Pope Francis waves after leading his weekly general audience at St Peter's Square at the Vatican. File picture: Giampiero Sposito

Vatican City -

Pope Francis on Friday stated his opposition to drug legalisation including soft drugs such as marijuana, lending his voice to a debate taking place in the United States and his native Latin America.

“Attempts, however limited, to legalise so-called recreational drugs, are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects,” the pontiff said during an audience with international anti-drug authorities.

The Argentine-born pontiff also criticised the treatment of drug addicts with medication such as methadone.

“To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics in no way resolves the problem,” he said.

“No to every type of drug use. It is as simple as that.” - Sapa-dpa