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Simon Leufstedt

Cocaine users destroying the rainforest at 4 square metres a gram

Doing coke is bad for your health. It's also bad for the environment. Colombia's vice president appealed to British users to consider the 300,000 hectares of rainforest destroyed every year to make way for coca plant cultivation. In Santos's address to conference of senior police officers, he recognized that the environmental impact of the cocaine trade wouldn't be enough to get hard users to kick the habit, but might persuade the middle-class social users who drive hybrids and are concerned their carbon footprint to stop doing blow. Do you think the environment is enough to get casual coke heads to quit?

Read it: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/1...santos-calderon

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Doing coke is bad for your health. It's also bad for the environment. Colombia's vice president appealed to British users to consider the 300,000 hectares of rainforest destroyed every year to make way for coca plant cultivation. In Santos's address to conference of senior police officers, he recognized that the environmental impact of the cocaine trade wouldn't be enough to get hard users to kick the habit, but might persuade the middle-class social users who drive hybrids and are concerned their carbon footprint to stop doing blow. Do you think the environment is enough to get casual coke heads to quit?

Read it: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/1...santos-calderon

link is broken!

Do you think the environment is enough to get casual coke heads to quit?
The answer to that one is no! The average "casual user" is addicted to some degree and the environment is not at the top of their list.

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link is broken! The answer to that one is no! The average "casual user" is addicted to some degree and the environment is not at the top of their list.

That is strange. The link works just fine for me. I copy and paste it here for you:

Four square metres of rainforest are destroyed for every gram of cocaine snorted in the UK, a conference of senior police officers as told yesterday.

Francisco Santos Calderón, the vice-president of Colombia, appealed to British users of the class A drug to consider the impact on the environment. He said that while the green agenda would not persuade addicts to give up, the middle-class social user who drove a hybrid car and was concerned about the environment might not take the drug if they knew its impact.

Santos said 300,000 hectares of rainforest were destroyed each year in Colombia to clear land for coca plant cultivation, predominantly controlled by illegal groups, including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as Farc.

Officers were told cocaine and heroin use cost the British economy around £15bn a year in health and crime bills.

Santos outlined to the Association of Chief Police Officers how lives were lost in the illegal cocaine trade in Colombia. He said landmines that were used to protect crops and processing labs killed almost 900 civilians this year.

Farc and other groups funded by narcotics production were also involved in kidnapping. The Colombian-French politician Ingrid Betancourt was held for more than six years before her release earlier this year, and Santos himself was kidnapped and held by a cocaine gang for 18 months in the 1990s.

He told the Belfast conference: "If you snort a gram of cocaine, you are destroying 4m square of rainforest and that rainforest is not just Colombian - it belongs to all of us who live on this planet, so we should all be worried about it. Not only that, the money that you use to buy the cocaine goes into the hands of Farc, of illegal groups that plant mines, that kidnap, that kill, that use terrorism to protect their business."

Santos said many middle-class Britons who used cocaine were unaware of its environmental impact. "For somebody who drives a hybrid, who recycles, who is worried about global warming - to tell him that that night of partying will destroy 4m square of rainforest might lead him to make another decision."

Santos said Europe was experiencing a boom in cocaine use among more affluent people that was comparable with that seen in the USA 25 years ago. Everyone, he said, had a duty to change their behaviour to halt a rise in demand that was destroying his country. "We call it shared responsibility, We can't do it on our own. We need everybody's action; police here, police in Colombia, the authorities in both countries and the consumers too. If there is no consumption, there will be no production.

"There is a sense of frustration, because here drug use is seen as a personal choice and to some extent cocaine is seen as the champagne of drugs which causes no effect and is a victimless crime. It is not victimless."

Bill Hughes, the director general of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, told the conference that the UK was a very attractive market for drug traffickers. "There is still a lot of disposable income; the risk compared to the US if you are caught is felt to be much less," he said.

The £15bn cost to the economy reduced the amount of money available for schools, teachers and police officers. He said traffickers moved their drugs from South America to west Africa, and then to the EU and Britain, often operating through insecure countries with poor law enforcement. Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands were major staging posts on the trafficking routes and much of the synthetic drug market was supplied from the Netherlands. Hughes said the proceeds of crime were undermining or corrupting governments globally, with the trade worth £4bn-£6.6bn in the UK.

Britain's coke habit

• The UK has the highest number of cocaine users in the EU, according to the latest figures

• Acpo was told that 14% of the UK's population had used cocaine. After increases in the last few years, numbers who took the drug were now stabilising

• The drugs come to Britain from South America via west Africa. Drugs are often trafficked through insecure countries with poor law enforcement

• Figures from the British Crime Survey this month suggested about 810,000 Britons had taken cocaine in the last year

• Some 3% of people questioned admitted using class A drugs over the past 12 months, which was less than in the previous year

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"There is still a lot of disposable income; the risk compared to the US if you are caught is felt to be much less,"

<_< maybe we see a root cause of the problem here, no pain, no gain..... there is no pain to using coke, no moral/ethical values in the population that see it as wrong, no real concern about the environment only their next hit! So, tell me why they should stop? <_<

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