Latin leaders oppose pot legalization vote

Oct. 27, 2010 at 10:39 AM
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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.

"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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