United Nations classifies the coca leaf as a narcotic and imposes a blanket prohibition on drugs. Successive governments in Bolivia, the world’s third-biggest producer of coca leaf and cocaine, have long tried to give the ancient leaf a new and improved reputation without success. However, in a surprise decision last fall, the World Health Organization announced it would launch a landmark study of the coca leaf’s non-narcotic benefits—the first step in the lengthy process to decriminalize the leaf worldwide. (AP Video shot by Carlos Guerrero)

Bolivia launches new international battle to get coca off blacklist

United Nations classifies the coca leaf as a narcotic and imposes a blanket prohibition on drugs. Successive governments in Bolivia, the world’s third-biggest producer of coca leaf and cocaine, have long tried to give the ancient leaf a new and improved reputation without success. However, in a surprise decision last fall, the World Health Organization announced it would launch a landmark study of the coca leaf’s non-narcotic benefits—the first step in the lengthy process to decriminalize the leaf worldwide. (AP Video shot by Carlos Guerrero)
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