Ecuador has taken a significant step towards ending their nation’s war on drugs, which has been a clear and unambiguous failure. Under the new policy, published by the nation’s Substance Control, small amounts of drugs – including 10 grams of cannabis – will no longer be criminal charges which carry with it the possibility of jail time. Other drugs effected in the new change include heroin and cocaine, although a much smaller amount will be decriminalized (0.1 and 2 grams respectively).
Although this move is a positive step forward (a similar policy in Portugal has cut addiction rates in half, among other improvements), activists in Ecuador understand that it’s only a start; “The drug problem isn’t consumers: it’s the black market, which generates violence, human trafficking, and the highest murder rate in Latin America”, states Gabriel Buitrón, founder of Ecuador Canábico. Garbiel supports the full legalization of cannabis, including cannabis cultivation.
Members of Ecuador Canábico are currently working on a policy paper which will promote the controlled production, distribution and storage of cannabis for exclusive use within Ecuador; they plan to present the National Assembly with a draft of the paper later this year.