The South American country's constitution allows marijuana users to carry small doses for personal use. But new President Ivan Duque is tightening laws and recently issued a decree that lets police confiscate drugs consumed in public.

Students carry a banner with the Spanish message:
Students carry a banner with the Spanish message: "Yes to personal dosis" during a protest against a decree by Colombia's President Ivan Duque that would allow police to confiscate any amount of drugs from people in the street in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. (AP)

Colombia's President Ivan Duque has promised to step up a fight against drug use in his country. 

The new president, who took office last month, has promised to take a harder stance against drug traffickers than his predecessors who had relaxed narcotics use laws over the years. 

Duque wants to bring back aerial fumigation of coca crops, a policy that was stopped by previous administration three years ago over health concerns. 

"The time has come to prevent the illegal armed groups that kidnap and traffic drugs from earning profits by justifying their crimes with ideological causes," he said.

Duque also announced that he will strengthen some policies from the previous government that were focused on solving the problem of drug production and trafficking in the South American country.

"We will be effective in the eradication and substitution of illicit crops with the participation of the communities, in the implementation of productive projects and in breaking the logistic and supply chains of drug trafficking structures," he added.

But marijuana users in Colombia have protested against the measures, fearing a ban on the consumption of cannabis in public as a result of the new policies.

Some of them have held protests against what they see as excessive policing. 

TRT World's Manuel Rueda reports from Bogota, Colombia.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies