The government of the South American country of Colombia has announced plans to legalize marijuana for medical and scientific purposes only. The cultivation and sale of marijuana will no longer be prohibited, as President Juan Manuel Santos will soon be signing an executive decree into law which establishes regulations for everything from licensing cultivators to eventual international product exports.

The legalization of medical marijuana in Colombia comes as surprise considering Colombia has, until now, supported a War on Drugs like the one in the United States. Colombia’s medical marijuana policy reform sets the country among others, like Chile and Uruguay, that have admitted that the War on Drugs is a failure.

Colombia has now decriminalized possession of small, personal use amounts of marijuana, but the country has no plans to completely legalize the plant for recreational use.

“Nobody is talking about legalizing anything except for these two purposes,”

Justice Minister Yesid Reyes stated.

Columbia has received international recognition since the 1970s as a cultivator of some of the worlds strongest marijuana strains, such as Santa Marta Gold. Colombian Health Minister, Alejandro Gaviria, shared with Blu Radio that he envisions his country as a heavy global influence in the increasing market of cannabis products.

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