Central and South American governments are calling for the legalization of drugs to stem the tide of violence and open urban warfare in their streets, but the American government continues to ignore the issue at the Summit of the Americas in Columbia.
"You haven't had this pressure from the region before," Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a think tank in Washington, told the Los Angeles Times. "I think the [Obama] administration is willing to entertain the discussion, but hoping it doesn't turn into a critique of the U.S. and put the U.S. on the defensive."
The presidents of Guatemala and Columbia are openly calling for the legalization of marijuana and cocaine and regulating the drugs like alcohol and tobacco. The Obama administration insists that legalization is not the answer.
"We should have this debate, and the reason is to dispel some of the myths that exist about legalization," Vice President Joe Biden told reporters in MIami. "There are those people who say, 'If you legalize, you are not going to expand the number of consumers significantly.' Not true."