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Comunicado de la Embajada de Colombia en Londres


Official Press Release 
Colombian Embassy to The United Kingdom


London, 18th March- The Embassy of Colombia to the United Kingdom wishes to address the confusion surrounding the recent article in The Telegraph: "Duchess of Northumberland asks Colombia to send coca plants for her Poison Garden". Actually, it would like to underline that it has not received any official or informal request to send coca seeds or coca plant seedlings to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Had it received it, it would have not been able to attend to it, considering that the coca leaf is classified as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act in the United Kingdom. As a diplomatic mission, this Embassy respects the regulatory framework of the receiving state, regardless of the political debate that such regulation may imply.

It would also like to take this opportunity to emphasize that the coca leaf is not a drug, nor is it poisonous and it is not toxic by itself. The coca leaf is not cocaine. Similar to cereal grains not being whiskey, and potatoes not being vodka. The coca leaf does not equate to cocaine. While illicit groups may illegally exploit the coca leaf for the production of cocaine, it is crucial to distinguish between the leaf itself and the resulting substance. 

However, it understands that the consumption of cocaine is harmful, and it represents a global public health issue. Colombia has been impacted by the effects of transnational criminal organizations, which sustain this illegal market. Addressing the drug problem requires a global approach and the commitment of all parties involved. Colombia is ready to contribute to shaping a new approach to drug consumption in light of the failures of the previous "war on drugs."

The Embassy of Colombia extends its gratitude to The Duchess of Northumberland for her interest in understanding the complexity of this phenomenon for our country. It would be an honour to continue this dialogue with Duchess Percy and work together in socializing the multifaceted nature of the coca leaf. Our intent is to share with the world a profound comprehension of the cultural, scientific, and geopolitical implication of the coca leaf. We underscore the importance of rectifying misconceptions surrounding the coca leaf and advocate for informed policies that address its complexities. 


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