Colombia Unveils Cocaine Decriminalization Proposal

With the opening of a new congressional year, Colombia’s opposition party has introduced legislation to decriminalize cocaine and regulate the drug’s production.

Full story after the jump.

New legislation proposed by Colombia’s leftist opposition party takes aim at the disruptive war on drugs by decriminalizing and regulating cocaine in the country. According to Colombia Reports, the bill is sponsored by Senators Feliciano Valencia and Ivan Marulanda and contains regulations based on cannabis legalization efforts in the U.S.

The bill coincides with the opposition party’s goals of ending the drug war, part of which involves wresting control of the country’s coca production from international drug cartels and other illegal groups.

“This bill is part of the fight against drug trafficking because it is about getting rid of those mafias that profit from it, destroying the Colombian people along the way.” — Senator Ivan Marulanda, via Colombia Reports

The bill would allow for regulated cocaine sales: adults would have to register as a consumer and receive permission from a physician, which would allow them to buy up to a gram of cocaine per week from licensed distributors. The bill does not rule out the legal export of cocaine for scientific purposes.

The policy of drugs decriminalization has become increasingly attractive around the world as governments transition to treating addiction as a health and wellness issue instead of a criminal issue. The bill, however, is likely to draw international ire as it would go against drug treaties that have been ratified by most countries.

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