On June 22, 2011, the Bolivian Congress accepted a request from the Bolivian President, Evo Morales to temporarily withdraw from the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The bill, awaiting a Senate vote later this week, is the result of an unclear UN position on coca leaf chewing, which holds a strong cultural significance to Bolivians. While we respect the decision of the Bolivian government, it is worrisome that so many people may be left without their government’s obligation to ensure access to narcotic medications for legitimate medical needs.
The Single Convention lays out a framework for the world’s governments to ensure access to essential medications while preventing their diversion and abuse. Nonetheless, millions of people around the world suffer in pain because of a lack of access to opioid medications. A balanced application of the Single Convention can ensure that narcotics are available to those with a legitimate medical need, and unavailable to those who abuse them.
You can read more about this decision here: