The United States “respects,” but does not support Colombian President Santos’ call for a global debate on drug legalization, said U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman Tuesday.
Sherman, who is in Colombia to prepare U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the Summit of the Americas in April, told newspaper El Tiempo that she “appreciated that presidents say what they think and of course I respect their points of view.”
However, “President Obama does not support legalization. What we do support is the intense work relation we have with Colombia and with President Santos with the aim of liberating us from this evil.”
According to the U.S. official, the two countries’ joint approach against coca cultivation and drug trafficking in the Latin American country has resulted “a substantial reduction in the production in Colombia and a reduction in consumption in the U.S.”
The United States had heard Santos’ call on rich countries to decrease the demand on drugs, said Sherman. “The President has included a 13% rise in prevention activities in the budget. We know that things need to be done on the demand side and plan to continue working with Colombia on the production side,” she said.
Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has been calling for a global debate on the possibility of legalizing drugs as a means to end drug-related violence in Colombia and other countries in Latin America.