Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Traditional Uses"

I've been to Peru, not Bolivia, but coca leaves and tea are everywhere there. It's traditional like drinking coffee in Italy is traditional. It's not some weird "native" rite, it's what "normal" people consume all the time. From personal experience it's a much more mild stimulant (at least at the doses in tea or in chewing the leaves) than caffeine. The US telling Peruvians and Bolivians to shut down coca cultivation is like the UN telling B. Barry Bamz to take out all the Starbucks.
But despite the rift with the United States, Bolivia, the world’s third-largest cocaine producer, has advanced its own unorthodox approach toward controlling the growing of coca, which veers markedly from the wider war on drugs and includes high-tech monitoring of thousands of legal coca patches intended to produce coca leaf for traditional uses.

Yes you can turn coca into cocaine, but if someone figured out how to turn coffee into meth tomorrow I doubt the Starbucks would disappear.