Obama said he doesn't "mind a debate" over drug legalization even though he doesn't believe it “is going to be the answer."
“I don’t mind a debate on issues such as decriminalization,” Obama told Univisión’s Enrique Acevedo while in Colombia for the Summit of the Americas. "I personally don't agree that that's a solution to the problem, but I think that, given the pressures that a lot of governments are under here -- under resourced, overwhelmed by violence -- it’s completely understandable that they would look for new approaches and we want to cooperate with them."
Obama went on to clarify his own stance on the issue.
"I don't think legalization of drugs is going to be the answer," Obama said.
Obama will likely face pressure this weekend from other leaders who are pushing to legalize marijuana and other illicit drugs in an effort to prevent drug trafficking. The president -- who had a progressive attitude toward drug legalization during his 2008 campaign -- has since hardened his stance on the issue.
Obama's trip to Colombia made headlines Friday night when a dozen Secret Service agents providing security on the trip were relieved of duty because of allegations of misconduct. The Associated Press reported the misconduct involved prostitutes in Cartagena, site of the Summit of the Americas.
Watch a video of Obama's comments on drug legalization above.