Enrique de la Madrid said Thursday that marijuana should be legalized in tourist resorts, to diminish drug violence.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s tourism secretary has suggested that legalizing marijuana could help reduce drug violence at big tourist resorts. He’s also racing to dampen controversy over the statement, saying he wasn’t speaking in an official capacity.

Enrique de la Madrid said Thursday that marijuana should be legalized in tourist resorts, to diminish drug violence.

He mentioned the state of Baja California Sur, which home to the twin resorts of Los Cabos and the state with Mexico’s second-highest murder rate, at 69 per 100,000 inhabitants. He also mentioned Quintana Roo, where the resort of Cancun is located.

However, late Thursday, De la Madrid issued a Tweet saying “I want to emphatically say that my opinion on legalizing marijuana was a personal comment.”

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