Colombia lawmakers pass bill to legalize and regulate cannabis

Colombia lawmakers pass bill to legalize and regulate cannabis

The bill to legalize and regulate cannabis nationwide was passed through a committee with nearly unanimous support, according to a bill that was approved by Colombian lawmakers. President Gustavo Petro, who recently became Colombia's first leftist president with Francia M rquez, the first black female vice president in the nation's history, is pushing for global drug policy reform.

The legislation from the Liberal Rep. Carlos Ardila and other lawmakers cleared the Chamber of Representatives First Committee in a 31 -- 2 vote, according to local outlets.

According to a translation of a report from RCN Radio, this is the first step that must be taken because political prohibition has to be consigned locally.

If the proposal becomes law, it would create regulations and establish a tax structure for legal marijuana sales, and the revenue collected would be distributed among local municipalities to support public health, education, and agriculture initiatives.

The proposal stated that it would regulate the use of cannabis for people of legal age, thus guaranteeing the fundamental right to the free development of the personality. It would also promote a different approach to harm reduction and public health, rather than the one used up to now in the fight against the harmful effects on health and society that this psychoactive substance may have, changing a purely criminal approach to one of harm reduction and public health.

With this legislative act, strategies that benefit the countryside will be promoted and others will be implemented to combat the illegal traffic of this substance, betting on public health and social growth. The bill is one of two marijuana legalization measures that have been passed through the legislature in the past few weeks.

A proposal from the liberal deputy Juan Carlos Losada was passed in the First Commission last month. He sent a letter to President Petro asking for support for his bill. Petro hasn't endorsed any of the cannabis reform bills at the moment.

Petro said that Colombia should move away from the ineffective drug policies formed with the United States and that Colombia should pave its own path. Petro, an economist, favors legalizing marijuana. Petro said that the issue of marijuana seems stupid to me to keep it underground.

In his first speech before the UN UN Petro, he denounced the failure of the war on drugs saying: "I come from one of the most beautiful countries on earth, I come from a country of bloody beauty." It is beautiful, but there is also violence there that I demand from here, from my wounded Latin America, to end the irrational war on drugs. Luis Gilberto Murillo, Colombian ambassador in Washington USA, stated that any government effort to achieve peace in Colombia has the support of the Biden administration.

The United States supports the peace efforts that the Colombian government is doing and that is part of the dialogue work we have had these months, Murillo said.