Police Clash With Protestors At Smoke-Out In Colombia

Dozens of protestors showed up to light up in a metropolitan area of Bogota, Colombia in opposition to their new president’s stricter stance on drugs.

In 2012, the Colombian Constitutional Court approved a government proposal to allow citizens to possess small amounts of cannabis and cocaine for personal consumption, but recently-elected President Ivan Duque has promised to roll back drug policies introduced by his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos.

On Sunday, September 2, Santos announced that he would be authorizing police to confiscate minimum amounts of drugs that had previously been decriminalized for personal use, stating that he was keeping one of the promises he made during his campaign.

“This week will sign the decree,” said Duque, speaking at a recent event. “Through which, in development of the police code 02 of the 2009 legislative act, we will give the authorities tools to confiscate any dose of drugs or hallucinogens in the streets of Colombia, and thus face the root of micro-trafficking problems.

In response to the announcement, on Thursday, September 6, a group gathered at the Bogota Planetarium with small amounts of cannabis to protest the new president’s stricter policy. But when people began to light their joints, police in riot gear moved in to disperse the crowd.

While most of the protestors left on their own, police arrested at least six people in the incident following clashes with law enforcement officers.