Colombian Police Commissioner General Oscar Naranjo criticizes California’s move to decriminalize marijuana, saying that political debate on the issue is often over-simplified and disregards the danger drugs pose to young people.
The police commissioner spoke out after being made an honorary agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Tuesday.
Naranjo said that California’s marijuana referendum could “endanger children and young people,” and negatively affect Colombia’s ability to combat the narcotics trade.
Naranjo told Caracol Radio that Colombia has worked hard to fight the war on drugs, and said that “the world and the police have to do more.”
President Juan Manuel Santos and other Colombian officials have spoken out against the possible legalization of marijuana in California, and its potential effect on the region’s ability to fight drugs.
“Of course, this is an issue of countries who are encouraging the legalization within their borders, but at the same time are encouraging criminalization,” Santos said Tuesday. “This gives contradictory signals that weaken a fight that ought to be a fight coordinated by all countries and against these phenomena that has caused us so much havoc and damage.”