Colombia’s National Dialogue for the Future of Drug Policy convened for the first time on Friday to begin a discussion about drug policy reform with members of the public.

According to the Minister of Justice, Colombia needs to begin looking for alternatives to repressive drug policies.

“We do not think that the solution to the drug problem is prison. If it were, we would have fixed the problem [by now],” said Minister Yesid Reyes Alvarado, upon opening the first session of the National Dialogue for the Future of Drug Policy.

In a search for alternative solutions, members of academia, political groups, and unions were invited to participate in the first of 10 national and regional forums organized by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the Ministry of Public Affairs.

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