Colombia joins the wave of South American countries decriminalizing marijuana possession.
On Nov 13, it was announced that the medical marijuana would be legalized under presidential decree. The state had already been making steps towards being more green friendly when they outlawed the spraying and aerial fumigation of marijuana last year, in part due to health concerns about the chemicals used in the herbicides.
Colombians can possess up to 20 grams of marijuana or up to 20 plants for personal use.
Now, Colombia joins the likes of Uruguay, Argentina, and Ecuador, which all of laws permitting personal use to various degrees. Colombia restricts use only to medical use, unlike Uruguay, which legalized it across the board in 2013.
Medical marijuana has been shown to treat pain and nausea, and can also help those suffering from epilepsy and similar conditions. Medical use has been legalized in a variety of US states, as well as Canada and Finland, among others.
Colombia has had a checkered history with drug cultivation and trafficking – at one point one of the largest hubs of marijuana growth. Legalization in the US, as well as the rise in price and popularity of cocaine, has helped lower marijuana-related drug crimes.
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