Pot A Burning Issue

By bogotapost August 20, 2014

4238574961_e4004d1098_oColombian President Juan Manuel Santos has come out in favour of a proposed Liberal Party bill to legalise medical marijuana


President Juan Manuel Santos spoke publicly in favour of legalising marijuana recently, saying the so called “War on Drugs’ had failed.

Santos made the statements earlier this month during a speech in which he urged Colombia’s Congress to pass a bill that would alter the country’s drug laws and exempt marijuana in certain cases.

The bill was first tabled on July 22 by Liberal Party Senator Juan Manuel Galan – whose father was killed in 1989 by drug cartel hitmen. The Congress is expected to vote on the bill later this year.

Santos has spoken in the past of his opposition to prohibition, saying the ‘War on Drugs’ is not working. He also famously admitted to smoking pot while in college.

The Conservative party also threw their support behind the bill.

The party spokesman Senator Hernan Andrade told Caracol radio on August 14 the bill “is viable, necessary and harmless.”

He nonetheless emphasised that the legalisation of marijuana for medical purposes should not be seen as a step towards full legalisation.

Colombia is not the first country in Latin America to look at changing its drugs policy.

A bill has already been passed in Uruguay to fully legalise marijuana, and Chile, Brazil and Argentina are also considering decriminalising the use of the drug for medical purposes.

By Charlotte Ryan