Colombia Marijuana Legalization Bill Takes Another Step Towards Becoming Law

Colombia legislation that would make legal marijuana a constitutional right was passed today by the First Commission of the Chamber of Representatives, a key step towards becoming law.

“Historical!”, said Representative Juan Carlos Losada in a translated social media post. “We have just approved with 26 votes the fifth debate on the regulation of #CannabisDeUsoAdulto in Colombia.”

The proposal received approval by the nation’s Senate in December in an overwhelming 56 to 3 vote, roughly two months after it passed by Chamber 105 to 33. However, minor amendments approved in the Senate and Chamber required the bill to receive additional votes before it could be sent to President Gustavo Petro.

“In the coming months in the Congress of the Republic the fate of one of the most important and controversial discussions of recent times will be decided”, Rep. Losada said in a translated op-ed published today. “This is the constitutional reform that seeks to authorize the creation of a legal cannabis market for adult use in Colombia.”

Losada says “The regulation of cannabis for adult use in Colombia is the gateway for a new drug policy that abandons the failed paradigm of prohibition and opens the field to a policy guided by public health guidelines, the prevention of consumption and the guarantee of attention of consumer users. The abandonment of prohibitionism also leads, inevitably, to the theft of illegal income that has been the gasoline that has allowed the perpetuation of war and violence in the country. This project is a step towards ‘total peace’.”

Specifically the proposed law would amend Article 49 of the country’s constitution to offer “the right of the free development of the personality, allowing citizens to decide on the consumption of cannabis in a regulated legal framework.” The amendment would also establish regulations and taxes for legal cannabis sales, and organize how to divide revenue between local cities, as well as health, education, and agriculture departments.

The measure would take effect 12 months after passage.

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