Argument: Letting coca bloom undermines anti-cocaine efforts
- Debate: Legality of coca production and chewing - con argument.
"This idea that he's going to go after traffickers but letting the coca bloom is tough seeing as workable," according to a high-ranking US Congressional aide on anti-drug policy who was interviewed by the NY Times in 2006. "It's a naïve, pie-in-the-sky approach to let the flower bloom but interdict the bouquet."
"Bolivia's Knot: No to Cocaine, but Yes to Coca." The New York Times. February 12th, 2006: "Bolivia, which many in Washington see as a symbol of success in the war on drugs, was a pariah nation just 15 years ago, with 123,000 acres of coca under cultivation. In 1988, the country criminalized coca, and American-sponsored eradication began. Production fell to a low of 48,000 acres in 2000. Bolivia went from being the No. 2 producer of coca, shipping much of its cocaine to the United States, to a distant third after Colombia and Peru, with most of the drug headed to Brazil."