If the state of California approves the legalization of marijuana then the global war on drugs must be redesigned, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday.
According to Santos, a legalization of the sale, transport and consumption of marijuana in the state would be inexplicable to a Colombian farmer who is criminally charged if he cultivates the drug.
“I said this to the United Nations, because I didn’t invent this, that they are asking me if there is a way to explain that to a Colombian farmer who we throw in jail if producing marijuana, while at the same time it is legal there. This will result in a global discussion about the focus we’ve had in the war on drugs,” the president said in an interview with Caracol Radio.
Santos went on saying that “if we say [legalization], they say that crime is imposed or that the consumption increases. No. So they called it decriminalization, which in the end is legalization, in order to take away the criminal element to trafficking and use the tax income the consumption of this type will generate to fight the effect on public health.”
Santos told Caracol that the legalization of marijuana leads to an increase in consumption of the drug.
The Colombian president on several earlier occasions criticized California for allowing the popular referendum, which will be held in November.