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Cannabis Policy in Colombia

In Colombia, the personal use and cultivation of marijuana has been decriminalized. In addition, in December 2015, the Colombian government announced the legalization and regulation of medical marijuana throughout the country.

Current Legislation

Legislation from 2012 decriminalized the private use and possession up to 20 grams of marijuana and up to 20 marijuana plants for personal use. If caught with less than 20 grams or 20 plants, individuals will not be prosecuted or detained, but may be assigned physical or psychological treatment, depending on their state of consumption. Public use of marijuana, however, is illegal.

The sale and transport of marijuana in Colombia is illegal.

The private growing of up to 20 hemp plants in Colombia is legal. In addition, the possession and use of CBD hemp oil is legal throughout the country.

Medical Marijuana Laws

On December 22, 2015, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed a decree legalizing and regulating medical marijuana. The decree legalizes the use, cultivation, process, import and export of cannabis and its derivatives for medical and scientific use. While the manufacture, export, sale and medical use have been authorized since 1986, a lack of regulation prevented production.

The cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes is legal for growers that have applied and received licenses from the National Narcotics Council. Manufacturers and exporters of cannabis-based medications must first apply and receive permits from Colombia’s health ministry.


Colombia legalizes medical marijuana. (2015, December 22). Yahoo! News. Retrieved from http://news.yahoo.com/colombia-legalizes-medical-marijuana-171023547.html?nf=1.

Colombia plans to legalize sale of medical marijuana under presidential decree. (2015, November 16). Tech Times. Retrieved from http://www.techtimes.com/articles/106609/20151116/colombia-plans-to-legalize-sale-of-medical-marijuana-under-presidential-decree.htm.

Colombia to decriminalize small amounts of cocaine and marijuana for personal use. (2012, June 29). Drug Policy. Retrieved from http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2012/06/colombia-decriminalize-small-amounts-cocaine-and-marijuana-personal-use.

Colombia to legalize commercial sale of medical marijuana. (2015, November 12). The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/colombia-to-legalize-commercial-sale-of-medical-marijuana/2015/11/12/5557ad62-8955-11e5-bd91-d385b244482f_story.html.

  • December 8, 2015
  • Eve Ripley