Rejected by the Drug Policy Foundation- 1994
despite the support of Dr. Lester Grinspoon
“Coca: Turning Over a New Leaf Towards Reducing Health Care Costs.”
This approach vividly demonstrates the drug war's sheer stupidity through revealing Coca leaf's many forgotten benefits. Magnifying the potential impact of this is the appeal to present day concerns, namely fighting drug abuse and reducing health care costs. A logical forum for presenting a variety of topics concerning Coca within this broad health care context, this panel addresses:- Coca: powder cocaine and crack substitute: making their abuse obsolete.Presenting Coca in this context is a potent antidote to popular misconceptions that drug prohibition somehow serves the general welfare. People support prohibition, generally viewing it favorably in inverse proportion to the degree they see illegal drugs as "bad." The story of Coca though is a powerful indictment of prohibition. Here is something clearly good, useful for a variety of medical uses, and as a daily stimulant. Indeed, to a greater extent than medical Marijuana, drug war proponents acknowledge such medical uses of Coca as a remedy for high altitude sickness, other forms of nausea, and stomach aches; indeed recommendations for these uses of Coca are found in virtually any Andean tourist guide book. People in most parts of the world though are generally oblivious to this, focusing instead the situation with concentrated cocaine that prohibition created and sustains. As people have had the drug issue defined in such a convoluted way to misperceive the illicit market in powder cocaine and crack -- cocaine hydrochloride and sulfate -- as the natural situation that would exist without prohibition, ignorance of Coca is crucial towards maintaining popular support for the drug war!
- Medical Coca: a multitude of valuable therapeutic applications.
- Coca: the safer alternative to licit stimulants, particularly Tobacco.
The social importance of this panel is undeniably high. Let the following serve as but one example. The leaf's reported utility to the newly born --- as Coca is valuable to CNS stimulation and improves the blood count of oxygen, giving it to women in labor has immense potential towards reducing the instances of brain damage amongst newborns (see the Saturday newsletter from the 1993 DPF conference) -- alone could save millions of dollars in medical bills and lost productivity, to say nothing of the prevalence of these heart-breaking tragedies sustained by widespread ignorance of Coca's therapeutic benefits.
Given the President's concerns over reducing health care costs and Coca leaf's potential with this, is extremely valuable to the general welfare. Indeed, perhaps this is the drug policy reformists' most powerful approach towards dispelling the false utopic vision now clouding a clear perspective of the drug war, for nobody can dismiss (or ignore) it without appearing down right callous.
The Clintons ought to find this irresistible.
I wrote this with the idea of presenting the various therapeutic uses of Coca that could reduce health care costs, highlighting Anita Bennett’s idea of giving Coca tea to women in labor to ease childbirth and thus reduce the occurrence of protracted births that cause brain damage for newly borns. This panel was to feature (and had the support of) Harvard University’s Dr. Lester Grinspoon, yet was rejected by the D.P.F., with a letter taking issue with my inviting speakers, informing me that the D.P.F. had the authority to directly contact speakers.