The chief of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) in Colombia has urged authorities to move the fight against drugs away from cocaine and toward new synthetic drugs, according to local media.
The country’s UNDOC representative Bo Mathiasen made the recommendation on Wednesday at the first international meeting on the issue of synthetic drugs, which took place in Colombia’s coastal city of Santa Marta.
“We must recognize that to achieve adequate and harmonized international work demanded by the appearance of synthetic drugs, it is necessary to ‘decocaine-ize’ the problem of drugs in the region,” Mathiasen said.
Colombia’s Minister of Justice, Yesid Reyes, warned that it is a “challenge at the global level” to produce legislation that can keep up with the fast pace of new variations of synthetic drugs.
The conference comes as international momentum builds for a new approach to the war on drugs that many regard as a failure in terms of its stated goals and the harmful affects produced.
President Santos faced criticism last year when his administration proposed a law to decriminalize small doses of synthetic drugs.
Personal doses of cocaine and marijuana have already been decriminalized in Colombia.