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Bolivia's Morales approves coca law after treatment in Cuba


              Bolivia's President Evo Morales, left, dances before the signing of a new coca law at the presidential palace in La Paz, Bolivia, Wedne...

              Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia, left, and President Evo Morales, speak during the signing of a new coca law at the presidential...

              Military leaders and police chiefs wear garlands made from coca leaves as they wait for the start of a signing ceremony for the new coc...

Bolivia's President Evo Morales, left, dances before the signing of a new coca law at the presidential palace in La Paz, Bolivia, Wedne...

Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia, left, and President Evo Morales, speak during the signing of a new coca law at the presidential...

Military leaders and police chiefs wear garlands made from coca leaves as they wait for the start of a signing ceremony for the new coc...

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — President Evo Morales has signed into law a bill that nearly doubles the amount of land in Bolivia that can be legally planted with coca.

Morales returned home Tuesday night after receiving treatment in Cuba for a nodule in his vocal chords.

He'd had to cancel previous speaking events after losing his voice to a sore throat. But he spoke for nearly an hour Wednesday in favor of the law. It allows farmers to plant up to 22,000 hectares (54,00 acres) of coca, up from 12,000 (29,000) under previous legislation.

Morales is a former coca farmer who rose to power supporting legalization of the plant for traditional purposes.

He says he'll need to return to Cuba in April for a brief operation.


Updated : 2021-04-23 16:15 GMT+08:00