Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos does not rule out his government will support the legalization of the consumption of illicit drugs if beneficial to the reduction in crime.
“It is a possibility we can discuss. I am not against any formula that is effective. And if the world decides to legalize and believes that this would reduce violence and crime, I could go along with it,” Santos told weekly Semana.
The Colombian head of state also expressed his support for Bolivian efforts to decriminalize coca — the plant used to make cocaine — for consumption; a common practice among indigenous groups in Bolivia and the south of Colombia.
“I am open to discuss new alternatives, but we can not make the change alone. And we have no alternative to fight the chain of drug trafficking. We support Bolivia because this is established in the constitution: respect the indigenous peoples and their traditions,” said Santos.
Colombia banned the carrying of small, “personal” doses of drugs in 2009 after years-long attempts by former President Alvaro Uribe, who claimed allowing consumption of illicit drugs was hampering efforts to combat drug trafficking.
While on presidential campaign, Santos admitted to having smoked pot himself when he was studying in the United States.