Colombia president supports allowing medical marijuana (Update)

President Juan Manuel Santos signalled his support Thursday for a bill that would allow the medical use of marijuana in Colombia.

The ruling Liberal Party proposed the measure for a vote in the current session of the Colombian Congress, which opened July 20.

"We look favorably on the initiative on the medical and therapeutic use of marijuana," Santos said, during a forum on the country's drug policies.

He said the measure was both a "compassionate" response to pain experienced by patients with terminal illnesses, and a way to remove criminals as the middlemen.

The consumption and sale of marijuana is prohibited in Colombia, but the South American country decriminalized possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis in 2012.

Colombia produces marijuana but is better known as the world's largest exporter of illegal cocaine.

Juan Manuel Galan, the author of the bill, said it would be debated in September.

Santos said the "war on drugs," first launched in the 1970s by US president Richard Nixon, has failed.

But he said "Colombia will not act unilaterally" in making changes in policy.

"It is a global problem and the application of a new focus likewise should be the fruit of a global consensus," he said.

Related Stories

Caricom commission to study marijuana legalization

date Jul 03, 2014

A Caribbean trade bloc has created a commission to study whether the region's roughly 15 million people should be allowed to use medical marijuana and how courts should handle possession of small amounts ...

Uruguay opens bidding for marijuana plots

date Aug 02, 2014

Uruguay, the first country to fully legalize the production, sale and distribution of marijuana, called for bids Friday from private growers who want to farm cannabis in a public field.

Recommended for you

Footpaths and parks support active school commute

date 23 hours ago

While it probably won't make the idea of attending school more appealing social scientists say different infrastructure and behaviour change programs are key to encouraging young people to take a more active ...

Food barometer measures a population’'s eating habits

date May 29, 2015

A survey by Taylor's-Toulouse University Centre (TTUC) is collecting data on the food habits of individuals and how their choices are related to modernisation and other social factors. Results show that almost ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.