Legislation to allow marijuana for medical use has cleared an important hurdle in Colombia.
A Senate committee approved the bill by a vote of 14 to 2 on Tuesday. The bill will now be sent to the full chamber.
President Juan Manuel Santos has said he supports the initiative. But conservative opponents say that legalizing marijuana could weaken the fight against cocaine, in which Colombia is backed by the United States.
Sen. Roy Barreras is a physician who backs the bill. He served up cups of coca tea ahead of the committee debate, saying that the leaf used to make cocaine would allow cooler heads to prevail.