Amid discussions of trade, territorial security and the diplomatic status of Cuba, arguably the most pressing issue at the recent Summit of the Americas was the lingering problem of drug trafficking.

The narcotics-related violence that has plagued nations like Mexico and Colombia concerns everyone in the Americas, but there’s a growing north-south divide in the way countries go about quelling the drug trade.

While Prime Minister Stephen Harper surprised many by conceding that “the current approach is not working,” both Canada and the U.S. continue to believe that the problem can only be solved by enforcing prohibition, a tactic experts say has only expanded the black market and increased the power of drug cartels.

But in the last few years, the leaders of countries like Mexico, Guatemala and Brazil have publicly advocated legalizing drugs and are likely to champion that approach at the summit, which starts tonight in Cartagena, Colombia.

Read full article here.

Andre Mayer – CBC News – Apr 13, 2012.

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