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US having hard time quietly opposing Bolivia’s coca amendment

Now the Washington Post has picked up on it.

The article gives a pretty good background on the subject and covers the issues without the U.S. parochialism that often biases media drug war coverage.

And here we see the problem for the US government. In their minds, the drug war belongs to them, and they don’t like anyone messing with their pet.

Washington argues that the amendment would open the nearly 50-year-old convention to attack by any U.N. member nation that would seek to exclude for parochial reasons one of the 119 substances the convention classifies as narcotics, submitting them to strict controls.

Trying to carve out such exceptions “over the long term is not good for the planet’s efforts to control and eventually solve the problem of drug abuse,” the senior U.S. official said, adding that Washington also fears it could open a Pandora’s box of legal challenges to drug crimes in the United States.

It looks like the U.S. will definitely object, possibly even today, as soon as they figure out who is in the boat with them.

Gootenberg said the United States is encountering greater resistance these days to its position on coca leaf.

“As global cultural rights have come to the forefront of the U.N.’s agenda (its) anti-coca policy is a glaring contradiction,” he said.

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15 comments to US having hard time quietly opposing Bolivia’s coca amendment

  • Maria

    The planet has a problem with drug abuse? Aw. Poor thing. We can’t have that. Not with all the talk of saving it. Frankly I would have assumed it would be Aether with the drug problem. But I guess it’s always the ones who seem the most solid. Tsk.

  • Gart

    The whole story about the coca leaf would be just a laughing matter, were it not for the fact that it is so emblematic of such a murderous, heinous and barbaric policy: the war on drugs (WoD). Like the proverbial fig leaf, used to cover the genitals of those depicted in paintings and sculptures, WoD supporters and enforcers believe that they can cover their responsibility for the violence, corruption and destruction of democratic institutions in countries around the world by simply putting a leaf on their…consciences.

    Gart Valenc
    http://www.stopthewarondrugs.org

  • Jake

    “over the long term [the war on drugs] is not good for the planet’s efforts to control and eventually solve the problem of drug abuse,”

  • the fact they say “eventually solve the problem of drug abuse” should scare us all. Howz about them 30,000 people dying every day from starvation and malnutrition? Seems like someone’s priorities are a tad askew.

    So… what the heck? It’s like “well ‘duh’ we know tens of thousands of people starve to death daily, but dammit, there are millions smoking pot and that is unacceptable!”

  • kaptinemo

    How many times has it been said here before? The Latin American nations, who’ve suffered so grievously from the American DrugWar, would be the first to seriously challenge the UN Single Convention Treaty courtesy of a combination of circumstances (economic, political, social, etc.). Which could lead to a stampede away from the SCT by signatory nations denouncing it. Then it’s just a matter of time before the entire rotten international ‘drug control’ edifice collapses.

    A new wind is blowing across Latin America…and it’s blowing in Uncle Sam’s face. The SCT has been used by the US to interfere in the affairs of the LA nations for decades. Said nations are now shrugging off the yoke of neoliberalism and this is being reflected in electing to power the sort of people the old School of the Americas trained the goons of the local dictators to torture and kill.

    These newly minted small ‘d’ democrats have their own ideas about how their nations should be governed. And that includes considering scrapping treaties that have been affronts to their sovereignty (and dignity) that were once thought impossible to break. And of all of those treaties, the SCT stands as the worst example.

    if there is such a stampede, the US will be left with a handful of sycophant nations heavily dependent upon US aid (significant look in Colombia’s direction) as a pathetic drug prohibition ‘peanut gallery’ while the rest of the world advances, and uses the resources squandered on drug prohibition for more profitable enterprises.

    In nations where coca has existed for thousands of years, coca is becoming a political symbol of national suzerainty against yankee interference. Which is burning Uncle Sam’s control-freak arse to no end…

  • American officials just do not understand the cultural importance for Bolivia of the coca leaf. I love the time that Evo Morales gave Condaleez Rice a guitar made of coca leaf .

    Great blog here. I am a first time visitor who is still trying to formulate my own opinion about drug policy, so I think I will keep coming back here.

    • Welcome, Pablo. Good to have you here. You’ve got an open mind, which is the most important part.

      Feel free to let us know if you have any questions, or if you have any particular concerns regarding drug policy.

  • strayan

    It’s a bloody joke that the UN/US should even get a say about what plants other sovereign nations can grow on their own land.

  • fixitman

    It’s a done deal. The letter has been filed according to the AP.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110120/ap_on_re_us/un_un_bolivia_coca_leaf

  • no human is in possession of a “right” to declare plants (or any life form for that matter) illegal

    thus, given that no one has that right, no government of man may do so legitimately either.

  • kaptinemo

    WRT the US’s objection, you can expect damn few LA nations to traipse along. They know that this is a slap in the face of El Norte and that the prohibs in Warshington are trying hard to hold their bladders at the prospect of more LA nations deciding to wind up to deliver that slap, too.

    Once a nation successfully modifies the Treaty in its’ favor, it’s ‘Katie, bar the door!’ for the others, and the effective value of the SCT as a club to be held over the heads of foreign countries and our own citizens will be diminished. Which is exactly what the DrugWarriors are terrified of.

