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The Green Life: Cocaine's Environmental Impact

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November 20, 2008

Cocaine's Environmental Impact

A coca field There's new weapon in the war on drugs: eco-guilt. Every gram of cocaine snorted destroys four square meters of rainforest, Francisco Santos Calderon, Colombia's vice president, told British police officers on Wednesday. Santos launched the "Shared Responsibility" campaign in London in May. John P. Walters, the United States' "drug czar," said in 2002 that Columbia has lost roughly 3 million acres of rainforest, and cocaine processors release more than 370,000 tons of chemicals into the fragile ecosystem every year. Since illegal growers are unlikely to switch to organic, shade-grown, fairly-traded cocaine, it's fair to say that blow is no friend of the earth.

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