“A mayor distress of the Colombian people is the extensive allowance of drug use,” Uribe said.
According to the president, the country is at the gates of a “crisis of consumption” which must be prevented legally.
The law makes it possible to receive a two year jail sentence for smoking a joint. Consuming drugs or carrying small amounts of it, were decriminalized by Colombia’s Constitutional Court a few years ago.
Several members of Congress, who have refused to pass the law four times already, say they will vote against the law again.
Opponent of the law, Senator Samuel Arrieta of Convergencia Ciudadana says the consumption of narcotics should be handled as a public health issue and wants the State to invest in prevention campaigns through education in schools. “The solution to this problem is not punishing the consumer, but rather the drugdealer or trafficker,” he added.
Uribe made the prohibition of drug use an issue in both his presidential campaigns, but has been left empty-handed, because none of the opposition parties and some of his own supporters oppose this hard line.
“It isn’t right that in this country soldiers are mutilated, because they try to eradicate the drug fields, while we allow people to take the same drugs in social gatherings under the misinterpretation of free personal development,” says Uribe.