Colombia’s President, Iván Duque Márquez, cracks down on drug use

Bogata Colombia

Colombia’s President, Iván Duque Márquez, cracks down on drug use

BOGOTA — Colombia’s new president is trying to reduce drug use with a decree that bans people from carrying small amounts of marijuana and cocaine in public — though courts have said such possession shouldn’t be punished.

On Monday President Ivan Duque signed a decree enabling police to search people and confiscate any drugs they have on them. Offenders will also be fined.

Selling and exporting such drugs has long been illegal in Colombia. But the laws had become more flexible since the turn of the century and high court rulings allowed Colombians to carry small amounts of marijuana and cocaine.

Duque says the new measure will protect children from traffickers who sell drugs near schools. But his opponents say it is a repressive measure that affects personal liberties.

The Associated Press

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