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Outrageous Penalties: Disproportionality in the penalization of drugs crimes in Colombia

This study supports with solid empirical evidence that drug policies in Colombia that resort to the use of criminal law do not respect the principle of proportionality and therefore are not justifiable from the constitutional point of view.


In Colombia, crime and punishment for behavior related to the production and distribution of illicit drugs has progressively increased during the last century. It is now more severely punished than other crimes that are more socially reprehensible such as violent sexual assault or torture. Excessive reliance on criminal punishment violates the guarantee of proportionality, which requires the government to maintain a minimum of reasonable coherence between the harm caused by the crime and the punishment imposed.

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