OAS drug study eyes decriminalization but makes no recommendations

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 even 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.