n Acta Criminologica : African Journal of Criminology & Victimology - Culture and legality : the case of the consumption of the coca leaf in South America, with specific reference to Argentina

Volume 2015 Number sed-3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093


Concerning the use of psychoactive substances (nioco, ayahuasca, peyotl) by diverse groups, there are some whose effects are predominantly hallucinogenic, others whose effects are mostly dynamogenic and psychotonic (this is the case of the coca leaf). The Andean peoples reap the benefits of the coca, this nutritional and medicinal plant although its most important function is to act as a medium of social integration within the community. In the case of Argentina, the coca market is mainly located in the provinces of Jujuy, Salta and Tucumán, in the north-western zone of the country (NOA), where the consumption of coca was adopted in the 18th century, spreading henceforward to all social layers and classes at the beginning of the 20th century. Considering the above mentioned, the article aims at analysing the cultural reach of the use of the coca leaf in South America, the situation of its use and its association with the legality and illegality in Argentina and the dynamics of the relationship between Argentina and Bolivia in this context, based on a review of the literature on the theme and the consultation of documents.

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