Colombia’s ex-president Cesar Gaviria on Tuesday said drug abuse should be considered a health issue rather than a criminal matter.
Gaviria’s statements on radio station RCN came in the light of a recent report on drug trafficking published by the Organization of American States (OAS), which raised the possibility of decriminalizing certain drugs.
“The state has to find a way a way that [drug consumption] is treated as a health issue,” said Gaviria.
Although Gaviria expressed that each country has to find its own way, he pointed to Europe and said that the lower scale of corruption and violence can be linked to the right treatment of drug abusers.
The former head of state expressed his support for Colombia’s current president Juan Manuel Santos‘ initiative to reduce penalties against juvenile offenders and focus on rehabilitation and prevention.
Santos has been one of a number of Latin American leaders who have called for an evaluation of the war on drugs, promoting a softer approach to curb violence associated with drug trafficking.
- El consumo de drogas hay que despenalizarlo: César Gaviria (RCN Radio)
- Expresidentes latinos apoyan llamado de OEA a despenalizar consumo de algunas drogas (El Espectador)
- ‘Consumo de drogas no debe ser un asunto penal’: César Gaviria (El Tiempo)