US, Few Others Object to Bolivia UN Coca-Chewing Bid

Five Western countries -- the US, Canada, Britain, Italy, and Sweden -- have formally objected to Bolivia's rejoining the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs with a reservation that allows for the traditional habit of coca leaf chewing, the Transnational Institute reported last Friday. The move is the latest twist in the Latin American nation's effort to remove the international proscription on the ancestral habit.

coca plant (UNODC)
But the Western objections are far from sufficient. Another 58 signatory countries would have to object by next week to block Bolivia's bid, and there is little sign of that happening.

[Update: On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin submiltted a bill to the Duma objecting to Bolivia's reservation, but it wasn't clear if that amounted to a formal objection.]

Coca leaf, the raw material from which cocaine is produced, has been used with little ill effect as a hunger-suppressant and mild stimulant for thousands of years in South America's Andean region. It was included as a proscribed substance in the 1961 Convention based on a 1950 study that has been found to be unscientific and blatantly prejudiced. The 1961 Convention called for the chewing of coca leaf to be phased out by 1989.

Led by former coca grower union leader Evo Morales, Bolivia tried in 2011 to amend the 1961 Single Convention to remove the provision requiring it to ban coca leaf chewing. If no countries objected, the request would have been automatically granted, but the US, supported by the International Narcotics Control Board organized a "friends of the convention" group to rally against the move. In all, 18 countries objected to Bolivia's request.

Among Latin American countries, only Mexico's conservative government objected. Colombia objected at first, but withdrew its objection, while Costa Rica, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Venezuela went on record supporting Bolivia's request even though they weren't required to. The objecting countries were all European, except for Canada and the US and Japan and Singapore.

Following the failure of its effort to amend the 1961 Convention, Bolivia withdrew from it and requested re-accession with a reservation regarding the coca chewing provision. The Convention allows for such a procedure, which can be blocked only if one-third of the member states object. There are 184 countries that have signed the Convention, meaning 62 must object to stop Bolivia's re-accession.

So far, just a few have done so. Other countries have only until January 10 to weigh in.

Vienna
Austria
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Prohibition is Genocide.

 

To deny people their traditional culture, their access to traditional herbs and medicines and deny them the right to engage in economic activities that have supported them for countless generations, all individually constitute acts of genocide. The fascist determination to eradicate all competition to the industrial economy is a in all respects an act of genocide and crimes against humanity. Legalize! Apologize! Compensate! Prosecute the Perpetrators!

Canada also objected

Canada joined the US, Britain, Italy, and Sweden ...

borden's picture

Thanks for the heads-up, Tom.

Thanks for the heads-up, Tom. I noted that in your TNI article. I have fixed ours.

The US still objects to pot,

The US still objects to pot, why should we be surprised by this?

Prosecute bogus 1961 Convention

  I don't know enough about coca to know whether it is a "NARCOTIC' or not, but the handling of cannabis in a "Convention on Narcotic Drugs" should be enough of a falsehood to disqualify the Convention in a court of law (somewhere, I hope) until it is reviewed and rewritten.

In 1961 many nations, including in Europe in the wake of a devastating war, were utterly dependent on the USA and had to follow its "rules" even though these were, certainly in the case of cannabis, drawn up to benefit the US domestic NICOTINE $IGARETTE industry.

1. What if someone in UK or anywhere were to possess and chew raw coca leaf-- would that be enough to warrant the smear label "narcotic"?

2. What if-- let us say for medicinal purposes-- dried coca leaf were VAPORIZED in a Volcano or other now legally available high tech device, just like medicinal cannabis-- what objections could anyone have?

UN re's on Bolivian cocaleaf chewing

What no Aussies responding? Or have they finally diesunder the strain of a derailed customs immune system having finally made All Life impossible, after already Everything were Forbidden?

 Coca leaf, the raw material

 

Coca leaf, the raw material from which cocaine is produced, has been used with little ill effect as a hunger-suppressant and mild stimulant for thousands of years in South America's Andean region. It was included as a proscribed substance in the 1961 Convention based on a 1950 study that has been found to be unscientific and blatantly prejudiced. HARPER CANADA COCA LEAF PREJUDICE >>> HATE CRIMES HARPER STEP DOWN AND LEAVE CANADA OFFICE. http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2013/jan/04/us_few_others_object_bolivia_un

Coca leaf is one of the great

Coca leaf is one of the great medicines,like cannabis,& it helps people stay healthy.

Much nicer on the head and body than coffee,with no insomnia or withdrawal symptoms.

One can understand why it has been kept in the dark,by the dominator culture.

Boozers are losers but with

Boozers are losers but with dope there is hope! Mary J.

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