A major Colombian official reiterated on Monday that the authorities supports a bill to amend the country’s Structure to legalize marijuana—a proposal that is been advancing in the legislature and is envisioned to obtain a Senate vote on Tuesday.

At a public hearing on Monday, Justice Minister Néstor Osuna reported that the place has been the victim of “a failed war that was created 50 yrs back and, due to absurd prohibitionism, has introduced us a great deal of blood, armed conflict, mafias and crime,” according to a translation.

“The nationwide federal government supports this draft legislative act for the grownup use of cannabis,” he stated. “We believe that it is incredibly essential that this step be taken in direction of a accountable market—a liable regulation that enables us to triumph over this prohibitionist environment.”

The proposed constitutional amendment contemplates the general public well being and financial impacts of legalization, as well as the ideological principle of specific autonomy. If enacted, officers would have 6 months to promulgate guidelines for the grownup-use industry.

A supplementary legislative investigation provides history on the heritage of hashish policy in Colombia, when also describing reform developments in other countries this sort of as Mexico and the United States.

The legalization bill would support “the ideal of the free of charge progress of the temperament, allowing citizens to determine on the usage of hashish in a controlled lawful framework,” it states. And it would mitigate “arbitrary discriminatory or unequal treatment in entrance of the population that consumes.”

The invoice will limit possession and community usage at faculties and certain public areas. It also calls for public instruction campaigns and the marketing of substance misuse remedy solutions.

The Colombian Chamber of Representatives gave preliminary acceptance to a legalization monthly bill from Rep. Juan Carlos Losada very last month. In addition to Osuna, the head of the Interior Ministry also spoke in favor of the reform proposal at the time. That vote came shortly right after a congressional committee sophisticated this evaluate and a individual legalization monthly bill.

Now the To start with Committee of the Senate is taking up its version of the reform proposal, such as at Monday’s hearing.

There have been quite a few debates on the evaluate in the committee, such as last 7 days.

A vote on the legalization bill is expected to materialize in the Senate panel on Tuesday.

“The fight in opposition to prescription drugs has been an absolute failure,” Sen. María José Pizarro Rodríguez reported past week. “After 50 decades, use has not diminished and, on the opposite, the mafias have strengthened, democracy has been distorted and we have misplaced thousands of lives in the midst of this war.”

The justice minister also talked about legislative legalization attempts at an event focused on cannabis reform on Saturday, emphasizing the need to have to enact a coverage modify the encourages financial development and public wellness.

As lawmakers shift to approve the reform monthly bill, Osuna said that governing administration organizations will be working to aid a “faster, a lot less difficult” licensure procedure.

President Gustavo Petro, a progressive who has been strongly advocating for an intercontinental conclusion to drug criminalization since getting inaugurated in August, has talked over the achievable benefits of cannabis legalization.

In September, the president sent a speech at a meeting of the United Nations (UN), urging member nations to fundamentally improve their strategies to drug policy and disband with prohibition.

Petro also lately talked about the potential customers of legalizing marijuana in Colombia  as a single usually means of lowering the impact of the illicit market. And he signaled that the policy alter really should be adopted by releasing persons who are at present in jail in excess of cannabis.

He spoke about the financial likely of a authorized cannabis industry, just one exactly where smaller towns in spots like the Andes, Corinto and Miranda could stand to advantage from legal marijuana cultivation, possibly without the need of any licensing demands.

The president also signaled that he’d be intrigued in checking out the notion of ​​exporting cannabis to other countries the place the plant is authorized.

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), who chairs the Residence Rules Committee, cheered the formal swearing in of Petro , indicating that he seems to be forward to “working with each other to…rethink drug plan, and a great deal a lot more.”

President Joe Biden, on the other hand, seems intent on perpetuating the drug war in Colombia, with U.S. navy assist. He unveiled a  memorandum to the defense secretary in August that authorizes the “interdiction of aircraft reasonably suspected to be mainly engaged in illicit drug trafficking in that country’s airspace.”

He reported that it’s “necessary simply because of the amazing threat posed by illicit drug trafficking to the nationwide safety of that country” and for the reason that “Colombia has suitable procedures in place to safeguard versus harmless reduction of lifetime in the air and on the floor in relationship with these kinds of interdiction, which includes effective means to establish and warn an aircraft in advance of the use of drive is directed against the plane.”

That stated, Secretary of Point out Antony Blinken claimed in a joint visual appeal with Petro final month that the U.S. generally backs his “holistic approach” to medicines. The Colombian president, for his portion, explained that international locations need to “view the war on prescription drugs in another way.”

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

In accordance to the United Nations Place of work of Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Colombia continues to be a main exporter of cocaine,  despite  “drug supply reduction things to do in Colombia, these kinds of as eradication of coca bush and destruction of laboratories.”

In 2020, Colombian legislators released a monthly bill that would have regulated coca, the plant that is processed to create cocaine, in an acknowledgment that the government’s many years-extensive struggle against the drug and its processes have continually unsuccessful. That laws cleared a committee, but it was in the long run shelved by the general conservative legislature.

Advocates are optimistic that these kinds of a proposal could progress below the Petro administration. The president hasn’t taken a obvious stance on the legislation alone, but he campaigned on legalizing cannabis and promoted the notion of ​​cannabis as an substitute to cocaine.

Former Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos has also been important of the drug war and embraced reform. In an editorial published right before he still left workplace, he criticized the United Nations and U.S. President Richard Nixon for their position in location a drug war common that has verified ineffective at ideal and counterproductive at worst.

“It is time we chat about responsible governing administration regulation, glance for ways to reduce off the drug mafias’ air provide, and tackle the challenges of drug use with increased means for prevention, care and harm reduction with regard to public health and the social material,” he stated.

“This reflection should be worldwide in scope in get to be efficient,” Santos, who is a member of the professional-reform International Fee on Drug Policy, mentioned. “It should also be broad, including participation not only of governments but also of academia and civil modern society. It must arrive at beyond regulation enforcement and judicial authorities and require professionals in general public wellbeing, economists and educators, between other disciplines.”

Meanwhile, a U.S. congressional delegation returned from a visit to Colombia final month, and a congressman who was portion of the excursion explained to Cannabis Minute that one theme of his conversations with officials in the country was that the earth has “lost the war on prescription drugs.”

Go through the translated textual content of the proposed cannabis legalization constitutional amendment underneath:

Congressional Researchers Lay Out 6 Essential Limits Of Biden’s Marijuana Pardons

Picture component courtesy of Bryan Pocius.

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