Carlos Valverde’s bright description of what coca-leaf & cocaine really are, from El Deber:
Did I heard wrong, or at the end he said it?
The next battle is going to be how to export coca leaf… must comply with some data that does not contain any alkaloid… But of course, if the product is industrialized, not contain any alkaloid that does harm to humans. (Evo Morales, January 17, 2013). You have to see if the President understands the importance of his statement; when considering the export of coca leaf, once extracted the alkaloid, with the desire that “is not harmful”, Evo has accepted implicitly what many of us have been holding: coca is cocaine.
The alkaloids, in general, are molecules of vegetable origin. Most medicinal plants, toxic and hallucinogenic, hold those effects due to the biological activity of alkaloids. According to the dose and duration of treatment, its uses can be, from painkillers, anaesthetics, healing or psychotropic, until death (used as pesticides, insecticides or criminal weapons), and produce minor or serious addictions. They act on the central nervous system. The stimulating action of some alkaloids, such as caffeine and cocaine, are the ones most studied. In particular, cocaine is an addictive stimulant of the central nervous system, specifically the dopaminergic system. It is extracted from the coca leaf. It can be used as an anaesthetic.
Since the need of extracting alkaloid in coca leaves (condition to be able to export it) has been raised, finally, by Evo Morales himself, it is expected that we’re on doors of a change of attitude by the Government, at addressing this issue. That change must occur not only in the treatment of the problematic sowing/tradition/culture/political power, they do internally, but in defense of the leaf as a national policy. Intransigent defence is, finally, a political objective and is linked to the need to legalize the leaf – without alkaloid – in the world. This must contain, as a sign of good faith, a drastic reduction of coca fields.
The question is valid: will the discourse of the ‘ancient leaf’ change and all his cheap rhetoric discourse or, on the contrary, the usual acolytes will come out to ‘explain’ that the President did not mean that, what was understood so clearly, that “coca is cocaine”?