesday, the invoice sponsor, Rep. Juan Carlos Losada of the Liberal Social gathering, stated that the legislation represents &#8220one particular of the most important and controversial discussions of new times,&#8221 according to a translation.

&#8220The regulation of hashish for adult use in Colombia is the gateway for a new drug plan that abandons the unsuccessful paradigm of prohibition and opens the discipline to a policy guided by general public health recommendations, the prevention of use and the warranty of consideration of purchaser buyers,&#8221 he wrote. &#8220The abandonment of prohibitionism also qualified prospects, inevitably, to the theft of illegal cash flow that has been the gasoline that has allowed the perpetuation of war and violence in the state.&#8221

&#8220When a Point out decides to act in response to a public dilemma, the very first point that need to be confirmed is that its action does not produce more destruction,&#8221 he additional. &#8220Regulation will preserve life that prohibition could not.&#8221

Lawmakers earlier acknowledged the Chamber’s provision barring the possession and use of unregulated psychaocative substances with out a healthcare prescription. The laws also boundaries marijuana use and marketing and advertising close to school zones and in general public spaces.

A part adopted from the Senate model offers with respecting the autonomy of indigenous communities and possessing the government issue a decree recognizing their right to control the plant and “guarantee interculturality as an necessary aspect of the essential proper to health and fitness,” in accordance to a translation.

The last key modify worried the powerful day of the regulation, with lawmakers accepting the Chamber’s version, which states that the legislation can take impact 12 months following implementation of the legislation.

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At a general public listening to in the Senate panel in November, Justice Minister Néstor Osuna claimed that Colombia has been the victim of “a unsuccessful war that was designed 50 a long time in the past and, because of to absurd prohibitionism, has introduced us a whole lot of blood, armed conflict, mafias and crime.”

A supplementary legislative examination supplies background on the historical past of cannabis policy in Colombia, when also describing reform developments in other nations around the world this kind of as Mexico and the United States.

The legalization monthly bill would guidance “the ideal of the totally free advancement of the persona, enabling citizens to decide on the consumption of hashish in a controlled legal framework,” it states. And it would mitigate “arbitrary discriminatory or unequal remedy in entrance of the population that consumes.”

The laws also phone calls for public schooling campaigns and the promotion of substance misuse cure products and services.

The Chamber of Representatives gave original acceptance to a legalization monthly bill in October. The head of the Interior Ministry also spoke in favor of the reform proposal at the time. That vote arrived shortly right after a congressional committee innovative this measure and a individual legalization bill.

President Gustavo Petro, a progressive who has been strongly advocating for an worldwide stop to drug criminalization considering the fact that remaining inaugurated in August, has reviewed the feasible advantages of cannabis legalization.

In September, the president delivered a speech at a assembly of the United Nations (UN), urging member nations to fundamentally adjust their techniques to drug plan and disband with prohibition.

Petro also lately talked about the prospective customers of legalizing cannabis in Colombia as a person indicates of lessening the impact of the illicit market place. And he signaled that the policy alter need to be followed by releasing folks who are currently in jail about cannabis.

He spoke about the economic potential of a authorized hashish marketplace, a person where smaller cities in sites like the Andes, Corinto and Miranda could stand to reward from legal cannabis cultivation, quite possibly with out any licensing prerequisites.

The president also signaled that he’d be interested in discovering the notion of ​​exporting hashish to other nations where the plant is lawful.

Petro also achieved with the president of Mexico in November, and the pair announced that they will be bringing alongside one another other Latin American leaders for an global conference focused on on “redesigning and rethinking drug policy” given the “failure” of prohibition. Mexican lawmakers are also pursuing countrywide legalization.

U.S. Secretary of Condition Antony Blinken explained in a joint visual appearance with Petro in Oct that the U.S. usually backs his “holistic approach” to medicine. The Colombian president, for his component, explained that international locations need to have to “view the war on drugs in another way.”

As a former member of Colombia’s M-19 guerrilla group, Petro has found the violent conflict concerning guerrilla fighters, narcoparamilitary teams and drug cartels that has been exacerbated by the government’s aggressive tactic to drug enforcement.

According to the United Nations Business office of Drug Regulate Plan (ONDCP), Colombia stays a chief exporter of cocaine,  despite  “drug supply reduction functions in Colombia, this kind of as eradication of coca bush and destruction of laboratories.”

In 2020, Colombian legislators released a invoice that would have controlled coca, the plant that is processed to produce cocaine, in an acknowledgment that the government’s decades-extended fight towards the drug and its processes have continually unsuccessful. That laws cleared a committee, but it was ultimately shelved by the over-all conservative legislature.

Advocates are optimistic that these a proposal could progress underneath the Petro administration. The president has not taken a crystal clear stance on the laws itself, but he campaigned on legalizing cannabis and promoted the plan of ​​cannabis as an choice to cocaine.

Former Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos has also been crucial of the drug war and embraced reform. In an editorial printed prior to he remaining business office, he criticized the United Nations and U.S. President Richard Nixon for their purpose in location a drug war normal that has proven ineffective at finest and counterproductive at worst.

“It is time we discuss about accountable government regulation, seem for techniques to minimize off the drug mafias’ air source, and tackle the difficulties of drug use with greater sources for avoidance, treatment and damage reduction with regard to community overall health and the social material,” he reported.

“This reflection must be world wide in scope in order to be effective,” Santos, who is a member of the professional-reform Worldwide Commission on Drug Policy, mentioned. “It must also be wide, together with participation not only of governments but also of academia and civil culture. It ought to arrive at beyond legislation enforcement and judicial authorities and contain gurus in public wellness, economists and educators, amid other disciplines.”

Meanwhile, a U.S. congressional delegation returned from a visit to Colombia in October, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who was section of the vacation, informed Marijuana Second that one topic of his conversations with officials in the nation was that the entire world has “lost the war on medication.”

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Picture element courtesy of Bryan Pocius.

The publish Colombian Lawmakers Progress Marijuana Legalization Invoice, Aiming For Enactment This Calendar year appeared 1st on Cannabis Second.

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