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Legal Coca: Colombia’s Drug Policy Insurrection

Author: David Restrepo

After suffering through decades of the Andean region’s most repressive, expensive, and fruitless drug war, designed and funded by the USA, Colombia is finally revolting against its historical drug policy subservience and choosing to lead the global debate on the legal regulation of drugs. On July 20,2022, Colombian Independence Day, members of the newly elected, progressive Congressional majority announced they will legalize not just adult-use cannabis, psilocybin mushrooms, and opium poppy, but also tackle perhaps the most important drug policy issue of our times: the legal regulation of coca and its derivatives. During his August 7 inauguration speech, Colombian President Gustavo Petro reiterated his commitment to legal regulation – the first time a sitting president has ever broken this lingering drug policy taboo.