Santos ‘concerned’ over California pot legalization poll

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday expressed his concern over a referendum on the legalization of marijuana that California will hold in November.

Citizens of the United States’ largest pot-smoking state will be asked if they are for or against the legalization of the drug when going to the polls for the mid-term elections.

According to the Colombian president, the legalization of marijuana in a U.S. state “will generate very particular paradoxes,” as Colombia since the 1980s has been fighting the production and trafficking of drugs mainly consumed by Americans.

Santos in August declared his support for Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s call for a discussion on drug legalization.

“We are entering an era of the narco-trafficking business where one must have these type of reflections,” he said. “President Calderon is right to call for this to be discussed, without meaning that one is in agreement or not with the position of legalization.”

In 1998 Santos, in his capacity as head of the Good Government Foundation, co-signed an open letter addressed to Kofi Annan, then-U.N. secretary general, calling for “a frank and honest evaluation of global drug control efforts,” as “we believe that the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself.”

California is considering the legalization of pot in part to curtail drug-trafficking-related violence in Mexico.

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