Bolivian President Evo Morales on Wednesday demonstratively chewed a coca leaf at a United Nations drug conference in Vienna, underscoring his point that the plant should be removed from the international list of narcotic substances.
Speaking to delegates at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Morales defended the traditional practice of chewing coca leaves for health reasons.
‘It’s not a drug, it’s a medicine,’ the president said, holding up a leaf, which he put into his mouth minutes later.
Bloomberg has more.
UPDATE: Now with video! At minute 1:18, Morales pops the coca leaf in his mouth. I particularly like the shoulder shrug afterwords.
UPDATE II: Morales takes to the Times to make his case for chewing coca leaves.