LA PAZ, Bolivia – Bolivian President Evo Morales has attained a partial, symbolic victory in his international campaign to decriminalize the coca leaf.
His nation has rejoined the 1961 U.N. global convention on narcotic drugs with an important caveat: the centuries-old Andean practice of chewing coca leaves will now be recognized as legal within its borders.
At least 15 nations including The United States, Germany, Mexico and Japan filed objections with the United Nations ahead of the midnight Thursday deadline. The U.S. cited fears of a greater cocaine supply.
In order to block Bolivia's return, a full third of the convention's signatories — or 63 — would have needed to object.
Coca is the basis of cocaine but a mild stimulant when consumed unprocessed.
Morales plans a celebration on Monday with coca farmers.