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Cannabis Legalization Clears Another Political Hurdle In Colombia

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Colombia has served as ground zero for the Drug War in many ways over the course of multiple decades, largely due to the nation’s cocaine production. It is obviously no secret that Colombia has served as the world’s top source of cocaine for many years, with the United States being a particularly popular destination for the illegal substance.

The Drug War in Colombia has made things harder for the nation’s emerging legal cannabis industry for various reasons, not the least of which is the stigma that comes with trying to legalize a historically banned substance in a nation like Colombia, even though cannabis is obviously not cocaine.

Fortunately, a group of lawmakers in Colombia seems to be set on passing an adult-use legalization measure, and the legalization effort in Colombia is overcoming political hurdles as a result. The latest one occurred a handful of days ago, as initially reported by Marijuana Moment:

A bill to legalize marijuana in Colombia cleared another key hurdle on its path to enactment on Tuesday, advancing through a Chamber of Representatives committee that brings it more than halfway through the legislative process.

The legislation, which the Chamber and Senate reconciled to be identical in December after previously clearing each full body in differing forms, needs to go through eight total stops in the Colombian Congress over two consecutive years. Tuesday’s 26-6 vote by the First Committee of the Chamber marks the fifth stop, sending it to the floor for consideration before returning to the Senate for final votes.

The results of a poll released in September, conducted by Jaime Arteaga y Asociados in Colombia, found that:

  • 91% of survey participants that have used cannabis-based products would recommend it to other people
  • 37% of survey participants have frequented a store where medical and/or cosmetic cannabis products are sold
  • 63% of Colombians believe that ‘sales taxes on cannabis products would improve social investment’

The survey results provided a lot of insight into not only the level of support for Colombia’s emerging cannabis industry but also insight into consumer trends. For instance, the survey found that nearly half of the survey participants (46%) that reported consuming cannabis reported using it in topical form.

If/when Colombia legalizes cannabis for adult use, it’s likely that the types of cannabis products that people use will expand significantly as entrepreneurs work to supply the evolving demand.