Calls for the legalization of drugs are coming from the strangest places these days – like from the president of the world’s leading cocaine exporter. Columnist Antonio Caballero of Colombia’s Semana writes that while he may be ‘the most submissive servant of the United States among world leaders,’ Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has done something not even Washington’s leading adversaries have done: publicly raise the possibility of legalization.
For Semana, Antonio Caballero writes in part:
Juan Manuel Santos is the first incumbent head of state – up to now the only one – who has dared propose the legalization of drugs prohibited by the United States government. He didn’t actually propose it; he says that if he did so, he would be crucified. But at least he has raised the possibility. And he has done it repeatedly in press interviews and at universities.
But he didn’t try it last September when he might have with much more resonance at the forum of the U.N. General Assembly in New York [watch below]. There he merely insinuated, in a rather confusing fashion, that the growing de facto legalization in many U.S. states via medical use (beginning with California) and decriminalization in some European Union nations (Portugal and The Netherlands) are hypocritical measures that put the full weight of the drug war on the shoulders of producing countries that destroy themselves in the process. Now with his visit to London, the president has been more direct, declaring to The Observer and The Guardian that, “If that [taking the profit out of illegal drugs] means legalizing, and the world thinks that’s the solution, I will welcome it. I’m not against it.”
President Santos, albeit tentatively and with verbal precautions, has dared to launch a debate on the issue. This is even more surprising given that in all other respects he is the most submissive servant of the United States among world leaders … But he has nevertheless dared utter the taboo word ‘legalization,’ which is something that even the most direct adversaries of the U.S. government have failed to do.”
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