Ecuadorian lawmakers have proposed a historic piece of legislation that would decriminalize all illegal drugs.
Last month, Carlos Velasco, who manaages the Ecuador congressional Commission of the Right to Health, submitted the Organic Law on Comprehensive Drug Prevention bill that would end criminal penalties currently associated with the possession and use of illegal substances, while establishing a system that provides prevention and rehabilitation programs instead.
“Treating the drug phenomenon in a repressive way – as was done in the 1980s and 1990s when prison was the only destination for the drug consumer – is absurd,” noted Velasco.
If the law passes it would allow for the development of a Technical Secretariat of Drugs, which would set controls on more than 100 substances, regulating every aspect from importation to general use. Anyone wishing to take advantage of the system, whether it is consumer or dealer, would be required to register with the agency and adhere to the rules set forth.
Current Equadorian law punishes individuals caught growing or selling illegal drugs to up to 16 years in prison. Under the revised statute, violators would only be required to surrender their drugs and pay a fine.