Bolivians Hold Coca "Chew-Ins" Opposing UN Ban

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photos courtesy Andean Information Network
Thousands of Bolivians took to the streets January 26 to chew coca leaf in support of their government's effort to have coca chewing removed from the list of proscribed activities and substances under the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The government of President Evo Morales 18 months ago offered an amendment to the treaty that urges the United Nations to undo the ban on coca chewing.

Coca, a plant indigenous to the Andes, is the source of cocaine, but the coca leaf has been part of traditional Andean culture for thousands of years. Chewing the leaf provides an energy boost and relieves hunger pangs. Bolivia has recognized the coca leaf as part of its cultural patrimony.

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Advocates for the amendment point to the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. It says that "indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions."

As the January 31 deadline to contest the amendment draws has come and gone, the US, Canada, Britain, Denmark, Germany, and Norway have objected to the amendment. The new Colombian government of Juan Manuel Santos withdrew an objection it had filed in December. If there had been no objections, the amendment would have automatically taken effect, but now the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will have to decide whether to approve or reject the amendment, or to convene a conference of the parties to discuss the matter.

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Last week, the US Embassy in Bolivia tried to play both sides of the aisle, saying in a statement that it "respects indigenous peoples' culture and recognizes that acullico (coca-chewing) is a traditional custom in Bolivian culture," but that it does not support the amendment because of "the importance of maintaining the integrity of the 1961 Convention, which represents an important tool in the global fight against narcotrafficking."

Now it will be up to ECOSOC to move this issue forward.

 
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Bolivia
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Coca leaf sifted to particle size for single tokes in one-hitter

What excuse would any government authority or parent or schoolmaster have for suppressing anyone's right to serve a 25-mg. single toke of chipped coca leaf-- as long as 700-mg. hot burning $igarettes are available loaded with known carcinogen Nicotiana tobacum?  Perhaps popularization of this serving method would solve a notorious social problem by causing the powdersniffing and "crack" pHARMaceutical procedures to fall out of favor?  (Oh by the way, when's the last time you saw any sifted cocaweed?)

Leaf Chewing

Notice how Congress is asleep.? Where in the U.S.A. Constitution , is the power given to the government to tell people of Foreign lands what kind of plant they can or cannot chew ? Just leaf it up to the beurocracks. What`s going on in Egypt should awaken the blindness in D.C .  . The fact that the usa is going to hell in a handbasket is the understatement of the millenium .

reply

Very well put! Thank you.

Blood money

The sooner South American countries break ranks with the U.S.EMPIRE of America, the better off they will all be. The money that these countries get from the U.S., is nothing but blood money. We preach democracy, but we support any dictator who will take our blood money. That is not my idea of what we should be doing. Democracy is not something you can buy, it is an idea, an idea which this EMPIRE seems to have lost sight of. LIFE<LIBERTY<AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

reply

Jim, Very well put - as well as the persons comment above yours.

If you are interested in a bit of history regarding money in America try: www.iamthewitness.com/DarylBradfordSmith_Rothschild.htm

I understand that one must take what they read w/a grain of salt. However, I also believe where there's smoke there's fire.

Puritanism

Note the objectors: the US, Canada, Britain, Germany, Denmark and Norway. All straight-laced puritan protestant authoritarian regimes, when it comes to personal habits. What right has this extreme minority to dictate to the rest of the World?

PS What's happened to those arch-prohibitionists, Sweden?

Coca Chewing

Yes, I agree the US is going to hell in a hand basket...

At present, I am very ill with VOC toxicity (blood level for hexane is at the top of the chart, as well as methylene chloride, arsenic, cadmium, lead & some other stuff I can't remember).  The continued spraying of Corexit (yes, they did NOT stop in July) is genocide, plain & simple.  It is being sprayed by marked Coast Guard planes over 20 miles inland where we live NE of Mobile Bay. 

I was unfortunate enough to be at pasture with my goats when a low-flying orange & white plane began misting us about 7AM one morning in September...  We ran for the shed, but all got wet, including me, with my shirt soaked, etc.

My best Nubian doe had a miscarriage 2 weeks later.  I have been ill with numbness in the feet, continual respiratory problems, etc.  My immune system was already compromised; I've had fibromyalgia for 20+ years & am disabled.

I've traveled the word, having lived in Asia, Australia, Mexico, Central & South America in the past.  I whole-heartedly support the turning tide we are seeing in Egypt & Tunisia.  I hope it continues...

Now, my husband, son & daughter-in-law are all ill with the BP flu, just like me, just like 1/2 the people in town.  Most are in denial that their own government would do this to them. 

I'm too sick to stay & fight.  It's to depressing to go to town & socialize with the walking dead...  My husband is retiring & we are moving to South America, leaving for Punta del Diablo in less than 90 days.  I can't wait.

Maybe I'll come back some day.  Maybe not.

Flying Goat

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