Latin America: Coca Colla Goes On Sale in Bolivia

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A coca-based soft drink went on sale in Bolivia this week. Coca Colla, made from the coca leaf and named after Bolivia's indigenous Colla people, is the latest manifestation of President Evo Morales' quest to expand legal markets for coca products.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/cocacolla.jpg
Coca Colla (photo via curiosaweb.com
The first batch of Coca Colla, about 12,000 half-litre bottles going for $1.50 each, went on sale in La Paz, Santa Cruz, and Cochabamba. Like Coca-Cola, it is black, sweet, and comes in a bottle with a red label. Unlike Coca-Cola, which originally used full-fledged coca leaf extract but began de-cocainizing it early in the company's history, Coca Colla is the real thing.

While Morales' government has vowed zero tolerance for cocaine, it has encouraged Bolivian companies to use coca in products including tea, syrups, toothpaste, liqueurs, candies, and cakes. The Bolivian government backed Coca Colla from the beginning. If Coca Colla and other coca products take off, the government could expand the amount of land authorized for legal coca production from the current 30,000 acres to as much as 50,000 acres.

"We are seeing how we can give it impetus, because the industrialization of coca interests us," the deputy minister of rural development, the BBC quoted the deputy minister of rural development, Victor Hugo Vázquez, as saying.

Five years ago, Paez indigenous people in Colombia launched a coca-based soft drink, Coca Sek. But that drink was banned in 2007 following pressure from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), which enforces the international drug treaties that consider coca a drug. No word yet from the INCB on Coca Colla.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Drink Coke

Coke, it's the real thing...

Jean Boyd's picture

Nice

Coca is real.

Jean Boyd's picture

Never Ban Coca Colla

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That is Yaye as in Yeah! Yippie. My heart is healing. Thank you.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

The 60's is over with, babe

The 60s will never be over

Just getting going really.

Jean Boyd's picture

That's Right

We are all still here, still trying....to celebrate. Thank you Anon.

No babe here.

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