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Say 'no' to drugs, but 'yes' to life, love, job creation, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis said legalizing marijuana and other so-called "recreational drugs" has never curbed drug addiction rates and has little impact on the criminal organizations trafficking drugs around the world.

"No to every type of drug use. It is as simple as that," Pope Francis said June 20 during an audience with about 450 representatives of national and international drug enforcement agencies.

The representatives, who came from 129 countries, participated in the International Drug Enforcement Conference June 17-19 in Rome.

The annual conference, initiated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in 1983, is designed to help law enforcement officials coordinate anti-drug policies and promote international cooperation in fighting the organized crime of drug trafficking.

Pope Francis said he would not be surprised if international drug trafficking leads the world in income production, and "this is sad." Even worse, he said, too many young people around the world never get a job offer, but frequently get offered drugs.

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