By Joy Noble for TalkingDrugs. A new law allowing the United States to extradite drug producers from across the globe has recently been approved by the U.S. Senate, raising concerns in Colombia that the legislation could be used to target small-scale drug producers.
The Transnational Drug Trafficking Act 2015 was passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate on 7 October, making its passage through the Republican-dominated House of Representatives very likely.
According to the Bill’s co-author Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Act would give the U.S. government “the legal authority to aggressively pursue transnational criminal organizations and drug kingpins in their home countries”.
However, critics point out that the legislation is extremely broad and could be used to target any drug producers including farmers who rely on coca or opium crops to support their families.
The Act makes it “unlawful for any person to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance in schedule I or II… knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe that such substance or chemical will be unlawfully imported into the United States”.
Farmers producing drugs in any country with an extradition treaty with the United States could be extradited and charged, regardless of whether they had any role in trafficking those drugs beyond the boundaries of their own property.