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Latin leaders oppose pot legalization vote

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Latin leaders oppose pot legalization vote
President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon of Colombia attends a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama (not pictured) September 24, 2010 in New York City. Obama has been in New York since Wednesday attending the annual General Assembly at the United Nations, where yesterday he stressed the need for a resolution between Israel and Palestine, and a renewed international effort to keep Iran from attaining nuclear weapons. UPI/Spencer Platt/POOL | License Photo

CARTAGENA, Colombia, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Three Latin American presidents are urging California voters to reject the legalization of marijuana in next week's balloting.

Felipe Calderon of Mexico, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica attended a summit on drug trafficking in Cartagena, Colombia, where California's Proposition 19 was discussed, the BBC reported Wednesday.

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"It is confusing for our people to see that while we have lost lives and we invest vast resources in the drug war, in the consumer countries they promote proposals like the Californian referendum to legalize the production, the sale and the consumption of marijuana," said Santos.

Chinchilla, in an interview with Colombian media, said, "If we think that each country on its own is going to successfully face this problem, we're very wrong."

Interviewed on the BBC's "Hardtalk" program, Calderon said Americans "have a clear responsibility in this because they are providing the market for the drug dealers and the criminals."

"They need to do a lot more in terms of reducing the consumption of drugs and to stop the flow of weapons towards Mexico," he said.

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