January 14, 2013

The Condemned Coca Leaf

Ricardo Cortes, NY Daily News

AP Photo

Last week, the United Nations voted on an appeal by Bolivia to amend the international treaty that prohibits the chewing of coca leaf. Bolivia won a partial victory — a tiny sign that the world may be ever so slowly coming to its senses on the insanely harsh treatment of this humble, mostly harmless plant and the people, mostly South American natives, who enjoy it in its raw form. Coca chewing has been a ritual in the Andes for thousands of years, and it is practiced by millions of people throughout the continent today. Tourists to the highlands are offered coca tea to alleviate altitude sickness, and the plant’s mild stimulant properties have been known around the globe for centuries.

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TAGGED: Evo Morales, Bolivia, Latin America, Coca Leaf, Coca


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