A Project of the American Enterprise Institute and the Federalist Society

WHO Provisional Agenda: Legalization of the Coca Leaf


December 20, 2006

The 120th Session of the World Health Organization (WHO) will be convening in Geneva on January 22 - 30, 2007. One of the items on the agenda is the topic of the legalization of the coca leaf for medicinal purposes. Proposed by an unspecified member state, the meeting's annotated agenda states that:

Appropriate use of plan products for medical purposes, including those containing psychoactive substances, is significant for public health, and their safety and efficacy is a key regulatory requirement for traditional medicine programmes. The coca leaf, as the plant from which cocaine can be extracted, is included in the list of narcotic drugs under international control.

The WHO is awaiting compilation of evidence detailing the potential health benefits of this controlled substance in order to determine how to proceed.

More information coming soon...