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Colombia Pulls Police Powers to Persecute Drug Consumers

Colombia’s government revoked a decree that allowed police to fine consumers of illicit drugs and decommission legally permitted amounts of narcotics.

The decree that was issued by former President Ivan Duque in 2018 had been deemed unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.

A new decree that was issued by the ministers of the Interior, Justice and Defense bans any police action that targets people who carry less than the 30 grams of marihuana or five grams of cocaine.

In the decree, Interior Minister Luis Fernando Velasco, Justice Minister Nestor Osuna and Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez ordered police to avoid the criminalization of consumers and focus counternarcotics efforts on drug trafficking.

The new directive is part of a series of proposals and decrees that seek to decriminalize drug consumption and prioritize transnational drug trafficking.

The decree was criticized by conservative and far-right forces in Congress.

The Conservative Party called the new police instruction “unacceptable,” claiming it allowed drug deals “to act in absolute freedom, which will surge consumption, putting young people and children at grave risk.”

The directive is similar to instructions given to police by former President Juan Manuel Santos, who on multiple occasions criticized global drug policies, and the so-called War on Drugs in particular.

Conservatives in Congress insist on combating organized crime by targeting both suspected drug traffickers and consumers of illicit drugs like marihuana, cocaine and heroine.

Source : Colombia Reports