Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Minimum Drug Dosage Returns - But Hold Your Fire.

Colombia's high court has ruled that possessing the famous 'minimum dosage' of drugs is a right of personal development for Colombians. This had been true for many years, until conservative ex-Pres. Alvaro Uribe persuaded the legislature to ban the dosage, with the justification that drug sellers were hiding behind the law by carrying only the legal amount on their person. Uribe's Law of Citizen Security imposed prison sentences of 64 to 108 months for possessing up to 1,000 grams of marijuana or 100 grams of cocaine. The court decision depenalizes possession of one gram of cocaine and 20 grams of marijuana.

Even now, buying and selling drugs is still illegal, creating a fundamental contradiction.

And there's also a huge breach between the legal ruling and what happens when a cop stops someone on the street.

One friend says that the cops can confisticate the drugs, but no longer arrest you. Or that they can make you eat the drugs. I understood that the ruling was to replace punishment with rehabilitation for drug users. I suspect that the cops can still do a lot of things, especially if you look like you can't afford a lawyer.

I am also confused by most of the media coverage of the minimum dosage debate, which has focused on the idea that addicts require treatment, not punishment. That's true enough, but ignores the fact that most cocaine and marijuana users, just like most drinkers of alcohol, are recreational consumers who want not treatment, but just to be left alone.

Attorney General Eduardo Montealegre told El Tiempo that he supported the court ruling: "This decision protects the right to equality and autonomy and the free development of a person's personality," he said. "The state doesn't have the right to tell a citizen how he should orient his life. There are areas where personal autonomy takes precedence over the majority opinion."

High police officials and even Pres. Santos have backed decriminalizing and regulating some drugs.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


mauricio forero l said...

Hey Mike, what if I'm caught with some magic mushrooms??


mauricio forero l said...

It's funny, but I was never caught with mushrooms and I always wonder what would have happen. Any way Mike, you have to go to Silvania, not to far from Bogota and, try the mushrooms there...Miguel you have no idea how wonderful they are. I was there in the eighties with a friend, she was studying anthropology and part of her interest was the effects of this drug in some communities, we try them and we where tripping for like tow days. The colors and the feeling of ecstasy were fantastic, like the effects that Timothy Leary describes in his books.

M. F.

Miguel said...

I don't know about mushrooms, or other drugs, like ecstasy, methamphetamines, etc.

Maybe they'll have to wait for the legislature to regulate things, if they ever get around to it.


mauricio forero l said...

Com on Mike, don't be so square dude,mushrooms are totally natural and not addictive. You can discover more of your inner been to. Just put some humor in your answers.

M. F.

Miguel said...

Did I criticize mushrooms? I've got nothing against them, or in favor of them, having never tried 'em. I did spend a couple of unsuccesful afternoons hunting mushrooms in Seattle, tho. Apparently there the farmers put mushroom herbicides into the cattle feed to prevent their sprouting in the cow patties. At least, that's what we concluded after much fruitless hunting. Mike