It was explained in my previous post that the coca leaf has been part of the Peruvian culture and traditions way before the arrival of the Spaniards whereas the opium poppy and its seeds, to my understanding, weren't even known by the pre hispanic peruvians as this is not a native plant.
Foreigners should understand that coca is not cocaine and therefore planting, owning or consuming coca is not illegal in Peru nor in Bolivia.
You're right in what you say Omikron. I also believe 100% that coca leaf is not a harmful drug; there's little doubt about that. It's only the very highly processed product that creates a potent, addictive, and harmful drug. With the long history of coca use in the Andean regions, it's right that it should be legal to grow it for traditional uses.
The issue that I was referring to is that an extremely large amount of coca grown in Peru ends up being used not for local, traditional consumption but to create that highly processed final product; cocaine. According to La Catolica university here in Lima, Peru exported around 282 tons of cocaine in 2010. That's a massive amount.
While that enormous production goes on here in Peru, right under the noses of the politicians, they at the same time decide that poppy seeds for cooking should be illegal. It's that dichotomy that I think is a bit ridiculous. In most of the world where poppy seeds are readily available, do people start growing them and processing them into heroin? While perhaps a handful of enterprising druggies have done that, the answer is, of course not.
To me it looks like this:
Supply 30-40% of the world's cocaine = OK (It's OK because it's "traditional")
Sell poppy seeds in small amounts for cooking = Not OK (because it's not "traditional") As if McDonald's is traditional.
It doesn't make any sense to me.