Posted Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, at 3:14 PM
Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Advocates for legalizing marijuana and other drugs often argue that decriminalization would curb drug violence by putting brutal cartels out of business. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton isn’t buying that.
Speaking at a forum hosted by Foreign Policy magazine, Clinton challenged claims from some Central American leaders that an end to the American “war on drugs” would curtail the violence that has plagued the region.
“I am not convinced of that, speaking personally,” she said after a question from the Costa Rican ambassador. “When you've got ruthless, vicious people who have made money one way and it's somehow blocked, they'll figure out another way.” Clinton said investment in quality of life in drug-stricken nations was key to success against drug trafficking.
Her comments come shortly after Colorado and Washington state voted to legalize marijuana, which Clinton said the Obama administration is still evaluating.