Pope returns to cocaine

Image from Wikipedia. Click for source,According to a report from BBC News the Pope ‘plans to chew coca leaves’ during his visit to Bolivia. Although portrayed as a radical encounter, this is really a return to cocaine use after a long period of abstinence in the papal office.

Although the leaves are a traditional, mild stimulant that have been used for thousands of years, they are controversial as they’re the raw material for synthesising powder cocaine.

The leaves themselves actually contain cocaine in its final form but only produce a mild stimulant effect because they have a low dose that is released relatively gently when chewed.

The lab process to produce the powder is largely concerned with concentrating and refining it which means it can be taken in a way to give the cocaine high.

The Pope is likely to be wanting to chew coca leaves to show support for the traditional uses of the plant, which, among other things, are used to help with altitude sickness but have become politicised due to the ‘war on drugs’.

Because of this, recent decades have seen pressure to outlaw or destroy coca plants, despite them being little more problematic than coffee when used in traditional ways, and consequently, a push back campaign from Latin Americans has been increasingly influential.

However, two previous Popes have been cocaine users. Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius X were drinkers of Vin Mariani, which was essentially cocaine dissolved in alcohol for its, er, tonic effect.

Pope Leo XIII even went as far as appearing in an advert for Vin Mariani, which you can see in the image above.

The advert says that “His Holiness THE POPE writes that he has fully appreciated the beneficient effects of this Tonic Wine and has forwarded to Mr. Mariani as a token of his gratitude a gold medal bearing his august effigy.”

But being a Latin American, the new Pope seems to have a much more sensible view of the drug and values it in its traditional form, and so probably won’t be giving away some of the papal gold after having a blast on the liquid snow.

 
Link to BBC News story.
And thanks to @MikeJayNet for reminding me of the historical connection.

4 thoughts on “Pope returns to cocaine”

  1. lol, just *LOL*….
    Until recently, the U.S.State Dept., on its’ own website, advised American tourists to chew coca leaves as an antidote to altitude sickness when traveling in Bolivia…. And, yes, that’s why it was first called “Coca Cola”….because it had COCAINE in it….
    I tell ya, this Pope Francis is the BEST thing to happen to the R.C.Church in the last 2000years….

  2. Reblogged this on Terry Gotham and commented:
    Pope wine! A great commentary on Pope Francis’ decision to chew coca leaves on his trip to latin America. Quick explanation on the history of Vin Mariani, the coke/red wine mixture touted as being consumed by 2 popes!

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