As the number one producer of cocaine in the world, Colombia has long been fighting a war on its production. Now, the newly-elected government is taking a new approach and hoping to decriminalize cocaine.
The new approach is the government’s latest attempt to control more of the trade and take control from the cartels and drug traffickers. Previous administrations have taken aggressive action to forcibly eradicate coca plants and farms, but they’ve often instead led to violent confrontations between police and farmers, while cocaine production is at its highest rate ever.
Now, the government is taking a different approach by decriminalizing the drug. The new policy will include incentives to the often poor, rural farmers who grow coca plants instead of destroying the crop. By regulating the crops this way, the government can then use the profits made from taxing the drug to fund public services.
It’s unclear when the legislation would officially be rolled out and whether or not the laxer laws would apply to tourists as well, but official announcements are expected to arrive within the next few months.