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coca leaves legal?

Pittsburgh
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coca leaves legal?

Is it legal to chew on coca leaves while in Peru? If so, where can you get them? From other posts, it sounds like it helps with altitude sickness. Is the idea to chew them before you get to the high altitudes to prevent sickness or is it a remedy?

We will be in Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Puno.

Thanks

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: coca leaves legal?

Yes, coca leaves are legal. You can get them at any local market. But in my opinion, stick to the Coca Tea. You can get it at pretty much any restaurant and most hotels serve it at breakfast. I found it helped.

Important note! It is legal to bring home the coca tea bags or coca candies, but NOT the coca leaves.

Enjoy Peru. It is amazing!

Pittsburgh
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2. Re: coca leaves legal?

Thanks, I'll try the tea as well.

Buffalo, New York
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3. Re: coca leaves legal?

Yes the Coca leaves help. I chewed alot of them on the Inca trail, which was a tremendous help on the second day to help me climb to almost 14,000 feet. If you are hiking the trail the are available along the way at some of the rest stops. We stocked up along the way. A bag was about 1 or 2 soles.

We bought coca leaves at shops in Cusco. Our hotel had tea available all day and a bowl full of leaves for out for us.

Lima, Peru
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for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
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4. Re: coca leaves legal?

This is published on the USA Embassy board :

"Although coca-leaf tea is a popular beverage and folk remedy for altitude sickness in Peru, possession of these tea bags, which are sold in most Peruvian supermarkets, is illegal in the United States."

Leaves are also very illegal.

You should also know that if you are tested for drugs, it will show up.

Pittsburgh
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5. Re: coca leaves legal?

Did I understand the posts right?

Coca leaves are legal in Peru but not in the US?

And if I were to take a urine test back here in the US, would I test positive for drugs even if I only had the tea?

I had no intention of bringing back the leaves or tea, and I doubt I'll have to take any drug tests anytime soon but it's good to know.

Thanks

Knoxville, Tennessee
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for Pigeon Forge
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6. Re: coca leaves legal?

Yes,

You will absolutely test positive if you are subjected to a urine test for drugs after you return. I am not aware of the length of time over which it will show but research we did before our trip convinced me it was not worth the risk as we were subject to testing at any time as part of our work.

Lima, Peru
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for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
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7. Re: coca leaves legal?

Yes, you did understand my post right, that is why I wrote it.

Switzerland
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8. Re: coca leaves legal?

on the other hand it really helps, it is really helping against the altidude sickness (and as well stomach ache), when we were driving up to the colca (passing 4'900 meters mountain) we and many others (mostly the Peruvians) did chew the coca leaves (you will not feel the coca it is like chewing tabac but with less taste), these are only leaves and not the drugs. To make drugs out of it, you need many other ingridients and working processes! From what I heard, is it illegal to take them to the US and EU but at the customs they tolerate if you have some tea bags in your bag (but not the leaves).

Please do not panic about this natural culture remedy. Take note that in many counties in south america (e.g. Peru, Chile, Bolivia) drinking coca tea is part of their culture and everybody can decide on their own, if he/she like to try it as well.

I would be happy, if was able to drink or even import coca tea to Switzerland/Europe. This is a real natural remedy resource and nothing else.

Daytona Beach...
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9. Re: coca leaves legal?

We found coca leaves to be very easily found in the markets. If you don't see them, just ask.

Coca tea is legally sold in the US through health food stores, mail order and online companies (even Amazon.com). But don't bring back any raw leaves.

Burnsville...
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10. Re: coca leaves legal?

Its 100% legal but only in Peru and Columbia and if you really need help with altitude, take Diamox. We took it while climbing Mt.Kilimanjaro (19.500 ft) and Machu Picchu (9,000 ft)