The effort has lead to coca growers cutting down national forests — where such spraying is often against the law — to produce their illicit crops. But Mother Nature may be rebelling against drug policy as well. coca plants appear to be either evolving on their own (or with the help of coca farmers’ active selection) — or they are possibly crossing with Roundup Ready crops already on the ground — to produce a glyphosate-resistant crop known as Boliviana negra.
This doesn’t make the Bolivian government or people happy, nor the U.S. government, but:
…drug growers who do have the new strain certainly don’t want the status quo to end, because currently the U.S. government is doing their weeding for free.
What to do?
When you put together the studies referenced above, which show that spraying glyphosate is harmful to humans and the environment and that it does not hamper the production of coca or weeds, the answer to almost everyone’s problems is eliminating Monsanto.
Five years later, the number of deaths from street drug overdoses dropped from around 400 to 290 annually, and the number of new HIV cases caused by using dirty needles to inject heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances plummeted from nearly 1,400 in 2000 to about 400 in 2006, according to a report released recently by the Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C, libertarian think tank.
“Now instead of being put into prison, addicts are going to treatment centers and they’re learning how to control their drug usage or getting off drugs entirely,” report author Glenn Greenwald, a former New York State constitutional litigator, said during a press briefing at Cato last week.
Under the Portuguese plan, penalties for people caught dealing and trafficking drugs are unchanged; dealers are still jailed and subjected to fines depending on the crime. But people caught using or possessing small amounts—defined as the amount needed for 10 days of personal use—are brought before what’s known as a “Dissuasion Commission,” an administrative body created by the 2001 law.