Discussion of the ‘personal dose’ in Colombia
The civil society and the official narrative

Septiembre de 2020

The objective of this document is to understand how a group of organizations participated in the digital public debate in Colombia on a regulatory decision that went against their interests. Specifically, we focus on Twitter and Decree 1844 of 2018, which regulated the prohibition on possessing, delivering, distributing or selling illicit substances.
Rather than providing a substantive approach this public policy problem, this report seeks to place civil society participation in specific political circumstances and describe the framings and narratives that the organizations were facing and how they responded.
The document is divided as follows: (i) its starting point is the approach taken by the Juan Manuel Santos administration (2010-2018) on the matter, which moved between a progressive vision close to organizations and a regressive regulation; (ii) it describes the change in narrative with the arrival of Iván Duque in 2018, mainly marked by the return of punitivism and a focus on public security; (iii) it explains the results of a monitoring of the digital debate on the discussion of the ‘personal dose’ and the decree at three different times, emphasizing the organizations’ participation; (iv) it addresses a media group’s coverage of the decree and the later contrary decision by the Constitutional Court, and (v) it offers some conclusions.