The Colombian President, Juam Manuel Santos, welcomed the position expressed by the USA regarding the debate over the war on drugs at the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Cartegana, Colombia on April 14 and 15.
“To me it is very important the position of the USA to open the discussion regarding drugs”, Santos yesterday told radio La W in reference to a declaration issued by Mike Hammer, undersecretary of state at the Department of State.
Hammer indicated that Washington is “against legalizing drugs”, while they are “agreed to debate the topic” and wants “to see more international cooperation” regarding the problem.
For Santiago, the will of the White House “is something to be valued and should be channeled in a positive direction and if realized could be something really important towards helping the world deal with this serious problem.”
Parallel to that, Santos met yesterday with the ex presidents of Spain, Felipe González; Brasil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso; and Chile, Ricardo Largos to update alternative proposals and changes to the law which will be presented in the summit in Cartagena.
Cardoso and other ex presidents in the region have agreed on the need to consider the possible decriminalization of soft drugs, like marijuana, and to evaluate other alternatives in the war against drugs that has left thousands of dead each year and have not succeeded in eradicating the production and trafficking of cocaine.
Date: 10 March 2012
Translated from: El Mercurio. 10 March 2012. Page A-6.