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Latin America's leaders condemn California's Prop. 19 to legalize marijuana

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"As Mexican authorities see a death toll increase and human rights abuse allegations go up, they will look at the other side smoking marijuana for fun,” he says. “On this side there will be bullets, and on the other there will be cocktail parties.”

The issue was at center stage at a Tuesday summit in Cartagena, Colombia, where leaders expressed concern over Prop. 19 and urged countries to take a firm, uniform approach to drug policy.

America's confusing policies

"It's confusing for our people to see that, while we lose lives and invest resources in the fight against drug trafficking, in consuming countries initiatives like California's referendum are being promoted," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said during his speech.

His sentiments echo earlier views expressed by President Felipe Calderón in Mexico, where more than 28,000 lives have been lost to drug-related violence since Mr. Calderón took office and dispatched the military to fight organized crime in December 2006. His military strategy has been lauded by both the Bush and Obama administrations.

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