President Juan Manuel Santos called for a “rational” and “objective” discussion on drugs at the Summit of the Americas.
In an interview with U.S. news network Univision, Santos said he wanted an honest discussion on the contentious subject, free from political bias.
“Sometimes you feel like you’re on a static bicycle, pedaling, pedaling and the business is there, the crime is there, consumption is there,” he said.
“Let’s stop and see if there’s a better alternative [to drug prohibition].” He added.
The issue of drug legalization has been a heated one ahead of the summit. Several Latin American leaders have proposed legalization as the answer to the region’s drug problem, with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina particularly vocal on the subject. The U.S. has agreed to discuss the issue in a multilateral setting for the first time, although “legalization is not the solution” according to Coordinator for the Summit of the Americas for the U.S. State Department John Feeley.
The Summit of the Americas will see Colombia’s Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena host 32 heads of state in a series of political meetings that will touch on a variety of issues affecting the Western Hemisphere on April 14 and 15.