Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos said that legalization of soft drugs, such as marijuana, would allow the war on drugs to move forward by shifting focus to harder drugs and helping to stop international violence and drug trafficking.
In an interview with Metro News, Santos proposed that more world leaders should rethink their approach to the war on drugs in order to deal with problems of drug trafficking and the use of hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.
“The world needs to discuss new approaches… we are basically still thinking within the same framework as we have done for the last 40 years,” the president explained.
The Colombian head of state said that legalizing softer drugs could be a way forward, “provided everyone does it at the same time.”
However, Santos explained that he cannot be the first to make the move, “because for Colombia, this is a matter of national security.”
“Drug trafficking is what finances the violence and the irregular groups in our country. I would be crucified if I took the first step. We need to insist on more multinational actions on drug trafficking and innovate the ways we are dealing with it.”
He commented that the difference between Colombia and the rest of the world is that “in other countries this is mainly a health and crime issue.”
Following the drastic improvement that Colombia has made over violence, conflict, and notorious drug problems Santos sees a future of global change, and legalization, as a viable possibility.
“We have something that the U.S. and Europe don’t have: a young population and a lot of optimism. The latest poll in Colombia from Thursday shows that 79% of our population believes that we are on a great path,” the president concluded.