Colombia to Americans: Cocaine Kills Environment

Drug-makers are destroying Colombia's precious rainforest
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2008 5:28 PM CDT
Colombia to Americans: Cocaine Kills Environment
In this photo released by Agencia Brasil, an aerial view shows a laboratory at acoca plantation in Tabatinga, Brazil, Saturday, March 15, 2008.    (AP Photo/Valter Campanato)

Colombia is adding a new tactic in its campaign to persuade Americans to stop buying cocaine: a plea for the environment. The government wants to spread the message to users—especially, say, wealthy professionals who dutifully recycle but also partake of the drug—that cocaine growers are running roughshod over the land, the Christian Science Monitor reports. They've cleared 5 million acres of forest in the last 20 years and are now moving into the Amazon.

“People don’t understand where their drugs are coming from," said a worker for the Colombian initiative. "They are feeding this entire process that is not only socially destructive, but very environmentally destructive.” Many of America's 6 million cocaine users, however, may not be listening. "We all have our vices," sniffed one otherwise environmentally-minded user. "You don't want to think about this." (More Colombia stories.)

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