The Bill proposes strictly regulated coca leaf production in existing production areas with a strong emphasis on sustainable development and supporting marginalised and indigenous communities involved in coca production.
The Bill was debated in the Senate committee (consisting of 22 senators - with 20 present) last week and again this week. It won a first procedural vote allowing the debate to happen with 15 senators in favor and 5 against. The debate itself led to some amendments. Among them; the possibility that any interested person could grow coca within the designated areas (in the original proposal only indigenous communities and those already living in those areas were allowed to grow), the inclusion of communities of African descent as a priority population, and the elimination of any reference to gender, and the Peace Agreement.
Letting external actors grow coca plants in designated areas would make the proposed regulation easier to enforce, but also risks reducing the benefits for historically impacted communities (it is unclear whether it would include corporate actors). There was a concern that the cocaine regulation part of the Bill could be sacrificed; the thinking being that a Bill focusing on coca-leaf regulation alone might have a better chance of being passed into law. But in the end this did not happen. The final committee vote on the amended Bill passed unanimously by 12-0 (those opposed to the Bill left the room attempting, unsuccessfully, to ensure there would not be enough Senators to hold a vote).