Holy Father asks to chew cocaine leaves

According to the 1961 UN convention on narcotic drugs, coca leaves are illegal.

Pope Francis.

Coca leaves are known throughout the world for its psychoactive alkaloid, cocaine.

News reaching us reports that Pope Francis has asked the Bolivian government to prepare Coca leaves for him to chew, during his visit.

According to the Culture Minister, Marko Machicao, “We will await the Holy Father with the sacred leaves.”

Machicao added saying 'He specifically requested that he wants to chew coca.'

Sources say he will also be offered cakes and other products derived from the coca leaves.

Ban Ki Moon was also given a coca cake during his visit last year, to Bolivia.

According to the1961 UN-United Nations' convention on narcotic drugs, coca leaves are illegal.

In Bolivia, the growing of coca leaves for medicinal and religious purposes is legal.

CCTV correspondent  Daniel Schweimler describes coca as 'a monumental part of Bolivian culture.'

Chewing the leaves or drinking coca tea does not produce the intense high people experience with cocaine.

Learn more about the importance of the coca leaf in Bolivia, in this video.

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