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  • Ines Cano administers medical marijuana to her daughter Luna Valentina (L) at their home in Medellin on November 25, 2015; Valentina, 12, was born with refractory epilepsy and uses cannabis to calm her seizures.

    Ines Cano administers medical marijuana to her daughter Luna Valentina (L) at their home in Medellin on November 25, 2015; Valentina, 12, was born with refractory epilepsy and uses cannabis to calm her seizures. | Photo: AFP

Published 26 May 2016

The legalization of medical marijuana in Colombia marks the latest move away from the hard-line “war on drugs” championed by the United States.

The Colombian Senate approved a bill Wednesday that legalizes the use and cultivation of marijuana for medical purpose, making it the fourth Latin American country to relax its marijuana laws.

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The bill, which still must be approved by the Constitutional Court and signed by President Juan Manuel Santos, will replace an existing decree issued by the president in December.

The bill was promoted by Senator Juan Manuel Galan, who said on his Twitter account that he considered it a “historic day” and a victory for patients.

Galan also shared a video featuring a family who pushed for the legalization of medical marijuana.

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“I am very happy because we were waiting for this for a long time. I know that this is a great beginning for many families who in this moment were in need of this law,” said Natalia Tangarife, whose son will benefit from medical marijuana treatment.

Cultivators can apply for licenses from the National Narcotics Council and will need to detail their business plan and abide by strict regulations.

The legalization of medical marijuana in Colombia marks the latest move away from the hard-line “war on drugs” championed throughout the region by Washington.

The country earlier decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and cocaine for personal use in 2012.

The so-called "war on drugs" provided a pretext for the U.S. government to interfere directly in Colombia's domestic affairs and provided justification for billions in military aid.

WATCH: Colombia Legalizes Medicinal Marijuana


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