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Bolivia Rejoins UN's Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

LADB Article ID: 78890
Category/Department: Bolivia
Date: 2013-02-08
By: Andrés Gaudín

In an unprecedented recognition of the ancient culture of native peoples of the Americas, on Jan. 11, the UN accepted a demand from Bolivia, which had been working hard since mid-2011 for recognition of Bolivians' right to chew coca leaf (aculliar), a common practice among Andean communities. After the UN body refused to modify Article 49 of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs—which criminalizes coca-leaf chewing and classifies the plant as a narcotic—Bolivia withdrew from the agreement . After Bolivia modified its original demand, 169 of the 184 countries that signed the Single Convention agreed that, in Bolivia, chewing coca leaf is a cultural custom.

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