BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia's justice minister says the country plans to legalize the cultivation and sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Yesid Reyes made the announcement Thursday in an interview with Caracol Radio. Reyes says the new regulations will apply only to medical and scientific uses of the drug.
The news was a surprise in a country long identified with U.S.-backed policies aimed at fighting the production of illicit drugs. The new policy would include Colombia in a wave of changing attitudes toward marijuana that has sparked recent legalization efforts from Mexico to Chile.
Colombian courts had already decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. The new rules will allow for commercial production.
Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria told Blu Radio that the country someday could export marijuana products.
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