Colombia: a congressional committee approves the cannabis legalization project

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The first committee of the Colombian House of Representatives approved in the first debate the project to legalize cannabis for adult use in Colombia.

Mr. Losada, author of the bill, asked President Gustavo Petro to support his initiative. “That they join this project and that we can have a broad debate that allows us to move forward with powerful legislation that regulates cannabis for adult consumption in Colombia, that creates a legal cannabis market and that guarantees the rights and freedoms citizens,” said the parliamentarian.

Being a legislative act, the bill will have to go through seven further debates in Congress. The House has until Dec. 16 to push through the three remaining first-round debates.

If it fails to reach this 50% approval rate before the end of the legislative period, the project will be put on hold.

However, Mr. Losada is optimistic: “We hope that the bill can be passed in plenary session of the House of Representatives. The support our bill has received is truly overwhelming, and we believe that under this new, much more open, liberal and progressive government, this initiative will come to fruition and finally regulate cannabis for adult use in the country,” a- he declared.

For its author, Representative Juan Carlos Losada, it is a strong message that Congress is sending today, because, according to him, it is insane that Colombians can cultivate and consume cannabis, these two uses being decriminalized, but n not have the right to buy it legally on a regulated market.

The bill aims, among other things, to amend Article 49 of the Political Constitution, which prohibits the possession and consumption of narcotic or psychotropic substances. More specifically, it would exempt adults who possess or consume cannabis and its derivatives from this prohibition.

Likewise, if the text is approved, it would entrust the State with the responsibility of paying particular attention to consumers who have a problematic relationship with narcotic or psychotropic substances. The State should therefore develop “permanent prevention campaigns against the consumption of drugs or narcotics and their harmful effects in favor of consumers”, indicates the proposal.

For Representative Losada: “Only through regulation can we deal with the criminal problem generated by illegality, only through regulation can we deal with the war machine of jibaros and drug dealers. This project is not a favor to drug traffickers, on the contrary, the favor is to maintain the prohibition of cannabis, the profit is in the illegality of the product that is sold. That’s where the drug business is.”

Since 1994, the Constitutional Court has established that the possession and consumption of drugs are actions that occur in the exercise of the right to the free development of the personality and the autonomy of the person and that they must not be penalized, also because, in themselves, possession and consumption do not affect the rights of other people (Award C-221 of 1994).

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