The pope met with judges, doctors, politicians and various experts, who for two days have debated different strategies to end drug trafficking.
Earlier, he greeted one of the organizers of the meeting, Queen Silvia of Sweden.
"Your Majesty, I am pleased to see you."
"How is it going?"
"Well, very well, I wanted to say hello to you."
During his speech, Pope Francis called for courage and measures to be taken to act against drug-producing mafias, and also especially against distributors.
"To do this, the only way is to trace the chain that leads from the small-scale drug trade to the most sophisticated forms of laundering, nesting in the financial capital and banks that are dedicated to the laundering of dirty money.”
The pope told them about a judge who, when he began his case investigation, received strong threats against his family. However, he asked them not to be afraid to defend young people and children.
He called on governments to be tough and effective against drugs, because once they are in society, it is very difficult to eliminate them. He gave the example of his home country of Argentina, which began with transit, then became a consumer and finally even a producer.
The pope recalled that drugs "eventually become a poison, which corrodes, corrupts and kills." But he asked that people with addictions not be treated as "broken objects," and that in order to heal, they must "be appreciated in his or her dignity."
"Drug abuse is a scourge in our society, which traps many people in its nets. They are victims who have lost their freedom in exchange for this slavery, the slavery of a dependency that we might define as 'chemical.'"
According to the most recent UN data, in 2013, one out of every 20 people between ages 15 and 64, had used drugs. In total, that is 246 million people, three million more than the previous year.