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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
The S&P/TSX Cannabis Index lost 6.45 to 43.98, while the CSE Composite Index lost 21.40 to 286.40. International cannabis reform advocates cheered as a country of over 50 million people moved closer to cannabis legalization. In Colombia today, a bill to legalize cannabis received overwhelming approval in a 56-3 vote in the Senate, mere weeks after clearing the lower Chamber of Representatives.
The bill is designed to rectify what Justice Minister Nestor Osuna has called a "failed war [on drugs] that was designed 50 years ago and, due to absurd prohibitionism, has brought us a lot of blood, armed conflict, mafias and crime." Specifically, the bill would amend Colombia's constitution to end cannabis prohibition for adults. It would also give lawmakers six months to establish rules for a regulated market.
The bill still faces a long road to enactment. Unlike regular bills, which generally require up to two debates in each chamber, this one seeks to amend the constitution, and must thus go through no fewer than eight debates spread out over two years (two consecutive legislative sessions). As a result, the bill is not anywhere close to heading to the President's desk just yet. The good news is that it will likely find a welcome reception if it does. President Gustavo Petro, who recently decried the "irrational war on drugs" during an address to the United Nations, has been a vocal advocate for ending drug criminalization since taking office in August.
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