In this file photo taken on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, the day of his election. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
In this file photo taken on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, the day of his election. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
In this file photo taken on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, the day of his election. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

 

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has come out strongly against the legalization of recreational drugs, lending his voice to the debate which is raging from the U.S. to Uruguay and beyond.

Francis told members of a drug-enforcement conference meeting in Rome on Friday that even limited attempts to legalize recreational drugs “are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects.”

Francis has frequently railed against the “evil” of drug addiction and has met with addicts on several occasions.

Just last month, Uruguay — next door to Francis’ native Argentina — approved selling marijuana cigarettes in pharmacies, and recreational marijuana is legal in the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington.

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