UN: Colombia's Coca Crops Grew to 'Historic Levels'

Photo: AA/picture alliance [via DW]

The Facts

  • According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the potential production of coca in Colombia, and the area in the country sown with coca — the base ingredient used to produce cocaine — have grown to their highest levels in two decades.

  • The UNODC said on Thursday that around 204K hectares of the leaf were planted in 2021, while rising cultivation of coca saw cocaine production increase to 1.4K tons — up from just over 1K tons the year before. The agency added that, as well as threatening the nation's "cultural potential," the scale of cultivation could pose a threat to biodiversity.

The Spin

Left narrative

Biden has already shown that he doesn't support the archaic and ineffective "war on drugs" approach by pardoning roughly 6K Americans convicted of simple possession of marijuana. Rather than wasting even more taxpayer dollars on this nonsensical policy — $10B was wasted in Colombia alone between 2000 and 2020 — Biden should support Petro's more progressive approach.

Right narrative

"Progressively" expanding cocaine's availability would put citizens at risk and fail to put Colombian drug lords out of business. The legalization lobby is wrong — 200K Americans were struggling with horrific cocaine addiction before it became illegal in the US in the early 1900s. Playing with the thought of legalizing this dangerous drug would be a nightmare for the Colombian people and beyond.

Nerd narrative

There is a 57% chance that the sentencing disparity between the amount in possession of cocaine base versus cocaine required to receive a drug trafficking penalty will be ended by 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Political split



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