Currently, marijuana is prohibited in Colombia except for medical use. However, there has been a push to legalize recreational marijuana in the country. As a result, the Colombian Chamber of Representatives passed a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana use. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Juan Carlos Losada Vargas of the Liberal Party, and it received approval in a 98-57 vote after several debates and discussions on its merits.
The legalization bill seeks to protect citizens’ rights to make their own decisions about cannabis consumption within a regulated legal framework. It also calls for public education campaigns and the promotion of substance misuse treatment services. Justice Minister Néstor Osuna has argued that prohibitionism has caused violence in Colombia, making it necessary to legalize marijuana to reduce the bloodshed.
Under the bill, adults could purchase and use cannabis recreationally with certain restrictions. The legality of cannabis will also extend to scientific use as long as all regulations are followed. If the bill is passed in its final hurdles, it will be sent to the president for signature before becoming law. A Senate panel is currently reviewing it for further debate and discussion.
The purpose of the bill is to allow for the regularization of cannabis use by adults while unifying regulations regarding the use of cannabis for scientific purposes. Doing so would recognize and guarantee fundamental rights such as equality and free development of personality. Moreover, it provides a different strategy to combat illegal cannabis trafficking in order to reduce violence in Colombia.
The draft act also seeks to ensure public health and safety by controlling the production, distribution, and sale of cannabis products. It further calls for public education campaigns about how to responsibly consume marijuana and promote substance misuse treatment services for those who may need them. The bill also proposes that the observance of certain legal requirements be checked before allowing people to purchase or consume recreational marijuana.
The passage of this bill in the Chamber of Representatives is a major step forward regarding cannabis regulation in Colombia. If it passes its final hurdles, it will be sent to the president for signature before becoming the law of the land. This would mark yet another milestone in worldwide efforts to legalize marijuana.
Now that the bill has passed through the Colombian Chamber of Representatives, it will now go through two more stages before being enacted as law: review by a Senate committee and then a floor vote in the Senate. Finally, the bill must receive approval from both stages to be sent to the president for their signature, making it law officially.
The review by the Senate committee is currently underway and will involve further debate and discussion of the merits of the legislation. After this is completed, it will move on to that chamber’s floor for a final vote. If approved by a majority vote, it will be sent to President Gustavo Petro, who could either sign it into law or veto it.
This legalization effort has been long in coming, and its passage through the Chamber of Representatives marks a major step forward in cannabis regulation in Colombia. Regardless of what happens next, it is a historic moment for the country and one that will have international implications.
If approved, Colombia would become only the third Latin American nation to legalize recreational marijuana use, along with Uruguay and Mexico. This could open the door for other countries in the region to follow suit and further normalize cannabis use worldwide.
Enjoyed that first hit? Come chill with us every week at the Friday Sesh for a freshly packed bowl of the week’s best cannabis news!