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Colombian Congress advances drug legalization bill

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Colombia’s Chamber of Representatives has approved a bill that would legalize the cultivation of drugs that grow as plants, bringing to fruition the start of more legislative drug reform efforts to come, as promised by South American leaders during the recent Summit of the Americas.

Colombia’s drug crop legalization bill would make growing marijuana, opium, coca and poppies legal, but drug trafficking, including sales, would remain a severe crime, according to Colombia Reports.

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The U.S. is a strong ally of Colombia’s and the Obama administration has provided military support to the country, even going so far as to station U.S. soldiers and drone aircraft at Colombian military bases, ostensibly to help combat drug trafficking networks. The country has historically been a key U.S. asset in the region, so much that they’ve even accepted prior U.S. administrations sending aircraft over Colombian poppy and coca fields to spray the indigenous population with herbicide.

Colombia’s current and former presidents, however, have pushed to realign the country’s drug policies in spite of America’s insistence upon continued prohibition. Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s current president, said recently that the U.S. policy to arrest drug consumers is like riding on “a stationary bike” — in other words, going nowhere despite the effort.

“One extreme can be to put all users in prison,” he told an audience at the Summit of the Americas, according to CNN. “On the other extreme, legalization. In the middle there may be more practical policies, such as decriminalizing consumption but putting all the efforts into interdiction.”

That summit, which saw President Barack Obama return home increasingly politically isolated in Latin America and dogged by a Secret Service sex-for-hire scandal, triggered a sharp reaction from the U.S. leader when the subject of drug legalization came up.

“I don’t mind debate around issues like decriminalization,” he said in an interview with the Spanish-language channel Univision. “I personally don’t agree that’s a solution to the problem. But I think that given the pressures a lot of governments are under — under resourced, overwhelmed by violence — it’s completely understandable that they would look for new approaches, and we want to cooperate with them. I don’t think legalization of drugs is the answer.”

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Mauricio Rodríguez, Colombia’s ambassador to London, has also called for reforms by the world’s largest banks to prevent them from continuing to facilitate “international money-laundering of drug profits.” Santos’s government has also pushed for a proper decriminalization regime that would set “personal dose” amounts for individual substances.

Similarly, Cesar Gaviria Trujillo, Colombia’s former president, told a Spanish-language radio station in March that America’s war on drugs has been a disastrous “failure” which the ruling parties simply refuse to talk about.

“Society does not want to accept that people consume [drugs],” he told RCN Radio in Colombia. “You cannot turn away from reality. We cannot accept that theory. [American politicians] may prefer not to talk about it. We cannot accept it. We cannot be condemned to live in war because Americans do not want to talk about it. No one speaks in favor of the war on drugs.”

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Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.


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Miami-Dade cop relieved of duty after punching irate woman at Florida airport

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A bad situation turned worse, after a woman missed her flight at Miami International Airport. When police were called, things got even worse.

According to the Miami Herald, body-camera footage, which surfaced Wednesday evening, showed the officer hitting the woman yelling at him.

“You acting like you white when you really Black...what you want to do?” the woman without a mask says.

She then stepped very close to the officer, putting her face against his and that's when he struck her in the face.

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Appellate Judge says Mary Trump’s tell-all book can be released

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Yesterday, a judge paused Mary Trump's tell-all book on President Donald Trump and his family, but Wednesday evening, a New York appellate judge ruled that Simon & Schuster could move forward with releasing the book.

According to the New York Times, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man will be released in four weeks, on schedule.

"Justice Alan Scheinkman’s ruling, however, put off addressing a central aspect of the bitter spat about the manuscript that has been roiling all month in the Trump family: whether, by writing the book, Ms. Trump violated a confidentiality agreement put in place nearly 20 years ago after a struggle over the will of her grandfather, Fred Trump Sr., Donald Trump’s father," the report said.

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Trump staff had an inquisition for healthcare workers for Tulsa rally — demanding to know if they leaked staff COVID story

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President Donald Trump was so incensed that the media learned of his staffers who caught COVID-19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma that he had a kind of inquisition for healthcare workers to investigate if they linked the story.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that those familiar to his reaction said that outside of the BOK center, Trump campaign staff were being tested before the event. When the information was released, they scrambled, quizzing who leaked the information about the positive cases.

Healthcare workers were "then given a different list of people to test, according to two people with direct knowledge of the events who, like others in this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal conversations," said the Post.

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