The proposed bill is expected to be put before the Colombian congress for approval in the next few months. Under current laws cocaine and marijuana are banned, but people are not prosecuted for possession of small amounts. The new bill would treat synthetic drugs like ecstasy in a similar way.
Speaking about a Consitutional Court ruling which spoke out against the criminalisation of people found in possession of small amounts of Marijuana and cocaine Ms Correa told Colombia’s National Radio that:
“The new statute to be presented to the Congress during this mandate intends to make this authorisation concrete, but broadening it to include synthetic drugs.”
Critics have argued that the inclusion of synthetic drugs could prove dangerous and cause confusion. This is partly because there is no precise definition of what constitutes a ‘synthetic’ drug; ecstasy and methamphetamine are likely to come under this category, but some have argued that the definition could also be used to apply to heroin.
In the past Colombia has taken a hard line on drug possession, but the country is currently engaged in efforts to reform its policies to help tackle the social problems associated with drug addiction and trafficking.
Colombia’s Green Party expressed its support for the Justice Minister’s proposal. “The problem in Colombia is a problem with soft drugs: marijuana and cocaine. The curse of drug trafficking depends fundamentally on cocaine and the decriminalisation in the world will end this business,” said a Green Party spokesperson.