High Colombian Official Reaffirms Authorities’s Assist For Marijuana Legalization Invoice Scheduled For Senate Vote This Week

A prime Colombian official reiterated on Monday that the federal government helps a invoice to amend the nation’s Structure to legalize marijuana—a proposal that’s been advancing within the legislature and is predicted to obtain a Senate vote on Tuesday.

At a public listening to on Monday, Justice Minister Néstor Osuna mentioned that the nation has been the sufferer of “a failed conflict that was designed 50 years in the past and, resulting from absurd prohibitionism, has introduced us a number of blood, armed battle, mafias and crime,” based on a translation.

“The nationwide authorities helps this draft legislative act for the grownup use of hashish,” he mentioned. “We consider that it is rather essential that this step be taken in the direction of a accountable market—a accountable regulation that enables us to beat this prohibitionist ambiance.”

The proposed constitutional modification contemplates the general public well being and financial impacts of legalization, in addition to the ideological precept of particular person autonomy. If enacted, officers would have six months to promulgate guidelines for the adult-use market.

A supplementary legislative evaluation supplies background on the historical past of hashish coverage in Colombia, whereas additionally describing reform developments in different international locations akin to Mexico and the US.

The legalization invoice would assist “the appropriate of the free growth of the character, permitting residents to determine on the consumption of hashish in a regulated authorized framework,” it says. And it might mitigate “arbitrary discriminatory or unequal therapy in entrance of the inhabitants that consumes.”

The invoice will limit possession and public consumption at faculties and sure public areas. It additionally requires public training campaigns and the promotion of substance misuse therapy providers.

The Colombian Chamber of Representatives gave preliminary approval to a legalization invoice from Rep. Juan Carlos Losada final month. Along with Osuna, the pinnacle of the Inside Ministry additionally spoke in favor of the reform proposal on the time. That vote got here shortly after a congressional committee superior this measure and a separate legalization invoice.

Now the First Committee of the Senate is taking over its model of the reform proposal, together with at Monday’s listening to.

There have been a number of debates on the measure within the committee, together with final week.

A vote on the legalization invoice is predicted to occur within the Senate panel on Tuesday.

“The battle in opposition to medication has been an absolute failure,” Sen. María José Pizarro Rodríguez mentioned final week. “After 50 years, consumption has not diminished and, quite the opposite, the mafias have strengthened, democracy has been distorted and we’ve got misplaced 1000’s of lives within the midst of this conflict.”

The justice minister additionally mentioned legislative legalization efforts at an occasion centered on hashish reform on Saturday, emphasizing the necessity to enact a coverage change the promotes financial development and public well being.

As lawmakers transfer to approve the reform invoice, Osuna mentioned that authorities companies can be working to facilitate a “sooner, easier” licensure course of.

President Gustavo Petro, a progressive who has been strongly advocating for a global finish to drug criminalization since being inaugurated in August, has mentioned the attainable advantages of hashish legalization.

In September, the president delivered a speech at a gathering of the United Nations (UN), urging member nations to basically change their approaches to drug coverage and disband with prohibition.

Petro additionally not too long ago talked about the prospects of legalizing marijuana in Colombia  as one technique of lowering the affect of the illicit market. And he signaled that the coverage change must be adopted by releasing people who find themselves presently in jail over hashish.

He spoke concerning the financial potential of a authorized hashish business, one the place small cities in locations just like the Andes, Corinto and Miranda might stand to profit from authorized marijuana cultivation, probably with none licensing necessities.

The president additionally signaled that he’d be serious about exploring the concept of ​​exporting hashish to different international locations the place the plant is authorized.

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), who chairs the Home Guidelines Committee, cheered the official swearing in of Petro , saying that he appears to be like ahead to “working collectively to…rethink drug coverage, and far more.”

President Joe Biden, however, appears intent on perpetuating the drug conflict in Colombia, with U.S. army assist. He launched a  memorandum to the protection secretary in August that authorizes the “interdiction of plane fairly suspected to be primarily engaged in illicit drug trafficking in that nation’s airspace.”

He mentioned that it’s “crucial due to the extraordinary risk posed by illicit drug trafficking to the nationwide safety of that nation” and since “Colombia has applicable procedures in place to guard in opposition to harmless lack of life within the air and on the bottom in reference to such interdiction, which incorporates efficient means to establish and warn an plane earlier than the usage of power is directed in opposition to the plane.”

That mentioned, Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned in a joint look with Petro final month that the U.S. typically backs his “holistic method” to medication. The Colombian president, for his half, mentioned that international locations must “view the conflict on medication otherwise.”

As a former member of Colombia’s M-19 guerrilla group, Petro has seen the violent battle between guerrilla fighters, narcoparamilitary teams and drug cartels that has been exacerbated by the federal government’s aggressive method to drug enforcement.

In keeping with the United Nations Workplace of Drug Management Coverage (ONDCP), Colombia stays a chief exporter of cocaine,  regardless of  “drug provide discount actions in Colombia, akin to eradication of coca bush and destruction of laboratories.”

In 2020, Colombian legislators launched a invoice that might have regulated coca, the plant that’s processed to supply cocaine, in an acknowledgment that the federal government’s decades-long battle in opposition to the drug and its procedures have constantly failed. That laws cleared a committee, however it was finally shelved by the general conservative legislature.

Advocates are optimistic that such a proposal might advance underneath the Petro administration. The president hasn’t taken a transparent stance on the laws itself, however he campaigned on legalizing marijuana and promoted the concept of ​​hashish as an alternative choice to cocaine.

Former Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos has additionally been essential of the drug conflict and embraced reform. In an editorial printed earlier than he left workplace, he criticized the United Nations and U.S. President Richard Nixon for his or her function in setting a drug conflict customary that has confirmed ineffective at greatest and counterproductive at worst.

“It’s time we speak about accountable authorities regulation, search for methods to chop off the drug mafias’ air provide, and sort out the issues of drug use with larger assets for prevention, care and hurt discount with regard to public well being and the social material,” he mentioned.

“This reflection should be world in scope as a way to be efficient,” Santos, who’s a member of the pro-reform World Fee on Drug Coverage, mentioned. “It should even be broad, together with participation not solely of governments but additionally of academia and civil society. It should attain past legislation enforcement and judicial authorities and contain consultants in public well being, economists and educators, amongst different disciplines.”

In the meantime, a U.S. congressional delegation returned from a go to to Colombia final month, and a congressman who was a part of the journey informed Marijuana Second that one theme of his discussions with officers within the nation was that the world has “misplaced the conflict on medication.”

Learn the translated textual content of the proposed marijuana legalization constitutional modification beneath:

Congressional Researchers Lay Out Six Key Limitations Of Biden’s Marijuana Pardons

Picture factor courtesy of Bryan Pocius.

The publish High Colombian Official Reaffirms Authorities’s Assist For Marijuana Legalization Invoice Scheduled For Senate Vote This Week appeared first on Marijuana Second.

You May Also Like