OAS drug study eyes decriminalization

Associated Press
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, left, holds a copy of a regional study the illicit drug trade presented by OAS chief Jose Miguel Insulza, right, during a joint press conference at the Presidential Palace in Bogota, Colombia, Friday, May 17, 2013. The  $2.2 million study which emphasizes drug abuse as primarily a public health issue, makes no firm recommendations, instead suggesting several possible ways to stem the illicit drug trade, which has fueled violent crime and corruption and even destabilized governments. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
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BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — A new Organization of American States study commissioned in response to calls by some Latin American leaders for rethinking the drug war discusses possible decriminalization of consumption of marijuana as part of a public health approach.

The $2.2 million study makes no firm recommendations, instead suggesting several possible ways to stem the illicit drug trade, which has fueled violent crime and corruption and even destabilized governments.

The study emphasizes drug abuse as primarily a public health issue. That echoes the approach of the U.S. government. But the U.S. has strongly opposed decriminalization, though voters in two states have legalized marijuana.

The report was presented Friday by OAS chief Jose Miguel Insulza in Bogota to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

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