Colombian President receives Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo for bringing peace between Colombia and FARC

Video via CBS News

Colombian President Juan Miguel Santos used his minutes at the Noble Peace prize podium to discuss the need for world governments to “rethink” the war on drugs saying, “It makes no sense to imprison a peasant who grows marijuana, when nowadays, for example, its cultivation and use are legal in eight states of the United States.”

Santos has long opposed the United States-led “war on drugs,” a war for which Colombia has paid a high cost. A supporter of easing laws on the consumption of illegal substances, Santos points to the vast environmental and economic damage the “war on drugs” has caused, leading to violence and the rise of powerful organized crime. While arguing for the easing of illegal laws preventing consumption, Santos does not support legalisation of all drugs, instead saying his argument should be considered, “a call for recognition that between total war and legislation there exists a broad range of options worth exploring if we want to take better care of drug consumers, protect our youth from drug abuse, collaborate to continue combating organized crime and provide alternative economic means to illegal crop farmers and vulnerable communities.” On Saturday, December 10, 2016 Santos received his Noble Peace Prize for his work in bringing an end to a decades-long conflict within his country that has claimed 220,000 lives and displaced millions of Colombians. The peace deal with the Reveolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was narrowly rejected in a voter referendum but Santos won the prize regardless of this setback with a revised peace treaty approved by Colombia’s Congress and on track for voter approval. FARC leaders, many of whom are wanted by the United States for terrorism-related charges, were not present at the award ceremony in Oslo, Norway. Many Colombians have expressed indifference at President Santos receipt of the Nobel prize, with some worrying that the President of Colombia is distracted from the pressing economic issues facing the country.

[CBS NewsColombian leader: “It makes no sense” to jail peasant over marijuana – ]