Colombia’s justice minister has confirmed that the country plans to legalize the cultivation and sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said that he has “kept a keen eye” on when would be the opportune moment to legalize the drug, unlike the country’s ongoing War on Drugs which he compared to a “static exercise bike,” RCN reports.
The new regulations will apply only to medical and scientific uses of the drug, a surprise ruling in a country continually fighting the cultivation of illicit drugs. The new policy would include Colombia in a wave of changing attitudes toward marijuana that has sparked recent efforts from Mexico to Chile.
Colombian Senate had a mixed reaction to the ruling, “This isn’t Denmark. Here we have serious drug trafficking issues. This ruling could see false prescriptions being created and generate a chaos which sees consumption increase,” Alfredo Rangel, senator from the right-facing Centro Democrático party commented.
Colombian courts had already decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. The new rules will allow for commercial production.