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Coca Production Shifts From Colombia to Peru

The U.S. spent more than $5 billion to fight coca production in Colombia over the past decade. The result: Growers have ramped up production in Peru.

When antinarcotics forces succeed in one place — as they recently have in Colombia, which has received more than $5 billion in American aid this decade — cultivation shifts to other corners of the Andes.

Eradication efforts in Peru and Bolivia in the 90's resulted in a shift by growers to Colombia. Now that efforts in Colombia have had success, growers have just moved back to Peru. That's the problem with a supply-oriented policy.

“Washington’s policy of supply-oriented intervention inevitably improves the efficiencies and entrepreneurial skills of traffickers,” said Paul Gootenberg, who wrote the book “Andean Cocaine.”

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Study: 90% of Currency in U.S. Has Traces of Cocaine

It's time to resurrect those motions to suppress based on cocaine traces found on currency. A new study presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society found:

In what researchers describe as the largest, most comprehensive analysis to date of cocaine contamination in banknotes, scientists are reporting that cocaine is present in up to 90 percent of paper money in the United States, particularly in large cities such as Baltimore, Boston, and Detroit. The scientists found traces of cocaine in 95 percent of the banknotes analyzed from Washington, D.C., alone.

The study was conducted by Yuegang Zuo, Ph.D., a a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry & the School of Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth in North Dartmouth, Mass.

Time Magazine reports on the study here. Time says in 2007, only 67% of U.S. currency had cocaine residue.( It doesn't mention that studies from the 90's showed a much higher percentage.) [More...]

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Coca is Not Cocaine; Let the Farmers Be

From the award winning Canadian magazine Walrus: An audio photo essay about the coca farmers in Bolivia and their fight, assisted by the country's President Evo Morales, to keep cultivating the leaf for legal purposes.

Besides being a symbol of Bolivia's indigenous culture, the coca leaf is considered a cure for many ailments and an important source of work for farmers in this poor South American country.

Coca is not cocaine. However, the leaf is the main ingredient for the drug, and the United States and the United Nations would like to see the plant completely eradicated.

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Should Cocaine Be Available at Your Corner Drug Store?

A British writer makes the case for legalizing cocaine.

Anyone disagree? The war on drugs has been an abysmal failure.

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Fox Reporter Alleges Bush Admitted Using Cocaine

Whoops. During a lively discussion on Fox News about Barack Obama's teen use of cocaine, a Fox reporter inaccurately said President Bush admitted using cocaine in the past.

Via Raw Story which has more details.

Here's the scoop on Bush's alleged cocaine use.

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Is Bush's Alleged Cocaine Use an Issue?

President Bush's alleged cocaine use was an issue in the 2000 election. It fizzled. He refused to either admit or deny using the drug. Now, bloggers are writing about it because of Kitty Kelly's new book, The Bush Family. Kelly is a tabloid-type biographer who previously has targeted the Reagans, Princess Diana and others. In her book, Kelly claims Bush used cocaine at Camp David when his father was President and in the mid- 60's. Her source is Bush former sister-in-law Sharon Bush.

Personally, I could care less what drugs Bush did in college. College is a time of experimentation, of youthful indiscretions. I mostly share the views of Drug War Rant on the issue.

There is another issue though, and that is, did Bush use cocaine later in life? What does Kelly say about Bush's 40th birthday party at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs? Was he coke-fueled then, dancing on the bar as rumors at the time suggested? It was after this party that he gave up alcohol for good--even though, he says, he wasn't an alcoholic. Did he also give up cocaine then....at the age of 40?

Why is this an issue?

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