A group of protesters peacefully sat and smoked marijuana in front of Colombia’s Congress on Thursday to demand the legalization of personal doses of the banned drug.
One of the group’s leaders said they sought to end the stigmatization of the drug and that they would continue these types of protests, “rolling joints in any place” in the capital city of Bogota.
The protests comes just weeks after the Conservative Party came out in favor of the Liberal Party‘s bill to legalize medical marijuana, which has already received support from President Juan Manuel Santos.
During his first term, Santos retracted legislation pushed through Congress by his predecessor, former President Alvaro Uribe, that penalized the carrying of marijuana or cocaine for personal use.
Supported by the country’s constitutional court, the current legislation impedes authorities to punish someone if caught carrying less than 20 grams of marijuana or one gram of cocaine.
Marijuana has been used to reduce nausea and vomiting of HIV / AIDS patents, and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. A number of US states and European countries have already legalized the medical use of marijuana.
There is also a growing consensus in the international community that the “War on Drugs” has been a failure and that new approaches are needed.
Earlier this week, the Global Commission on Drug Policy released a report in which it criticized punitive and prohibitionist laws against drugs, while suggesting the legalization and regulation may be the answer.