Columbia: Constitutional Court Overules Ban Of Public Consumption Of Cannabis

Here’s the introduction to their report…..Given the right wing government of President Iván Duque, few imagined this paradigm shift in Colombia, of all places. But the conservative administration was dealt another joker from its self-imposed, repressive drug policy deck of cards when Colombia’s Constitutional Court overruled a ban on the consumption of cannabis in public.

The court declared President Duque’s Police Code unconstitutional and a violation of citizens’ constitutional rights, despite arguments that many of its provisions existed to protect the public safety of children. Although the use of medical cannabis was legalized in 2016 with Law 1787, followed by regulations and a licensing framework in 2017, public consumption was illegal. Present law allows each Colombian household to grow up to 20 plants; sales and purchases remain illegal.


As one commentator wrote, “The portions of the code were so poorly drafted that the court was given no choice but to overthrow it. If the code was upheld, a beer at noon at a family picnic in the park, could have justified the same treatment by police as a person consuming or selling a kilo of cocaine in front of a school. The court’s decision forces Congress to rewrite rules it previously approved that authorized abusive behavior.

Per the court’s opinion, “A law can not create general restrictions on freedom; it must be specific regarding time, place and circumstance and subject to reasonableness and proportionality.”

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Light It Up: Is It Time for L.A. and California to Join Colombia in Legalizing Public Consumption of Cannabis?

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