Uruguay president says 'legalize it'

| Wed Jan. 12, 2000 4:00 AM EST

Under pressure from the United States to support Plan Colombia, Uruguayan president Jorge Batlle has a plan of his own. According to the Drug Reform Coordination Network's THE WEEK ONLINE, Batlle has called for the legalization of drugs in the US during several interviews and public events since last June.

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"How do you eliminate the profit from all of this?" Batlle asked during the Tenth Iberoamerican Summit of Chiefs of State and Government in Panama City, referring to drug production. "How do you make it lose value so that everyone loses interest in that business?"

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At Mexican President Vicente Fox's inauguration, Batlle answered his own question: "The day that it is legalized in the United States, it will lose value, and if it loses value, there will be no profit," Batlle told El Observador in Mexico City. He added that he had proposed drug legalization to President Clinton, but he didn't elaborate on Clinton's response to the idea.

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