Colombia’s Capital Banks on Marijuana Cure for Hard Drug Addicts

Marijuana has long been accused of being a gateway to deadlier vices. But could cannabis be a swinging door that might also lead people away from hard drugs? That’s what this capital city is trying to find out.

In coming weeks, Bogotá is embarking on a controversial public health project where it will begin supplying marijuana to 300 addicts of bazuco — a cheap cocaine derivative that generates crack-like highs and is as addictive as heroin.

Bogota has 7,500 bazuco users among its 9,500 homeless population, said Ruben Dario Ramirez, director of the Center for the Study and Analysis of Coexistence and Security, which is spearheading the project.

Addicts are often driven to panhandling and crime to support their habit, turning pockets of this thriving city into bazuco wastelands where junkies huddle to smoke the drug. In the last three years, 277 homeless people have been murdered, he said.

For the most desperate users, the cannabis cure may be the only way out.

– Read the entire article at The Miami Herald.



  1. Anonymous UK on

    Cannabis is a gateway drug but should not be ! The criminalisation of cannabis means that it is sold in the same circles where other substances (that are much more harmful and addictive) are sold. There is nothing in cannabis that would make the user crave opiates or cocaine the gateway effect is solely due to it’s legal status.
    The argument could be made that alcohol is just as addictive as illegal drugs but it still does not contain anything that would compel a user to seek another drug. Alcohol is most people’s introduction to an altered state and it’s social acceptance and legal status means that it introduces nearly all drug addicts (addicted to illegal drugs) to the drug experience. I would guess that most people who try cannabis have tried alcohol first.
    As a society we could strive to keep all people off all drugs which would mean criminalising alcohol and tobacco and seriously enforcing the laws. This is impractical for all sorts of reasons. It is far better to accept that people will take drugs and regulate the supply according to the dangers but not pretend that prohibition makes a distinction between the safe and un-safe substances. I think people are slowly realising that the legal status is nothing to do with the potential harm but this realisation is also a realisation that you have been lied to by people in authority – Teachers, Police, Politicians, Parents etc. For may people that realisation is traumatic and uncomfortable – maybe they need a good cannabis product to help them get over it and live an independent self confident life style. It is easy to sneer at people in this predicament (especially if you have passed this stage of realisation) but they make up a majority of the population and they need to be convinced to effect change. Part of activism is to help these people overcome their fears and reconstruct their world view – One Jodie Emery does more for this cause than 1000 ‘marijuana man’

  2. gutrod on

    There is absolutely no credibility to the theory that M.J. is the gateway drug to using harder drugs. Most hard drug users have addictive personalities and will get addicted to anything that makes them feel good. My gateway drug was alcohol which comes with has nasty side effects. When I was younger I experimented with harder drugs and still smoke pot as recreation. I have worked in a professional position for 35 years and view smoking weed as a right.
    Harmless stuff really, and don’t know what all the big fuss is all about. All hard drug addicts and violent offenders should be given free medicinal weed if it helps cure them of their addictions and impulses to become violent.