Colombia Attempts to Legalize Cocaine – President Petro’s Aim at Ending the War on Drugs

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Gustavo Petro, initiated president of Colombia in 2022, made a statement following his recent inauguration. Petro feels strongly against the war on drugs, and believes legalizing drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, will solve this worldwide issue.

Colombian law, similar to many other countries, has already legalized the use of medical marijuana, particularly exporting the product. However, cocaine is a much harder drug, legal in very few countries at this time. Colombia is known as the worlds leading coca producer, estimating more than 1 million kilograms (1.1 thousand tons) are produced a year. Pablo Escobar, the worldwide “King of Cocaine,” famously operated a massive cocaine empire, leading him to become the wealthiest criminal ever. Although cocaine is a strong substance that can ruin individual lives when abused (typically snorted through the nose), Columbia employs roughly 67 thousand households to those cultivating.

“It is time to accept that the war on drugs has failed miserably,” Colombian President Gustavo Petro said during his inauguration. The war on drugs, extending as long as 40 years, is the worldwide illegal trade of drugs, which a multitude of countries is trying to reduce. Petro believes that legalizing drugs majorly produced in his country, will slow down the war on drugs, as police resources focus will be on large-scale operations, such as drug cartels and money laundering, as opposed to addicts and farmers. Colombian Senator Gustavo Bolivar, one of the signatories to the new drug legalization bill, stated “Even the United States of America, with all its might and money, cannot win the war on drugs.”

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