US President Barack Obama said on Saturday legalizing growing or consuming drugs won't solve the problem of a brutal drug war south of his country's border.

"It is entirely legitimate to have a conversation about whether the laws in place are ones that are doing more harm than good in certain places. I personally, and my administration's position, is that legalization is not the answer."

With calls from around the world for a fresh look at how to stop a violent, multibillion dollar illegal trade, drugs are a focus for American leaders at the Summit of the Americas in Colombia.

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