Obama administration promotes outdated, racist policy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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22 Responses to Obama administration promotes outdated, racist policy

  1. darkcycle says:

    Pieces of shit who do things they know to be evil and wrong often speak on condition of anonymity.

  2. Matthew Meyer says:

    This is the same kind of rhetoric that the government has used in attempting to quash the ayahuasca-using religions from being practiced in the US: any exception is a Slippery Slope of Doom.
    There, American courts compelled the state to cede to reason. Will anything similar happen internationally?
    I’d love this to be a turning point.

  3. mikekinseattle says:

    Cowardly is the word that comes to mind.

  4. Dante says:

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

    Because once the cat is out of the bag (i.e. all U.S. drug policies/agencies are politically-motivated, their stated “mission” is dishonest, they increase violence and end up being harmful the people they are supposed to protect) nobody will allow the DEA into their country to spy on/eliminate their political opponents under the guise of the War on Drugs.

    After all, that is what the DEA does now (espionage). They have become a sort of junior-CIA (albeit less honest and more violent). They are no longer interested in eliminating drugs (if they ever were) because that would eliminate the need for themselves. They want to keep their seat at the big table of international politics, and the War on Drugs is their ticket to that seat.

  5. Ben Mann says:

    My opinion of President Obama falls further every day. It will be terribly difficult to vote for him again.

  6. kaptinemo says:

    There’s more to this than many see.

    To ‘weaken’ the Treaty is to remove a major ‘justification’ of US prohibs to say that their hands are tied in allowing for sensible changing of US laws. It takes the club they hold over drug law reformers’ heads out of prohib hands…and also removes their ‘justification’ for meddling in other nation’s affairs.

    As to the DEA, they should just move their HQs to Langley and be done with it. They’re nothing but CIA’s butt-buddy ‘bitch’. Always was. Always will be. A convenient cat’s-paw to gain entry into a target nation under ‘legitimate’ grounds (‘saving the world from drugs!’, while CIA flies tons of them in)…and disrupt and/or suborn that nation, as Venezuela found out…and promptly PNG’ed (persona non grata, fancy Latin for “Get The F Out!”) the entire DEA operation there.

    Kinda embarrassing, no?

  7. denmark says:

    Every single aspect of the drug war is filled with misery and hate. How any nation can allow the U.S. to manipulate and control them anymore is morally wrong.
    God did not die and put the United States in charge.

    Where’s the intrepid nation that will crack this egg shell of lies?
    Oh, I forgot for a moment, it’s spelled M o n e y. And money starts with an M, just like Morals does. There’s nothing moral or upstanding in these actions.

    I never trusted Obama, sorry some of you did.

    • maryw says:

      i could not agree with you more.There are hundreds of thousands of people in the u.s.a. would agree.I see coca as a tea,just like people see coffee as coffee.It is a drink,there is nothing narcotic about it.It does not become a terrible street drug until man messes with it.I think the u.s,a is really archiac these days,and i hope the M in morales has enough of it to defeat the u.s.a over this ridiculous policy on drinkig a cup of tea in the morning. The u.s.a is afraid of all the studies out there by respectable institions.like the A.M.A.thats find nothing wrong with the tea,like having a cup of coffee.Maybe they should show the toxic crap we are sprayen on the coca feilds of innocent farmers just tryen to feed there kids.The u.s.a. first did illegalized the other stuff,the white stuff,because it claimed in the 50’s it would drive black men crazy,.It was on our history national geo channel here in the states.Kinda like if u gave native american booze they go nuts.This policy is very archiac,and needs to be changed,many innocent peoples lives have been destroyed because of this stupid polcy on a tea,or a leaf.If it remains in its natural form,and used traditionally,there should not be any law against it.I believe at this time you can have a cup of tea depending upon it alkaloid content.maryw

  8. Duncan20903 says:

    kaptinemo, but Langley is so inconvenient, you need a car to get there. The DEA is a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Metro’s Pentagon station.

