Bolivia's Position on Coca Leaf

I offer this here because Bolivia's president Evo Morales was recently catagorized as pro-drug in another thread. There is, however, another part that specifically applies to the situation that Nicaragua is put in by US cocaine addiction.

The article is one of many on this subject. This one is AP-based and appeared in the Washington Post. The subject is Morales' trying to get chewing coca leaf in Bolivia removed from a 50+ year old UN ban. From the article:

Bolivia’s government contends that coca leaf in its natural form is not a narcotic and forms an age-old part of Andean culture. It wants to rejoin the convention but only if other UNODC member nations accept an amendment to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs to remove language that obliges signatories to prohibit the chewing of coca leaves. If none are registered, it would automatically take effect.

The coca leaf at issue is grown by families on small plots (there are actually regulations in Bolivia as to how much can be grown) which is about as related to cocaine production as cooking with wood at home is related to corporate timber clearcutting.

Morales goes on to say that, given help, Bolivia is willing to try to erradicate coca grown to produce cocaine.

Morales said vast amounts of illegal coca cultivation occur in remote nature reservations with little access by road and urged developing nations to provide his nation with the hardware to be crack down on production outside traditional use and meant for cocaine manufacture.

The parallel here is that while Nicaragua (or any other Central American nation) produces cocaine, the pipeline from South to North America creates a local problem.

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From a year ago

Related from a story a year ago or so: http://www.nicaliving.com/node/18186