Stop producing coca leaves and abandon traditions established millennia ago by banning your people’s coca consumption, the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board has demanded of Peru and Bolivia.
The coca leaf has been used throughout Andean history to alleviate hunger, for medicinal purposes such as coping with altitude and for religious ceremonial practices. The rural poor chew their way through tonnes of the stuff each year as a means of getting by day-to-day on meagre meals at high altitudes. In the cities people drink coca tea when they are feeling tired on ill. Unfortunately, this same leaf can also be used in mass production to produce the drug Cocaine.
The Governments of Peru and Bolivia have condemned the UN’s report, criticising its lack of cultural sensitivity and understanding of coca by declaring it’s sole use as a basis for drugs.
The report suggests that Peru and Bolivia outlaw chewing of coca leaves and production of coca tea. The United Nations also lists the coca leaf… along with cocaine… as being a highly dangerous controlled substance (You’d have too consume many times your own weight in leaves in a short time to have a similar cocaine high).
Peru has been cracking down on illegal coca production in a big way recently, putting a lot of effort into reducing cocaine production.