Bolivia have angered the U.S. government by kicking out the DEA from the country, declaring the so-called ‘war on drugs’ officially over.
Since the coca-growing country legalized coca (the main ingredient in cocaine) in 2017 and banned the DEA from operating in Bolivia in 2008, La Paz has reported a drop in crime rates and violence.
The coca leaf – which can be processed into cocaine – has been used by indigenous South American cultures for thousands of years. In its unprocessed leaf form, it is normally chewed or made into tea, and provides a mild stimulant effect along with numerous medicinal properties.
The use of the coca leaf for these purposes is a strong cultural tradition in Bolivia and the leaf is popular among the citizens of the country, so under the new policy, Bolivian farmers are allowed to grow a limited amount of coca for sale and use within the country – under strict monitoring to ensure that it is not processed into cocaine.
The “coca yes, cocaine no” system has largely ended the production of cocaine in the country and the violence and corruption associated with the illicit trade.
The legalization of coca in Bolivia is a thorn in Washington’s side, however, which is not surprising since it goes against everything the U.S. policy on drugs is based upon.
The DEA’s annual budget of more than $2 billion might be threatened if other countries, like Colombia and Peru choose to follow Bolivia’s example, not to mention the fact that the success of the country’s new policy tends to negate the whole drug prohibition paradigm.
The U.S. war on drugs – both at home and abroad – is a cash cow for law enforcement agencies and those who build and operate prisons. It’s also an excuse to meddle in the affairs of foreign nations, while controlling and incarcerating millions of American citizens.
The failed war on drugs has cost American taxpayers more than $1 trillion since its launch in 1971 under President Richard Nixon, and continues to consume more than $50 billion per year.
No wonder the U.S. authorities feel threatened by Bolivia’s audacity in implementing such a program. It must be terrifying to those whose livelihood depends on the war on drugs – despite its having been a complete failure from its very inception.
The legalization of recreational marijuana in several states has proven that ending its prohibition not only causes crime rates to drop, but also that its regulation and taxation can actually fill public coffers instead of draining them and making criminals out of otherwise law-abiding ordinary citizens.
It’s time for Americans to recognize what the war on drugs really is: a way to fleece taxpayers and control the populace while actually promoting criminality and violence?
Let’s follow Bolivia’s example and kick out the DEA, along with all the others who profit from this senseless and wasteful scheme.
News Punch / ABC Flash Point News 2019.