    Matthew, don’t forget religious use of cannabis. I’m not referring to a fly by night church established to allow it’s members to use cannabis legally. It is simply impossible to factually support an argument that the Rastafari are anything other that a legitimate religion and their use of cannabis part of their religious dogma.

    Keep in mind I’m the guy who would like to see big religion fold up its tents and be discarded in history’s garbage can. But as long as the current rules are the rules it’s disgusting to see the powers that be break their own rule.

  9. Duncan20903 says:

    No more post editing on DWR?

  10. Duncan20903 says:

    Here’s an article which is actually well thought through: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/health/fl-nbcol-drug-policy-brochu-0120-20110120,0,1388800.column

    Drug use is not demonstrably lower under prohibition and is actually generally higher since the founding of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in 1988, the primary federal agency of accountability in the drug war; marijuana use is much higher than it was in the late 1980s.

    Drugs are still widely available and are no less available than in the late 1980s; marijuana is the most widely available illegal drug.

    Prices of drugs are generally down, including marijuana.

    Purity of drugs is generally up, including marijuana. So, under the drug war, prices are cheaper and the drugs are better. [/snip]

  11. Servetus says:

    Recent archaeology indicates the indigenous use of coca leaf by Incan priests goes back at least 8,000 years.

    Even employing the Peruvian Inquisition, the Catholic Church couldn’t stop people from chewing coca. So what grand plan have prohibitionists devised to stop a religious and cultural tradition that probably predates the last ice age? They don’t say. They obviously don’t have one.

    Maybe governments fear removing the coca language from the Single Treaty because they believe such an act will provide a precedent and a future format for eliminating the cannabis language as well.

    It’s interesting that the government views the 1961 Single Treaty as a house of cards: remove the coca card and it all collapses. No doubt governments have far more to fear from drug legalization than the common citizen, whether they’re Incan or U.S.

  12. darkcycle says:

    The drug war is a house of cards. It’s a lie, no matter which way you look at it. Ayahuasca, Peyote, Marijuana, Psylocybe mushrooms, Fermented Yak Milk. There’s a culture everywhere with some indigenous claim to an intoxicant. To allow one could mean to allow them all (in the absolutist construct of the prohibitionist mind). These simpletons can’t percieve shades, only black and white.

  13. Taylor Wray says:

    We must preserve the integrity of our denial. Otherwise, we might be forced to acknowledge the reality that drugs of all sorts are used responsibly by citizens of every country in the world every single day.

    Mind-altering substances form the basis of some of the world’s oldest commercial activities (America has the tobacco plant to thank for much of its early economic growth, for example).

    It’s absurd to try to outlaw drug use and drug commerce. It will ALWAYS exist, so society should deal with it realistically and pragmatically, not by waging violent, ineffective crusades against all individuals engaged in it or succumbing to 1950s-style denial about the fact that it exists.

    By forcing the world of drugs to exist outside the realm of acceptable society, officials only empower the dealers, mafiosos and other criminals who are left to rule over it and reap its MASSIVE CASH PROFITS that could otherwise go to hard-working Americans in a legal, profitable industry. So not only are officials directly engaged in waging war on their own citizens, but they are enabling the very socially-harmful aspects of drugs that they claim to be combating – dealers, underage users, binge use, et cetera.

    In short, we have a situation FUBAR when it comes to U.S. drug policy: Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.

  14. Bruce says:

    One of the first things I read 40 years ago on Coca leaf chewing was that it Improved high altitude work performance. A lot of residents down there live and work at 5,000 feet asl and above. Seems someone is spreading B.S. here.

  15. DdC says:

    Can’t snort coca leaves. The only people in America who snort cocaine are those wanting to deter their inebriation from alcohol. Staying sober during 3 martini power lunches when hoodwinking gullible countries to go along with the stupid drug war.

    Ten More People Executed for Drug Charges in Iran
    Iran hangs another ten people for drug related charges in Karaj’s Rejai Shahr Prison today.

