The Colombian government will propose a new drug statute to congress that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of methamphetamines and ecstasy.
“The proposal aims to standardize the amount of drugs already permitted, while also allowing an equivalent quanitity of synthetic drugs,” said Colombia’s Minister of Justice Ruth Stella Correa on Tuesday.
Before going to congress, the new drug statute, which is still in the drafting stage, will be submitted to the Consitutional Court and the prosecutor general for review.
Should the proposal pass, it would bring the laws governing methamphetamines and ecstasy into line with those already governing cocaine and marijuana. The possession of small amounts of those two substances was decriminalized by congress in mid-2012.
BACKGROUND: Personal drug use decriminalized in Colombia
The recent moves in Colombia to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of hitherto illicit substances is yet another sign of the shifting approach towards the war on drugs in Colombia and Latin America as a whole. The punitive approach that viewed drug use as a criminal matter is fast being replaced by one which sees addiction, at least on an individual basis, as a public health issue.
BACKGROUND: ‘War on drugs’ needs rethinking: Santos, Carter,