Colombia

Colombia: constitutional court approves decriminalization

Posted on July 10th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColombiaColombia's Constitutional Court on June 28 approved a measure to decriminalize possession of personal quantities of cocaine and cannabis. Those caught with less than 22 grams of cannabis or one gram of cocaine for personal use may receive mandated treatment depending on their level of intoxication, but may not be prosecuted or detained, the court ruled.

Colombia: "armed strike" against glyphosate spraying

Posted on May 31st, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColombiaJimmy Díaz Burbano, governor of Colombia's Putumayo admitted that large areas of the lowland jungle department were shut down by a "paro armado"—a civil strike enforced by the guns of the FARC guerillas. He said the strike had been called in response to government spraying of the glyphosate herbicide across the territory along the Río Putumayo to wipe out coca leaf crops. Díaz said spraying hurts the campesinos and provokes a reaction from the illegal armed groups they sell their coca to, calling for a dialogue on the issue. "I will be a bridge between the community and the Colombian state and do everything possible to assure that the people are heard," he said. (Diario del Sur, Nariño, May 29)

Colombia: new National Police chief broaches legalization

Posted on May 9th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Colombia Gen. José Roberto León, number-two man in Colombia's militarized National Police force, has been fingered to be the force's new chief starting next week. Upon his appointment, he issued a stern warning to drug traffickers: "The National Police is out there, using all its capacities to capture or neutralize you." But León also stated that he agreed with President Juan Manuel Santos' position on drug legalization: "My position is the same as President Santos. The Colombian government has the moral authority to open the debate and, as indicated by [Santos], it is necessary to review the entire anti-drug strategy to explore new ideas and strategies enabling greater effectiveness in the fight against drug trafficking. Another point is that people who are addicted to drugs, especially marijuana, should receive medical treatment, so the issue becomes a matter of public health." (Colombia Reports, May 7) (Sic: cannabis, of course, is not addictive.)

Colombia: lawmakers broach decrim of coca, cannabis cultivation

Posted on March 31st, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

ColombiaLawmakers in Colombia have proposed decriminalizing cultivation of the coca leaf and cannabis to undercut the narco mafias. Proponents say the move would reduce prices and give peasants more incentive to grow other crops. The bill will be debated in the coming days by the lower house of Colombia's congress, the Chamber of Representatives. But Colombia's Justice Ministry says the move would violate Colombia's commitments to international narcotics treaties. "We have to be particularly prudent and particularly cautious," said Justice Minister Juan Carlos Esguerra.

Colombia's President Santos speaks out for cannabis legalization

Posted on November 1st, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

ColombiaColombia's President Juan Manuel Santos said that legalization of soft drugs such as cannabis would allow shifting focus to harder drugs and help to stop international violence and trafficking. In an interview with Metro News, Santos said: "The world needs to discuss new approaches... we are basically still thinking within the same framework as we have done for the last 40 years." 

Colombian high court re-legalizes drug possession

Posted on September 6th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

ColombiaIn an August 24 ruling (PDF), the Colombian Supreme Court rejected a 2009 constitutional amendment recriminalizing the possession of personal-use amounts of illegal drugs. Prior to that amendment, pushed vigorously by then-president Alvaro Uribe, the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use had been legal under a 1994 Constitutional Court decision. Between the 1994 ruling the 2009 amendment, adults were allowed to legally possess up to 20 grams of marijuana, one gram of cocaine, and two grams of synthetic drugs. After Uribe's reform, people arrested with small amounts of illegal drugs faced prison sentences of 64 to 108 months.

"Global war on drugs has failed": report

Posted on June 3rd, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

earthA new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy finds that the "global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world," and calls upon governments to explore the legalization of cannabis and other controlled substances. "Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately, that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem and that the war on drugs has not and cannot be won," the report states.

Ayahuasca shaman faces federal charges

Posted on October 28th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

On Oct. 19, while en route to leading traditional ayahuasca ceremonies in Oregon, indigenous Colombian healer Juan Agreda Chindoy was arrested at Houston International Airport by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for possession of his traditional medicine. He is being charged as a federal criminal and faces up to 20 years in prison.

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