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  1. source
    Colombia's Justice Minister, Ruth Stella Correa, has said a new drugs bill would legalise the personal use of synthetic drugs, such as ecstasy.

    The proposal would replace current laws, which ban cocaine and marijuana, although people are not prosecuted for possessing small amounts.

    Colombia's legislation is being re-assessed in an attempt to tackle drug use, trafficking and related issues.
    Critics say the inclusion of synthetic drugs will only confuse the debate.

    The justice minister spoke after a meeting with the commission set up to assess the government's drug policies over the last 10 years.

    Former President Cesar Gaviria is part of the group along a number of experts and academics expected to produce a document with recommendations within eight months.

    Ruth Stella Correa pointed out that the Constitutional Court had already spoken against the criminalisation of people carrying small amounts of marijuana and cocaine.

    "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 into what is defined as the personal dose", the minister told Colombia's National Radio.

    'End of business'

    A spokesman for the country's Green Party has expressed support for the government's plan.
    "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," senator Roy Barreras told Caracol Radio station.

    However, critics say that legalising the personal use of synthetic drugs will only make the debate more difficult.

    Experts agree that synthetic drugs include ecstasy and methamphetamines, but some argue the definition could be applied to heroin.

    The justice minister's announcement reopened the discussion about drug use in Colombia.
    Until recently, the country adopted a more repressive approach to drug use, with laws that penalised the possession and consumption of drugs.

    However, a string of decisions by the High Court in the last two years is said to be reversing the trend.

    The new drug bill is expected to be put forward to the Colombian Congress in the next few months.

    BBC News, 30th January 2013.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21254907

Comments

  1. Alfa
    So, cocaine is a soft- drug while ecstasy is a hard drug???
    This political debate is confused.
  2. C11H15
    I might be mistaken, but it is actually an attempt to decriminalise one dose of a synthetic. so it would not be illegal to possess 1 dose of heroin, methamphetamine or mdma, just like in many places where a small amount of cannabis is not illegal to possess. This is similar to Germany and the UK (before the reclassification/reschedule of cannabis to a class B in 2004?) where if caught with a small or personal dose of cannabis, no action would be taken, a verbal warning and possible confiscation.
    if one was so inclined; a user could enjoy life with a joint in their pocket, with no fear of being criminalised. or a clubber taking a single mdma pill to an event, you wouldnt have to fear the dog teams at every major tube station on a night out.
  3. Potter
    Could they be referring to coca-leaf and mistranslating it as cocaine?
  4. hookedonhelping
    The term "ecstasy' is so annoying to me. The globe has accepted "ecstasy" as anything under the sun pressed into a pill, whereas many years ago it was slang for MDMA.

    I am a supporter of making MDMA legal in this compassity. If MDMA was legal, then people would not bother ripping other people off by putting this that and the other in a pill and passing it off as MDMA, to make a buck. This is primarily the reason I was so hell bent on manufacturing MDMA; so many years ago. We all know how that turned out for me, so it's fair to say it wasn't a justifiable reason to break the law.

    Perhaps if it was legal to possess and consume MDMA, you would reduce harm as MDMA is not as dangerous when used in moderation in comparison to pills containing obscure research chemicals.

    For this to work, penalties for it's manufacture would have to be reduced. This would entice people to manufacture it and therefore; there will be more of it readily available. This is economics. The more of something there is, the cheaper it is and less garbage will try to mimic it.
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