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Colombia: Seventh debate takes place today and legalization may be in sight

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The Colombian Senate will discuss today a proposal to amend the Political Constitution of Colombia, which regulates the recreational consumption of cannabis. This will be the seventh of eight debates necessary for the approval of legislation that follows favorably through the country's legislative circuit.

Note: Article updated at 23:07 to include live broadcast of the debate; (Find at the end of the article)

America may soon be home to the fourth country where recreational cannabis use is fully regulated. That is the intention of the Liberal Party of Colombia, which has carried out the project to regulate recreational cannabis in the country, with 6 debates and approvals in the lower chambers. Today the issue is the subject of discussion in the First Permanent Constitutional Commission of the Senate, in what is the seventh and penultimate debate before the last vote for approval of the Liberal document, which already has strong support from the left wing of Colombia that supports the President Gustavo Petro.

The agenda for the day of the First Permanent Constitutional Commission will begin with the discussion of Bill No. 033 of 2022. According to the agenda, the bill seeks to regulate the recreational industry through the modification of “Article 49 of the Political Constitution of Colombia, where cannabis for adult use is regulated and other provisions are made”. If this amendment is approved, the National Government will be responsible, within a period of six months from the enactment of the legislative act, to proceed with the formulation, dissemination and implementation of public policy, in a rigorous and comprehensive manner with regard to the prevention and monitoring of cannabis consumption. and its derivatives.

The course of the bill is historic, as it is considered an advanced stage in the process, however, it is necessary that the 8 debates take place before June 20, according to the The Colombian. In the same publication, deputy Juan Carlos Losada explains that there is a positive feeling surrounding the favorable assessment of the legislation, adding that in the event of the expected approval taking place, the eighth and final debate should take place in the first week of June.

Deputy Juan Carlos Losada, author of the project, also explained that the consumption and cultivation of cannabis are activities decriminalized in Colombia, when buying and selling is illegal, a situation that encourages consumers to resort to criminal networks. The program proposed by the deputy, based on three pillars, which are the protection of minors, the control of production by the state and last but not least, a component of prevention and monitoring of consumption.

Richard Branson calls for regulation

The project, which has successfully advanced through the various debates that make up the legislative circuit, had an appeal from Richard Branson. It was through Twitter that Miguel Samper Strouss, president of Colombian Association of Cannabis Industries, shared with the international community the video appeal of Richard Branson, millionaire owner of the Virgin Group.

Richard Branson stated that "this is the time to introduce significant changes" to Colombia's drug policy. The millionaire asserts that the necessary regulation of cannabis “will not solve all the challenges that Colombia faces, but it is an important milestone that would help them to define priorities, save public resources and, finally, make Colombia safer for all”.

See below the Agenda for today of the First Permanent Constitutional Commission:

MONDAYS ORDEN OF THE DAY MAY 29, 2023

See the Bill below:

Decree_029_of_2023

Follow the debate here:

 

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[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]

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I am one of the directors of CannaReporter, which I founded together with Laura Ramos. I am from the unique Island of Madeira, where I currently reside. While I was in Lisbon at FCUL studying Physical Engineering, I became involved in the national hemp and cannabis scene and participated in several associations, some of which I am still a member of. I follow the global industry and especially legislative advances regarding the different uses of cannabis.

I can be contacted by email at joao.costa@cannareporter.eu

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