The United Nations declared coca leaves an illegal substance in 1961, but Pope Francis told the government of Bolvia to break out the leaves when he arrives for a visit later this month - he plans to chew them. Coca leaves, which are the raw ingredient of cocaine, are legal in Bolivia for religious and medicinal purposes. It has mild stimulant qualities.
Bolivian Culture Minister Marko Machicao says visiting dignitaries are usually offered coca tea, but when he contacted the Vatican to discuss the tradition, the pontiff had "specifically requested" to chew coca leaves.
"We will be awaiting the Holy Father with the sacred coca leaf," Mr Machicao said.
Image: Shutterstock/Jess Kraft: "Coca leaves and cigarettes for sale in Potosi, Bolivia" and Shutterstock: "Pope Francis"
Vice has an interesting video about what happens when neighboring countries have different drug policies. (Uncensored version here.) While Sweden rigidly sticks to its zero tolerance laws, liberal Denmark introduced drug consumption rooms (DCRs) in 2012, with special areas surrounding them where you won’t get arrested for drug possession if it’s for personal use. Copenhagen […]
Chuck Rosenberg, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, is either woefully ignorant, protective of his administration’s reckless mission, or both. “What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,” Rosenberg said in a briefing. “We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that […]
This video, which was released last year, was produced by the city of Amsterdam to warn tourists that heroin was being sold by street dealers as cocaine. The city set up signs and offered inexpensive drug test kits so people could test the street drugs they’d purchased and find out if it contained heroin. The […]
It may not rank up there with climate change or personal debt, but confess…isn’t it the worst when you’re trying to put a food container in the fridge, but can’t find the right lid to fit? Hey, not everything has to be a global crisis to be irritating to the core. But still…it’s even more […]
Assembling a truly autonomous smart home is getting closer and closer to reality every day. But for every new smart bulb, thermostat, home security system and appliance we set loose within our walls, there are still probably a half dozen “dumb” items we’d still love to replace. But whether they’re too costly or too big […]
With so many manufacturers out there these days, it’s tough to know who to trust in the ultra-competitive wireless earbuds market. If you’ve never heard of LinearFlux, you may soon. That’s because it’s a company with a stellar pedigree whose co-founders were two of the engineers behind the original success of two audio houses you […]