  • DdC

    Open Letter to Evo Morales and Álvaro García Against the Gasolinazo and for the Self Governance of Our People
    The People Come First, not Numbers nor Statistics
    By Oscar Olivera Foronda, Marcelo Rojas, Abraham Grandydier, Aniceto Hinojosa Vásquez and Carlos Oropeza Bolivia
    December 30, 2010

    $100 Million Drug-War Garrison Approved for U.S. – Mexican Border Complex Will Prepare Soldiers, Law Enforcers to Cope with Mexican Civil War, Founder Says
    By Bill Conroy Via the Narcosphere December 22, 2010

  • sandy

    What in the hell makes the us goobernment think they can run the whole earth as if they had total jurisdiction over all of it?I am not proud of their efforts.The dea is not winning this war but they are trying with every thing they have to cause a war.If they keep it up they just might too.Unless this country can come up with some alternatives to the current monopolies on energy and health care and agricultural practices this place is going to hell in a hand basket is likely to look like a waste land of toxic chemical pollution and devastation and we will all have the anal compulsive drug zars and their legal thugs to thank for this.

  • maryw

    Calling a cup of tea a drug is ridiculous.I mean if you ever listen to the side effects of all the prescribed medication on those commercial,i dont think a cup of tea could hold a candle to them.I mean was the drug war suppose to hurt legitamite farmers tryen to feed there families,or men and women in this country to make a decent living until they are dictated to take a urine test only to loose that job over a cup of tea,is that what the war on drug was suppose to do,hurt hard workiong americans,farmers,its time for a drastic change in this 50 year old policy.They are right,the scientific research has not been done on these things,and the most recent ones have proven time and time again,its no-more then having a cup of coffee.Maybe thats it,the makers of coffee dont want coca leaves here,the pharmacological community dont want them here,lets just hope someone implores the u.s.a.,obama, to see reason here,to stick to his promises and create change in the u,s.a.,and not the archiac goverment of the past.

  • DdC

    Unappreciative Dopers!

    Well that’s a fine howdayado… These fascist go to all the trouble of building a Poison food crop spray industry to get people sick and abort babies as good as them liberals. Then they can sell them more chemical drugs to treat the symptoms of the ills, they created. Coca leaves Cola doesn’t dissapate booze at PDFA three martini lunches as snoted cocaine does, so it’s legal. While Coca tea has no such ability either, it’s cheaply used by peasants, not International for profit corporations like Coke. The same cartels that give us bottled drugs called booze, and it’s in the bibble. We have the OPEC crude oil plastic, fuel, fiber and living trees for paper and wood. All sanctified by geeeeeezuz via the fortune 700 club. And even old Pat’s getting senile feely touchy new age sym-pathetic for possessors of the heathen devil weed with roots in hell. All that…

    Then what do these selfish citizens do? Scream about legalizing a plant that could do the same things. No war police actions in foreign deserts and jungles and frigid wasteland necessary. Selling tanks and rocket fuel and spy gadgets to whom? Wallmart Street would have to increase sales to enemies just to make ends meet. Good future growth prospects but what about today? Mexico and Colombia are figuring it out in the rural areas. Oh how the Unk Sam is generous giving billions but it’s the same anywhere, it Never trickles down. It’s always Voodoo economics. OK, not quite stopping foreign conflicts, but they’d have to thinktank a new reason.

    This drug war is not supposed to make sense, its supposed to make dollars. You think the cops that flunked out could get a decent job anywhere but with the Prison Industrial Complex? How are they going to get health care bennies if the cages are empty? They need willing participants to illicitly relieve their sickness or drunkenness and hangovers with Ganja or RxGanja. I realize it’s not actually necessary to have any substance or even a reputation for using it. But it makes busting down the doors and shooting 92 year old grannies 39 times, more family friendly to see on TV.

    Since they can only stop the family farmers from growing and not the people from buying Hemp products. It’s still a constant worry to the fossil fools, welfare cattlemen and the thousands of Copshops using wild Hemp ditchweed in their statistics to match for budget dollars. No one considers how much torment this Drug Czar Kashkowske goes through starting out a fairly honest man and now having to backslide, side step, fox trot gossip to the point he doesn’t know or care what he says anymore. A gibbering idiot in less than a term. So have pity on these Fascists from the Supreme Kangaroos to the Congress, on sale at rock bottom prices. Obombo still clueless but much better at hiding it than the previous mentally disturbed Kennybunkport Kowboys.

    Have fun with it, its only war. It’s practice for the real terrorists. Believe me the pot doesn’t get better just because it’s pseudo legal, on small portions of the planet, occasionally. Take a wrong step and you could serve mandatory minimum time outs in cages with co-slavers in stiff competition with those outsourced jobs. Doing their part to keep Americans unemployed and afraid. From the Mountaintop removal to the Prairie dust bowls, to the Oceans oil spills brown with foam. Take our savings to feed the rich and charge us taxes for the privilege. Ganja might make us think to much and that can gateway to questions. Gawd find America my home sweet home…