History Of CBD And Cannabis: Colombia
Situated between the Caribbean sea and Ecuador, Columbia is an ethnically diverse nation that’s known for its long history of cannabis consumption.
Currently, cannabis is illegal for commercial sale and use; however, a limited number of certain medical conditions can qualify some patients for cannabis consumption. Although cannabis is illegal, personal cultivation and public use has been decriminalized, which makes Colombia one of the most lax countries in its attitudes towards marijuana.
Cannabis, CBD, And Colombia
Ever since the late colonial era, cannabis has played a strong role in the development of Colombian economy, society, and cultural. During this early time period, hemp was grown in high volumes in order to satisfy the global need for strong fibers, composite materials, and nutritious food sources.
It wasn’t long before residents realized the psychoactive properties of certain strains of cannabis. Marijuana use quickly became popular among rural youth and the poor; however, consumption was heavily discouraged by the Catholic church and Colombian law.
For over a hundred years, cannabis use wasn’t considered a widespread problem and it was rare that consumers got penalized. However, increasing rates of cannabis use along the Caribbean islands and the ports influenced the government to further restrict marijuana in the early 1940s.
Increased restriction and penalization efforts did little to quell the growing tide of local drug use and trafficking out of Colombia. In the sixties and seventies, American travelers and hippies further popularized cannabis use in the country.
Surging American demand led to the development of complex trade networks, criminal organizations, and trafficking operations that would continue to define an important aspect of the Colombian economy for decades.
Soon enough, Colombia became one of the very first countries to decriminalize cannabis in 1994. Personal use was considered fully legal. In large part, this bill passed because lawmakers were convinced it would decrease the issues associated with mass incarceration.
It would take a little more than twenty years later for a medical marijuana bill to successfully pass. In 2015, President Juan Manuel Santos was pushed to sign legislation that would allow for dispensaries to vend medical marijuana to qualifying patients.
Though marijuana is, for all intents and purposes, legal in Colombia, the administration still has a long way to go before a fully fledged industry can be supported. Departments related to health, drugs, and agriculture will have to work together in order to make the cannabis market as safe as possible for all users.A