Is full legalization the next step?
The Colombian Constitutional Court has declared that the ban on public consumption of cannabis is no longer in line with basic state laws and thus legalizes public use. According to a senator, the decision was based on "legislative technical errors".
It has been seven years since Colombia decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis and other illicit drugs, and about three years since the South American country legalized medical cannabis. Although home-grown cultivation for personal use is permitted, recreational cannabis remains illegal to this day.
Last week, Colombia's Constitutional Court changed its point of view and wants to create a "fair and reasonable regulatory regime".
The Colombian Constitutional Court has ruled that parts of President Iván Duque's 2017 Police Code, which prohibits the public use of cannabis in particular, are unconstitutional because they violate the basic rights of citizens instead of protecting the safety of the public and the public. children as he was supposed to do.
"The Police Code entered into force in 2017 as a political attempt to limit and punish the use of cannabis after approval for medical use and many parts of its code are considered onerous and unjustified", said opposition senator Gustavo Bolívar.
In the opinion of the court: A law cannot create general restrictions on liberty; it must be specific as to time, place and circumstances and be subject to reasonableness and proportionality.
This decision could be a springboard for full legalization, some experts believe. According to local Colombian media, a multi-stakeholder group is preparing to propose a " total change in the war on drugs In the form of a far-reaching bill on drug policy reform. Under the leadership of Senator Bolívar, the group plans to present the law to Congress at the end of July.
“We will formulate a new drug policy for our country; one based on evidence and figures, one that will allow us to think of an effective strategy, because all the data that we have examined shows a major failure in our war on drugs, ”said Senator Bolívar, explaining the reason for the new initiative.
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President Duque said that while he “accepts and respects” the court's decision, “Individual freedom is not above drug use”. He added that the police would continue to impose penalties and confiscate cannabis "even if the doses are considered legal for personal use".