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Colombian President Is Cool with Drug Legalization

Submitted by smorgan on

Though not the most stirring endorsement he could have given, Santos made it clear that efforts to legalize drugs won't meet with much opposition from him.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos does not rule out his government will support the legalization of the consumption of illicit drugs if beneficial to the reduction in crime.

"It is a possibility we can discuss. I am not against any formula that is effective. And if the world decides to legalize and believes that this would reduce violence and crime, I could go along with it," Santos told weekly Semana.

This is good, I guess, but I'm hoping he's not too committed to the "if the world decides" condition. Ending the war on drugs has proven to be a rather substantial political struggle that isn't going to get very far if potential supporters are waiting around for the entire rest of the world before taking a position.

Regardless, Santos is hardly the first Latin American political leader to express interest in legalization, and it's a pretty safe bet that there's one country in particular he's referring to here. The international drug war thrives on political pressure and cash from the U.S., and until we're ready to rethink our role, significant reforms are unlikely to occur elsewhere. Fortunately, the growing momentum of the American drug war debate is creating a more comfortable climate for foreign leaders to begin discussing alternatives to prohibition.

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