On November 25, the Colombian Senate’s constitutional fee voted in favor a invoice (Proyecto de Ley 189 de 2020 or PL 189-20) that will legalize leisure hashish use in Colombia. Subsequent, the measure will probably be put to the Senate at massive, and if authorised will probably be despatched to the Home of Representatives for consideration.
The bill “proposes the creation of a Colombian Institute for the Regulation of Hashish, which might be in control of regulating your complete strategy of leisure hashish, from its cultivation to its distribution and consumption.” Whereas finally it will be as much as the regulator to find out if hashish imports are allowed, the proposed statutory language envisions that chance. Particularly, Article 22(3) stipulates that the packaging of imported merchandise should embody the nation of origin and the phrase importado para Colombia.
Underneath PL 189-20’s provisions, there could be strict curbs on promoting of hashish merchandise. It could additionally require the imposition of a tax on hashish, however “in a approach that doesn’t create incentives for customers to show to the black market” (Article 27).
A lot of the impetus for the invoice comes from a want to deprive prison organizations of the advantages of the hashish economic system. In accordance with the PL 189-20’s creator, Senator Gustavo Bolívar, the drug commerce “has been transversal to all of [Colombia’s] violence within the final 30 or 40 years,” and proceeds have “served to finance guerrilla teams, paramilitaries [and] the BACRIM.”
One of many measure’s sponsors, Senator Luis Fernando Velasco, cited the expertise of the US in its help. “Whereas in the US they regularized consumption and generated tax revenues,” he stated, “right here we ship the authorities to struggle with the peasants. Folks will proceed to eat hashish and with the regularization we’ll finish the mafias.” Although this evaluation ignores the truth that hashish stays scheduled as a drug on the federal degree and is prohibited in lots of states, it nonetheless means that el vecino del norte might more and more develop into an instance to observe for advocates of hashish legalization in Latin America.
Reflecting a few of the considerations held by legislative counterparts in the US, PL 189-20 strongly emphasizes social justice concerns. The legislation requires that 35% of hashish licenses be issued to small growers who fall below not less than two of the classes listed in Article 36, which embody ethnic minorities, feminine heads of family, and victims of armed battle. Echoing the 2018 Farm Invoice’s invitation to Indian tribes to submit hemp plans, PL 189-20 gives that indigenous communities “could have regulatory capability and autonomy with regard to [cannabis] cultivation, manufacturing, storage, transformation, advertising and use.”
Only a few weeks in the past, on November 3, the Home voted down a similar proposal, which we mentioned in Cannabis is Coming! The Latest on Colombia and Mexico. Nonetheless, the present invoice is taken into account to have a greater probability of being authorised. As El País explains, the defeated measure sought to amend the Colombian Structure, whereas PL 189-20 solely seeks to determine a regulatory framework for hashish. Its sponsors “argue that in Colombia there isn’t a absolute prohibition of the recreational use of medication, significantly marijuana, and that’s the reason this debate can happen by the dialogue of a invoice,” with out want for a constitutional modification.
We are going to let the Colombian Steve Kornacki determine if hashish advocates within the Home have an opportunity of turning the tide, following the 102-52 defeat of the sooner invoice. No matter how issues go, although, it’s encouraging to see unrelenting legalization efforts by Colombian legislators. Public opinion concerning hashish is fast-evolving, and proponents of legalization must be able to capitalize on a positive tide. Furthermore, legislative debate gives an unbeatable platform for addressing considerations about hashish, in addition to highlighting the alternatives that it could convey to a Colombian economy that sorely wants reduction.