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Fines for small drug users in Colombia are abolished

Its authorities will proceed with the abolition of fines for the consumption of small amounts of drugs Colombiain the context of the change of direction of the fight against drug trafficking in the country, where the largest production of cocaine in the world is recorded.

A government decree of legislative content that was highlighted on Saturday by the media of the Latin American country provides abolition of fines for possession of “narcotic or psychoactive substances” intended for personal use, not for sale.

The measure does not change the penalties, which reach up to 20 years in prison, under Colombia’s trafficking laws drugs but it does end the practice of police fines of around fifty dollars to drug users.

As “the Constitution allows possession of doses for personal use, police action should not focus on prosecuting drug users, but on major drug lords”explained the president Gustavos Petros.

The decree, dated December 7, calls it “necessary” to “avoid” the criminalization of the use of small amounts of drugs.

The possession and consumption of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and some synthetic drugs had already been decriminalized by a decision of the Constitutional Court in 1994. But the measure of imposing administrative fines was kept in place by the government of conservative President Ivan Duque in 2018.

Mr. Petros, who has also ordered security forces not to conduct operations against small-scale coca leaf growers, promotes a shift in the fight against drugs in Colombia, which is supported financially by the US, the main market for drugs produced in Latin America, especially the cocaine.

For its part, the opposition complains that these decisions limit the ability of the authorities to fight drug trafficking, as it argues that illegal crops are expanding and the use of substances is increasing in the country itself.

Source: News Beast

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