Skip to main content

Colombia Set to Decriminalize Ecstasy, Meth

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #770)
Consequences of Prohibition
Drug War Issues

Colombian Minister for Justice and Law Ruth Stella Correa said last Wednesday that the government will propose decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of synthetic drugs, such as ecstasy and methamphetamine, according to local press accounts. She added that a drug policy advisory commission would revise the country's drug law and present the proposal to congress.

Ecstasy tablets (
Correa's remarks came as she announced the formation of the advisory commission.

Currently in Colombia, people are not prosecuted for the possession of small amounts of marijuana and cocaine. She said the proposal would extend that protection to users of synthetic drugs like methamphetamine and ecstasy.

"The proposal aims to standardize the amount of drugs already permitted, while also allowing an equivalent quantity of synthetic drugs," she said. "We have to accept that Colombia is a consumer country -- this is also our reality -- and being a consumer country, we can't just throw drug users in jail, but we must look after them. I don't see the risk in establishing a personal use amount of synthetic drugs, since we are only trying to clarify things to achieve treatment for addicts and users, not to send them to prison."

Colombian constitutional court rulings have established a right to possess personal use amounts of drugs, but the government has not established what those personal use amounts of synthetic drugs are. The advisory commission will do that. The government of President Santos has also embarked on a more than rhetorical shift toward a public health approach to drug use, and Correa emphasized that in her remarks.

"We are convinced that drug policy should be designed with a holistic approach, involving families, the education system, the public health specialists, development practitioners and community leaders," she said.

Not everyone agrees with the move. Former President Alvaro Uribe, who tried repeatedly to undo those Colombian court rulings legalizing drug possession, came out swiftly against including the synthetics.

"With this personal use amount, what they are doing is validating the actions of the dealers and not taking them to prison, nor are they taking the addicts to the hospital," he complained. Decriminalizing the synthetics would only "further enslave the youth and drug more assassins to kill more people," he claimed.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Moonrider (not verified)

That doesn't look ANYTHING like the ecstasy we used to get before the DEA criminalized it.  While watching Drugs, Inc. episode on Ecstasy I learned that most of it is now imported rather than manufactured here, and that it is no longer pure Ecstasy but has other things added to it, which is likely why it is having ill effects on some users these days.  I'd like to see a return of legal MDMA so it would return to its pure (and far less dangerous) state.

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 4:43am Permalink
Skunk Monk (not verified)

In reply to by Moonrider (not verified)

Some nightclubs and hospital based labs in Holland allow people to test their ecstasy to see if they are safe to use. They are using common sense and been good to their citizens unlike most other countries that are jailing their happy clubbers and willfully letting some people harm themselves by using contaminated drugs. Most governments approach to drug use is to to either jail users or let them die and this shameful approach shows how much they care about their ordinary citizens in a do as we say or else approach but hopefully things are slowly changing.

" In the Netherlands drug users are able to have ecstasy tested for purity in some clubs and street agencies. The Dutch government believes this ensures that contaminated drugs are quickly spotted."

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 3:04pm Permalink
Skunk Monk (not verified)

Meth is not a very safe drug and it should be treated as a health problem and not as a criminal problem. People are always going to take drugs to get away from problems or their mundane lifestyle and to simply enjoy themselves. Governments should be sensible by informing people properly about drugs and the effects(the highs and the lows with proper health advice) so that people that want to use a drug can do so in the safest way. Drug users could be advised to take a much less harmful drug than meth like ecstasy to satisfy their needs and a quote from the very respectful British scientist explains ecstasy in layman terms "Horse-riding is considerably more dangerous than taking ecstasy," said Nutt. "It is a popular activity, dangerous but addictive. I am told that many riders find it difficult to give up.".  Should we put a prohibition on horses and horse riding? no this would not be sensible. Prohibition should not be applied to any drug and there might not be as much of a meth problem if ecstasy was legal.

Politicians in the UK are now calling for either the legalization of some drugs and decriminalization of other drugs as a way to reduce the harm after they studied the ten year sensible experiment that decriminalized all drugs in Portugal that was very successful. Hopefully all countries will be sensible and respectful of their citizens instead of their disgraceful treatment of good people who want to enjoy themselves whilst many of these politicians including the last three presidents and the current UK prime minister have jailed their citizens for drug use whilst they consumed all the drugs that they wanted to.

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 2:39pm Permalink
Ghost of streets. (not verified)

cool ... brazil need legalize all drugs too; I'm tired of being considered a criminal by the Government because of my convictions, I'm just a human being and never kill, harm or steal another human being.
The Government does not have any power to tell me what to do,  I not allow this, because a good person will never follow the rules of criminals and killers known as governments. My body is personal , not public .

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 2:12pm Permalink
SpinalTrap (not verified)

This ignorant jackass was the president of Colombia? Someone so willing to publicly reveal the depth of his stupidity ran a country? WTF!!!!!!!!

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 11:20am Permalink

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.