Colombia to Enact Drug Decriminalization

The government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is preparing legislation that will set “personal dose” amounts for drugs that will allow for their possession without the possibility of arrest or prosecution, the Bogota newspaper El Tiempo reported Tuesday. The decriminalization legislation could be presented as early this week, the newspaper said in its exclusive report.

Read the El Tiempo.

Colombia was the first Latin American country to decriminalize drug possession after a ruling by its Constitutional Court in 1994. But during the presidency Santos’ predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, the government amended the constitution to criminalize drug use, effectively re-criminalizing drug possession.

Last year, the Colombian Supreme Court threw out Uribe’s changes, ruling that the possession of small quantities of drugs for personal use was a constitutional right. This pending legislation recognizes last year’s ruling and actualizes it by setting the “personal dose” amounts.

The 56-page document seen by El Tiempo sets the “personal dose” amount at five grams for marijuana and one gram for cocaine. It also sets “personal dose” amounts of 200 milligrams, or three pills, for amphetamine-type stimulants, such as methamphetamine and MDMA.

The five gram limit for marijuana is only one quarter the amount originally decriminalized, and has led some in Colombia to worry that it is too low.

“More consumers, for example, a young man traveling to a farm who carries more than five grams (hardly more than three or four joints) could be prosecuted as drug traffickers,” warned Julian Quintero, director of Social Action, a group that works with young drug users.

The move by the Santos government comes as Santos prepares to lead a discussion on drug legalization and other alternatives to prohibition at the forthcoming Summit of the Americas in Cartagena next month. Pressure for serious discussions of legalization and its alternatives has been building in the region in recent weeks.

– Article from Stop the Drug War.



  1. Anonymous on

    A next Canadian government will NOT put back things together.Whenever the Canadian people asked for a softening of drug laws,in government we always saw a hardening of drug laws. What have done the LIberals when they had the chance to legalize or decriminalize marijuana ?
    NOTHING and they will keep doing NOTHING if elected.Just like the liar of Obama !
    I am starting to believe that YES marijuana does affect the short term memory of users,Maybe even their judgment because to think that a next government will fix errors of the past is purely utopian !

  2. Anonymous on

    Prohibition does work. It has accomplished exactly what it set out to do, provided a monopoly on control and an avenue to remove your rights.

  3. Capital G on

    I only hope what Columbia is doing is only the first domino to fall in South America…it seems to piss the drugczarmites off something fierce…good.Friggin politicos in the states, except Ron Paul as I have heard( but who knows),certainly have monetary interests( more than anything moral I am sure)for keeping the infamous “Drug War” rolling right along.The persistence of America and its wanabees like the Harperites of Canada to want to relive the 30’s and Anslingers’ vision of the states is a huge contradiction to the oft overused phrase “moving forward” which obviously,can only, mean SFA to the simple layman(ie. non-politician type person). I have heard of Harper referred to as a “right wing evangelical” type dude, and it never seems to be a good thing to hear this description, and C-10 proves it. I guess it must be more profitable now to send people to jail than combat…create weapons…build prisons…ruin generations…welcome to Canada.

  4. CanadianGiant on

    I am looking for a new country to live and i,m sick of hearing”Canada is the best ” and “this is a free country”. Its not.
    I like all my stoner Canadian friends, i support Marc Emery,everyone at C.C., but Canada is going backwards.I,m almost 50 years old now, and i have to go to a place like Colombia to chill out, relax , and get stoned without worry.
    Sure Canada is scenic, but thats about it.Ever since Bill C-10 passed, i feel more sick to my stomach, than ever before.

  5. SomeAnonymousguy on

    Why is EVERY country in the world taking the right baby steps forward. Harper is [email protected]#!ing Canada for the next government to put back together. Canada needs to stop going backwards and spending billions in taxpayer dollars on stupid things, and start moving forwards. PROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK!!!!