Pope Francis Popemobile
Pope Francis waves after leading his weekly general audience at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Reuters

Pope Francis has stated the legalisation of marijuana and other recreational substances is the wrong solution to the problems surrounding drug use.

Francis told members of a drug enforcement conference meeting in Rome that efforts to legalise recreational drugs "are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects."

"Let me state this in the clearest terms possible: the problem of drug use is not solved with drugs!"

He added that giving drugs to addicts legally would not solve the problem of addiction and is a "rather a veiled means of surrendering to the phenomenon".

The pontiff has met with addicts on several occasions and has regularly spoke of the "evil" of drug addiction.

Uruguay, neighbour to Francis' homeland of Argentina, approved the selling of recreational marijuana last month.

Licensed pharmacies will be able to sell 40g a month to consumers and households will be able to grow up to six cannabis plants.

Recreational marijuana is also legal in the American states of Colorado and Washington while Oregon is set to vote on the matter later this year.