Colombian legalization of adult-use cannabis is on track, following the Chamber of Representatives’ overwhelming vote of support for a bill introduced by a multiparty group led by Liberal Party deputy Juan Carlos Losada.
Back in June we held out some cautious optimism regarding Colombian legalization prospects, following the election of Gustavo Petro as president. As we noted in Petro: Colombia’s Next President and Cannabis, the time appeared “ripe for bold moves that could firm up Colombia’s role as the leader of the Latin American cannabis industry.”
Recent events suggest that our hopes were well-placed. While the bill is not President Petro’s initiative, the elections that brought him to power also made the Colombian legislature more cannabis-friendly (the Liberals are members of President Petro’s legislative coalition). Moreover, the bill has been favorably received within the Executive, with two cabinet ministers speaking in support prior to the Chamber of Representatives’ vote. Not long ago, President Petro himself decried the “irrational war on drugs” during his address to the United Nations General Assembly.
The vote is even more meaningful that might seem at first glance. In the last five years, the Colombian Congress has voted on several legalization cannabis initiatives, but this is