US agrees to discuss drug legalization at regional summit

The United States will discuss drug legalization in a multilateral setting for the first time at the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Colombia, reported newspaper El Tiempo Friday.

Despite their decision to join talks, there is no indication the U.S. position firmly against legalization has changed. “We are ready to discuss the issue to express our opinion on why it is not the way to address the problem,” said Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Mike Hammer.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his Guatemalan counterpart Otto Perez Mollina have been campaigning to get this issue on the international agenda.

Numerous other leaders throughout Latin America believe the U.S. “war on drugs” has failed and have expressed their desire to legalize or decriminalize drugs.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said earlier this year, “[Legalization] would be acceptable to Colombia, if the whole world was in agreement.”

The agenda for the summit has already been determined but given the U.S. announcement it seems likely that legalization will become a major topic of debate.

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