    Illegal Marijuana Leads People to Use Cocaine Instead
    Today many people believe that marijuana should be legalized, and among those who disagree, the majority believe it is the least harmful of the illegal drugs.

    Afghanistan: Gains by Taliban Open Door to Opium Revival

    What Are the U.S.’s Real Motives for Launching a Drug War in Mexico?
    Jan 20 2011
    James Cockcroft’s new book ‘Mexico’s Revolution: Then and Now’ exposes the thinking behind U.S. narcotrafficking policy and the militarization of Mexico and further South.

    “If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson

  16. Bruce says:

    Edit working for me, Duncan. Had to hit refresh, though. Something or someone causing it to freeze on the initial attempt. Interesting cookies’n mysterious files that need frequent deletion at reboot have been appearing lately.
    A ton of info being linked you guys. Thanks for your dedication.

  17. darkcycle says:

    This site works because the people who frequent this site work. When you look around the web, you will find few sights with drug war related posts that haven’t been linked back here, and or discussed by those present in the comments. Malcolm Kyle, Duncan, Strayan and others (including little old darkcycle) are all over the web like a rash.
    When I decided to become active again in this issue, but didn’t have the luxury of using my real name for fear of repurcussions, I though for a while to myself, and then I said “Self, why don’t we see what use we can be with this here computer-thingie”. And I started writing my representatives. And my Governor. And then I started writing other people’s representatives, because I had something to say, too, damn it. Then I started surfing for drug war topics on google, just to keep up, it was changing so fast…Then, one day one of the Bozo’s here linked me back to this site, and it’s been down hill ever since. Now I can tweak the living shit out of Google advanced search, and can blast away at prohibitionist logic with the best of ’em.
    Thanks Pete. You’re mobilizing a vast army of pothead netgeeks (Okay, a few pothead netgeeks) and giving us a place to come for our marching orders.

  18. Duncan20903 says:

    We who are lobbying for fact based public policies were the victims of attempted denigration by Nicole Brochu in her article from 1/14/2011:

    Bid to legalize marijuana all smoke and mirrors

    “…there’s an increasingly vocal force pushing mighty hard for the country to give up all pretense that the “prohibition” on marijuana is either effective or in the public’s best interests. The only answer, these ganja-loving crusaders say, is to quit the double-speak and finally put cannabis where it belongs, in the same legal category as that other socially accepted mood-altering drug, alcohol.

    To which I say, they must be high.”


    Then again she seems to be in favor of repeal, and quite frankly she can denigrate me all she likes and even give me a spanking if she works to get it to happen.

  19. Matthew Meyer says:

    kaptinemo sez:

    >There’s more to this than many see.

    >To ‘weaken’ the Treaty is to remove a major ‘justification’ of US prohibs to say that their hands are tied in allowing for sensible changing of US laws. It takes the club they hold over drug law reformers’ heads out of prohib hands…and also removes their ‘justification’ for meddling in other nation’s affairs.

    This is an excellent point. Meddling with the treaty process can’t be too obvious when the treaty is held up in court cases as an important commitment the US has to other nations, whose will it would thwart by reforming the CSA.

    In the UDV ayahuasca case the DOJ tried to advance international drug agreements as a “compelling interest” that justified the prohibition of ayahuasca use by the Brazilian group. No mention is made of how the US has pushed an international prohibitionist agenda since the days of Bishop Brent, making its claims at least a bit duplicitous.

  20. DdC says:

    Should We Legalize Drugs to Save the Hood?
    The War on Drugs has been fought from corner to corner in black communities across the United States. Although African-Americans make up only 13 percent of the general population, 40 percent of drug offenders in federal prisons and 45 percent of offenders in state prisons are black.

    The Racist Ganjawar

    – Harry J. Anslinger – America’s 1st Drug Czar
    …the primary reason to outlaw marijuana.gif

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