A bill that was proposed by Colombia’s liberals to decriminalize the cultivation of illicit crops was denied on Wednesday.
According to La FM Radio, the bill was rejected by the House of Representatives with 59 votes against the drafted law.
“A narcotrafficker has the same penalty as those who grow,” argued the indignant Liberal representative and author of the bill, Hugo Velasquez.
Newspaper El Espectador reported that Velasquez intends to continue pushing the project despite the House’s rejection.
“Eradication of crops will continue to be maintained but, the people should not be imprisoned,” insisted Velasquez, “we wanted to do justice to the humble people who have dedicated themselves to illicit crops to survive.”
Velasquez’ view along with the supporters of the bill, is that the cultivators of illicit crops such as coca are not criminals, unlike their cocaine producing and trafficking counterparts.
According to the congressman the decriminalization of cultivation of illegal crops would contribute to the reduction of drug trafficking because it would flood the market with cocaine and lower the price of the raw product thus encouraging farmers to grow different crops.