Pope Francis speaks against drug liberalization

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Pope Francis has jumped into a political debate over the liberalization of drug laws in Latin America, saying legalization will not reduce the problems of addiction.

In a speech in Rio de Janeiro to inaugurate a drug-treatment wing at the Saint Francis hospital, the pontiff called drug trafficking a “scourge,” saying that it “favors violence and sows the seeds of suffering and death.”

He said reducing drug addiction will not come from legalizing some drugs, as is currently being proposed by some leaders in the region.

Francis is in Brazil for a seven-day visit that is his first foreign trip as pope.

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