The South American country of Colombia just overturned a ban on public consumption, officially allowing for out-in-the open use in cannabis-friendly company.
According to Forbes, the public ban on cannabis was ruled unconstitutional because it violates the basic rights of citizens. “The Police Code was put into effect in 2017 as a political attempt to limit and punish cannabis usage after medical use was approved, and many portions of its code are considered onerous and unjustified,” opposition Sen. Gustavo Bolívar explained.
However, what is unique about Colombia is that while cannabis is decriminalized and legal for medical use, and now even legal to use in public, recreational cannabis still is not legal. Now that the public consumption ban has been overturned, many want to change that. Many also see this as a sign that the country will progress soon. “We are going to formulate a new drug policy for our country, one based on evidence and numbers, one that will allow us to think of an effective strategy, since all data we examined shows a big fail in our war against drugs,” said Sen. Bolívar.
When cannabis was first decriminalized in the country, the law was relatively lax, allowing people to have up to 20 grams of cannabis on their person. “The judicial ruling in Colombia represents yet another important step in the growing political and judicial movement in Latin America and Europe to stop treating people who consume drugs as criminals worthy of incarceration,” Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance said at the time. “This trend follows in the footsteps of European reforms since the 1990s.”
While the country may be slow to fully legalize, they have definitely displayed a history of cannabis-friendly policy. If Colombia keeps up with the current trend and continues to push forward a cannabis-friendly agenda, full legalization could be right around the corner.