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.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Caricom commission to study marijuana legalization

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

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

Can Lean Management improve hospitals?

1 hour ago

Waiting times in hospital emergency departments could be cut with the introduction of Lean Management and Six Sigma techniques according to new research.

Research finds 90 percent of home chefs contaminate food

1 hour ago

If you're gearing up for a big Super Bowl bash, you might want to consult the best food-handling practices before preparing that feast. New research from Kansas State University finds that most home chefs drop the ball on ...

Unique EarlyBird study set for historic third phase

3 hours ago

A unique study which has followed 300 young people from age five since 2000, has received backing for a third phase which will see it become the first study of its kind in the world to track the same group ...

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.