Obama administration promotes outdated, racist policy

Ignoring 5,000 years of the history and culture of the indigenous Andean people, the U.S. Government has formally opposed Bolivia’s amendment to the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs that would have eliminated the unenforced (and unenforceable) provision requiring countries to eliminate coca chewing within 25 years.

Remember that the ban was based on a 1949 brief visit to Bolivia and Peru by a completely unqualified commission from the U.N., which gave erroneous and racist reports including that chewing the coca leaf “induces in the individual undesirable changes of an intellectual and moral character,” “reduces the economic yield of productive work, and therefore maintains a low economic standard of life.”

Remember also that the coca leaf chewing ban is separate from the ban against cocaine. Removing this bad section would not affect the cocaine ban. And remember that coca leaf chewing is, in fact, non-addictive, with proven therapeutic benefits and no negative health effects. Additionally, remember that lifting this ban would not suddenly make coca leaf chewing legal in the U.S. or anywhere else, unless that country decided to legalize it.

So why is the U.S. pushing to keep this racist policy that doesn’t affect them and further marginalizes indigenous people?

Well, they have their reasons, but it doesn’t seem that they’re too proud of them.


“Alongside concerned member states, we cannot go along with the proposed amendment, and we filed our note with the UN secretary-general on January 19,” a State Department official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

On condition of anonymity? The U.N. has already confirmed receiving the note from the U.S. What’s the secret? U.S. officials are so embarrassed by this that they don’t want their name attached to it?


A U.S. official speaking on background also confirmed that the letter was filed with the United Nations on Wednesday.

The official said the United States was concerned that the proposal would weaken the integrity of the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs by removing language obligating signers to prohibit coca leaf-chewing.

Weaken the integrity? What integrity?

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