Marijuana remains an illegal substance in Chile, but there are a growing number of shops in the country which sell cannabis products. A recent admission by Senator Fulvio Rossi that he occasionally smokes the drug has heated the debate over whether the drug should be legalised.
In the face of a renewed discussion on the possible decriminalization of marijuana in Chile, conservative politicians called for the revival of a constitutional reform bill Sunday that would punish politicians for illegal drug use. The bill, first approved in the Senate in September 2004, would remove politicians from holding a public office if they use illegal drugs.
President Sebastián Piñera signed the new Drug and Alcohol Prevention Act into law on Monday, which sets up an educational program to warn schoolchildren against the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The president took the opportunity to break his silence over the renewed debate over drug decriminalization, taking a decidedly anti-decriminalization stance. "At a time when some are promoting the legalization of drugs, this administration is committed to fighting against it, not only for children but also the entire population," Piñera told reporters.