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Old 05-11-2018, 01:29 PM
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JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
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Why does South America grow all the coca?

Why does South America grow all the coca?

I thought this was an excellent summary, using the approach people in my field (academic geography) call "political ecology."

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Old 05-11-2018, 02:04 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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"Coca is any of the four cultivated plants in the family Erythroxylaceae, native to western South America."

So it is native to the area.

"The plants thrive best in hot, damp and humid locations, such as the clearings of forests; but the leaves most preferred are obtained in drier areas, on the hillsides."

It is a tropical plant that likes heat and humidity.

Since it is native and been used by the locals for at least 8,000 years, it is somewhat logical that they continue to produce almost all of it. I'd say that the amount of production in the region and the difficulty of getting plants and relocating them to places with very harsh drug laws tends to make production in other humid tropical regions of the world less attractive.
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:18 PM
Steve MB Steve MB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
"Coca is any of the four cultivated plants in the family Erythroxylaceae, native to western South America."

So it is native to the area.

"The plants thrive best in hot, damp and humid locations, such as the clearings of forests; but the leaves most preferred are obtained in drier areas, on the hillsides."

It is a tropical plant that likes heat and humidity.

Since it is native and been used by the locals for at least 8,000 years, it is somewhat logical that they continue to produce almost all of it. I'd say that the amount of production in the region and the difficulty of getting plants and relocating them to places with very harsh drug laws tends to make production in other humid tropical regions of the world less attractive.
Yes, but it's not quite that simple -- as the column explains:

1. Coca was transplanted to other tropical and semi-tropical locations such as the East Indies before it was subject to harsh, or indeed any, drug laws; however,
2. These alternate sources dried up as first politics and then war took a heavy toll on them.
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Last edited by Steve MB; 05-11-2018 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:23 AM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Which of course is completely different from my last sentence there.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:31 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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Compared to other illegal crops, how much does coca pay to the farmer per unit of land area?

Even if it were legal, the fact that it's possible to grow it someplace else doesn't mean it's optimal to grow it someplace else because of comparative advantage.
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:39 PM
Steve MB Steve MB is offline
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Which of course is completely different from my last sentence there.
Er, what? Your assertion was that "relocating them to places with very harsh drug laws tends to make production in other humid tropical regions of the world less attractive". I noted that drug laws were not an issue when the production in other humid tropical regions was in fact occurring.
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:15 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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And it is no longer happening now, why?
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:16 AM
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Sherlock Holmes was another well-known user of cocaine, which creates an interesting tangent: Holmes was an injecting user. Drug abuse became a dramatically larger problem with the development of intravenous injection, in the early 1900's.
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