The time has come to discuss new approaches to dealing with the problems of drugs in the Americas. After four decades of a hard-fought "war on drugs" the situation remains ? in spite of progress in some areas ? terribly and frustratingly stuck, with continued high levels of addiction, incarceration, and violence. When I and my fellow presidents and prime ministers met in April 2012 at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, this frustration motivated us to mandate the Organisation of American States (OAS) to "explore new approaches" for addressing these problems.
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