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 Pope Francis wants to chew coca leaves in Bolivia... next up: heroin, ice...

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PostSubject: Pope Francis wants to chew coca leaves in Bolivia... next up: heroin, ice...   Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:47 pm

Pope Francis has told the Bolivian government that he would like to chew coca leaves, the key ingredient in cocaine, when he visits the Andean country next month, a Bolivian minister said on State television and radio on Sunday.



Situated at about 3,650 metres above sea level, La Paz is one of the world's highest capital cities and for centuries local people have chewed coca leaves to ward off the effects of altitude.

Although it is the key ingredient in cocaine, the unprocessed leaf is legal to use and still widely chewed in Bolivia and other Andean countries. Many indigenous people, including Bolivian President Evo Morales, defend its use and consider it a sacred plant.

"We offered (the Pope) coca tea or something for the altitude," Culture Minister Marko Machicao said an interview with broadcasters.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/pope-francis-wants-to-chew-coca-leaves-in-bolivia-says-minister-20150628-gi03zg.html
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Pope Francis wants to chew coca leaves in Bolivia... next up: heroin, ice...

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