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Calderon willing to discuss drug legalization

MEXICO CITY — President Felipe Calderon said Tuesday that he would consider a debate on legalizing drugs as his government announced that more than 28,000 people have been killed in drug violence since he launched a crackdown against cartels in 2006.

Intelligence agency director Guillermo Valdes said authorities have confiscated about 84,000 weapons and made total cash seizures of $411 million in U.S. currency.

Valdes released the statistics during a meeting with Calderon and representatives of business and civic groups, where attendees exploring ways to improve Mexico's anti-drug strategy called on the government to open a debate on legalization.

Calderon said he has taken note of the idea of legally regulating drugs in the past.

"It's a fundamental debate in which I think, first of all, you must allow a democratic plurality (of opinions)," he said. "You have to analyze carefully the pros and cons and the key arguments on both sides."

But Calderon has so far said he is opposed to the idea.

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