The notorious South American drug powerhouse once home to Pablo Escobar’s popular white girl (and NARCOS!) has become the latest nation to liberate cannabis.
By way of an executive order via President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia legalized marijuana for medical use and scientific research. Colombia may not have pulled a Uruguay (see: fully legal), but patients in Colombia will legally be able to produce, purchase, and smoke up marijuana–for strictly medical reasons:
The decree regulates the possession of seeds and plants, production, distribution, marketing and export.
This is a key point, because as Santos said, “there is a great demand, there are companies in Canada and the United States who are using marijuana for an amount of therapeutic drug treatments.” [BBC]
Since Colombia has a long history with a flourishing black market drug trade (hell, cocaine is even decriminalized there), so electing to legalize and try to help the nation and its economy capitalize off the rising green market makes a lot of sense.
Moreover, with cannabis decriminalized since 2012 and home growing recently made legal in late August, the news is no surprise. And naturally, Colombia has hopes to eventually export the drug for medical use, but that will likely take time to unfold as the policy’s infrastructure forms.
Colombia is just the latest and now third South American country to make major, liberal cannabis in recent memory. Uruguay legalized marijuana about two years ago and its program is still taking shape while earlier this year, neighboring Chile legalized home growing, began giving medical patients marijuana, and decriminalized the plant.
South America has quietly clearly eclipsed any other Continent with its approach to marijuana. With Europe not far behind and North America making its own major strides (see: America, Canada, and even Mexico), the world is slowly turning a brighter shade of green.