Colombia’s Controversial Cure for Coke Addicts: Give Them Marijuana

via The Star tumblr_ly5xcsShwF1qap9uuo1_500

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA—Marijuana has long been accused of being a gateway to deadlier vices. But could cannabis be a swinging door that might also lead people away from hard drugs? That’s what this capital city is trying to find out.

In a controversial public health project, Bogota will supply marijuana to 300 addicts of bazuco, a cheap cocaine derivative that generates crack-like highs and is as addictive as heroin.

Bogota has 7,500 bazuco users among its 9,500 homeless population, said Ruben Dario Ramirez, director of the Center for the Study and Analysis of Coexistence and Security, which is spearheading the project.

Addicts are often driven to crime to support their habit, turning parts of this thriving city into bazuco wastelands where junkies huddle to smoke the drug. In the last three years, 277 homeless people have been murdered, he said.

For the most desperate users, the cannabis cure may be the only way out.

“People accuse us of turning bazuco addicts into marijuana addicts but that’s an urban myth,” he said. “This program is about reducing personal harm and the risks to society.”

Authorities believe they might rescue some of the addicts by supplying them with quality controlled medical marijuana with a high THC content (the mind-altering component of marijuana), specifically selected to relieve the anxiety that comes with kicking bazuco.

The idea is controversial. Critics have accused Ramirez and his colleagues of smoking their own medicine and say the project risks making city government an enabler.



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  • Noah_Nine

    this is bold…

  • BuzzCoastin

    a good reason to do coke
    free pot
    but coke heads are not pot heads
    so they’ll probably sell the pot for coke

    a bold experiment would be to give them free coke
    but that would incur CIA wrath of Armageddon proportions

  • Deteis

    Pot certainly helped with finally quitting drinking. Still had the shakes a bit but at least I never puked on anything too important.

  • kowalityjesus

    gateway drug in reverse? anyone?

  • Craig Bickford

    William Burroughs talked about using ‘Tea’ (pot) to help get people off of junk. I suppose there is something to this.

  • echar

    Buds take the edge off of many things.

  • Thad McKraken

    You know, I did play in a band for years with a guy who used to be a meth head and as far as I could tell essentially just subbed out his meth addiction with constant pot smoking, which let him lead a somewhat normal life. I bet this sort of thing could work for some people.

  • DeepCough

    This is a genius idea: because the cokeheads will forget how much they loved coke and stop using it.

  • hanspy

    Yes it can. I have used speed (snorring and eating) to much and lost the habbit with weed. Also 2 other vriends (injecting it ,so realy junks) have lost there speed habbit with the help from only Cannabis. Iam clean now(speed) for over 35 years.