Drug War

Colombia's President Urges Drug Peace While Accepting Nobel Peace Prize

Juan Manuel Santos reiterates his call for an end to the war on drugs.


Wilson Dias / Wikimedia

When he was head of the U.S. Southern Command, Gen. John F. Kelly, Donald Trump's pick to run the Department of Homeland Security, complained that marijuana legalization in states such as Colorado and Washington had made Latin American officials less inclined to participate in the war on drugs. But open disenchantment with the drug war among foreign allies predates the first votes to legalize marijuana in the United States. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, for instance, has been calling for a different approach since 2011. Santos, formerly a hardline drug warrior, reiterated his readiness for drug peace on Saturday, when he picked up a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the Colombian government's long-running conflict with the rebel group FARC:

We have moral authority to state that, after decades of fighting against drug trafficking, the world has still been unable to control this scourge that fuels violence and corruption throughout our global community.

It makes no sense to imprison a peasant who grows marijuana, when nowadays, for example, its cultivation and use are legal in eight states of the United States.

The manner in which this war against drugs is being waged is equally or perhaps even more harmful than all the wars the world is fighting today, combined.

Saying Colombia has "paid the highest cost in deaths and sacrifices" to enforce America's pharmacological taboos, Santos argued that it is "time to change our strategy." He previously said, "I would talk about legalizing marijuana and more than just marijuana." Similar sentiments have been voiced in recent years by other Latin American leaders, including Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, Uruguayan President José Mujica, former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and former Mexican presidents Ernesto Zedillo and Vicente Fox.

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  1. Molina, Chinchilla, Mujica, Cardoso, Zedillo, Fox? Those all sound like drug warlord names to me – probably not even one legal Murican among them. Of course they’re going to be in favor of distributing heroin to American pre-schoolers, anything to sap our precious bodily fluids. There’s a war going on folks and our enemies will stop at nothing to convince us the drugs are winning no matter how many years of racking up victories it takes.

    1. “Look fellas, there’s only so many Peace Prizes to go around.”

    2. I like “there’s a war on folks ” (as opposed to “there’s a war on, folks”). Folks have been excluded from the community of underrepresented classes for far too long.

  2. These countries need to band together and legalize and kick the DEA out of their countries. Tell the U.S government what happens in their country is none their bis wacks. Same with the Afgan opium .

    1. Uruguay already legalized cannabis. The rest of them should follow suit. All they’re doing it hurting their own counties for fighting the USAs stupid drug war. And they’re only doing it because the US government is giving them sacks full of tax payer dollars to do it.

  3. Kelly, Donald Trump’s pick to run the Department of Homeland Security, complained that marijuana legalization in states such as Colorado and Washington had made Latin American officials less inclined to participate in the war on drugs.

    “There’s too much money in it!”

  4. Holy shit an actual sitting elected official calling for an end to the Drug War? I only hope the US government can ramp up its war on the sex trade in time to avoid a revenue shortfall.

  5. C’mon why would anyone listen to this guy? What does he know anyway? What experience does he REALLY have that anyone should listen to him? Big pharm is for the peoples! Clearly he is a wannabee druglord.

  6. How cute, William Shatner and Benjamin Bratt had a kid.

  7. You know who else won the Nobel Peace Prize?

  8. I think I’ve figured it out.

    Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina – term limited
    Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla – former president
    Uruguayan President Jos? Mujica – ah! an exception that proves the rule
    Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso – former
    Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo – former
    Mexican president Vicente Fox – former

    So, let’s check the theory … list of American presidents that expressed mild dissatisfaction with the Drug War

    Bill Clinton – former
    Barack Obama – term limited

    Final check before publishing … UN Secretary-Generals not-so-happy with the Drug War

    Kofi Annan – former

    Proof positive. When politicians no longer need to worry about getting re-elected, they are allowed to plug their brains back in.

  9. Looks like the horse of drug was is on its last legs.

  10. The “scourge that fuels violence and corruption throughout the global community” isn’t illegal drugs or drug trafficking. It’s the United States and its so-called “war on drugs,” which for decades has been a war on the young, the poor, and people of color, and which, with its new-found jihad against opiates, has morphed into a war on the sick, the elderly, and the disabled. If Latin American leaders had any sense of self-preservation, they’d band together and kick the US out of their countries.

    1. I am sitting here, right now, trying to relieve my painful neuropathy because the state of Arkansas does not believe in chronic pain management when it comes to the use of opiates! My vibrator got so hot that it burned my thigh, three nights ago. I am going to have to turn it off and suffer in a minute, because it is getting too hot, again! All I can do is wish my type of pain on the assholes who deny me adequate relief!

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