American Senior Arrested in Colombia for ‘Cannabis Tours’

A 73-year-old American man was arrested in Colombia this week for leading “cannabis tours” in his home.

Per CBS News, citing Colombian law enforcement, the unidentified man “advertised on social media and a website for foreigners to visit his house in Sabaneta, a town south of the city of Medellín in the northwestern part of the country.”

CBS said that the man “distributed flyers advertising ‘Cannabis Farm Tours’ given by ‘Cannabis Jimmy.’” 

“The materials said ‘free samples’ would be distributed during the tours. Approximately 2-8 people were on each tour, and reservations were required. The tours lasted 2-3 hours during which the man taught visitors ‘the process of planting, caring for, harvesting, and maintaining this plant,’ police said. He also sold tour-takers marijuana for $20 a gram,” the outlet reported

“Police said they confiscated 1,380 grams of marijuana during the arrest. They did not identify the man, only saying he is an American.”

Medical cannabis and industrial hemp are both legal in Colombia, but the country continues to impose a ban on recreational marijuana. 

But as CBS notes, the country has “long struggled to control the trafficking, manufacturing and/or possession of narcotics within its borders.”

“Late last year, the Colombian Navy intercepted a shipwrecked boat carrying 33 kilograms of cocaine and 744 kilograms of marijuana,” the network said. “The South American nation is the world’s largest exporter of cocaine – almost 90% of the cocaine sold in the United States each year arrives from Colombia.”

Lawmakers in Colombia considered a proposal last year to legalize adult-use marijuana and commercial sales. 

But in December, members of the Colombian senate “rejected the proposed legislation aimed to legalize adult-use cannabis in the country,” according to Forbes.

“The proposed legislation faced a setback in the Senate on December 12 during the plenary session in its attempt to regulate the adult use and commercialization of cannabis. During the plenary session, a proposal to archive the bill submitted by Senator Karina Espinosa from the Liberal Party right before the formal debate began received 45 positive votes,” Forbes reported at the time.

“Following the vote, Senator María José Pizarro, who spearheaded the project, spoke before the plenary session. She vehemently criticized the senators who supported archiving the project, attributing blame to the Senate for enabling organized groups to profit and condemning youth and consumers to the influence of illicit traders and drug traffickers.”

A different legalization proposal met the same fate in June, when the Colombian Senate voted down a proposal to allow the sale of weed.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who was elected in 2022, has spoken in favor of legalizing and commercializing marijuana in the country. 

In October, Petro recounted a visit to New York City, where he smelled marijuana burning wherever he went.

“Marijuana is sold today in Times Square,” Petro said, as quoted by Marijuana Moment. “It smelled on all the streets, all the way around the corner, and they sold it…like any other product. I suppose they charge taxes and that New York City or the state of New York lives partially from them.”

Petro, Colombia’s first leftist president, went on to criticize the United States for its role in the drug war.

“That’s where the war on drugs began,” Petro said, according to Marijuana Moment. “How many people have been imprisoned? How many people have died? Because undoubtedly illegality brought violence.”

As one of the world’s leading producers of the coca bush, Colombia has long been associated with cocaine trafficking.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, an estimated “63,660 of the country’s households were involved in the cultivation of that illicit crop.”

“This has led the Government and the international community to design an innovative programme that also addresses security issues. In 2012, the area under coca crop cultivation in Colombia fell by a quarter to 48,000 hectares (ha), down from 64,000 ha in 2011,” the UN said

“Experience has shown that it is not enough to eradicate illicit drug crops to bring about a lasting solution to the problem. This is why UNODC supports the Government’s efforts to assist farmers who give up cultivating coca bush through alternative development initiatives such as the Forest Warden Families Programme and the Productive Projects Programme. These initiatives ensure that former coca bush farmers have legal and adequate incomes. These rural activities are integrated into broader socio-economic development strategies and benefit rural, indigenous and Afro-Colombian populations.”

The United Nations estimates that “the area under coca bush cultivation in Colombia has declined by 15 per cent from 73,000 hectares in 2009 to 62,000 hectares in 2010.” 

“During the last decade (2000 to 2010), cultivation levels have been reduced significantly by 62 %. These declines signal an advance of sustainable livelihood programmes and are due mainly to a combination of alternative development and law enforcement measures,” the report said.

The post American Senior Arrested in Colombia for ‘Cannabis Tours’ appeared first on High Times.


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