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Bolivia

  • By: William L. Marcy IV
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Bolivia, located in central South America, has a population of approximately 9.7 million people and borders Peru and Chile to the west, Argentina and Paraguay to the south, and Brazil to the north and east. Although Bolivia gained independence from Spain in 1825, political unrest and nearly 200 coups and countercoups have marred its history. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production pose serious challenges. In December 2005, Evo Morales of the Movement Toward Socialism party was elected president by the widest margin of any leader since the restoration of civilian rule in 1982.

As with most nations, cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in Bolivia. Based on United Nations (UN) figures, approximately 4 percent ...

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