Friday 16 March 2012


I love this story. I mean love. A Bolivian judge just admitted to reading coca leaves to help him make decisions in court cases. Does it get any more surreal and hysterical than that? Of course, there has been a public outcry for his resignation, which he wholeheartedly rejects. You have to the love the man’s resolve.

Judge Gualberto Cusi is actually from an indigenous community in Bolivia called the Aymara community, where reading coca leaves is a part of the culture. I’m hoping, not in widespread use across the legal system, or the medical community for that manner - lose arm, keep arm? Let's bust out the leaves, shall we?! In his defense, the judge says that he only reads coca leaves when he’s faced with difficult decisions – [seriously, can we blame the man? I often consult my crumpets when deciding what the King should wear for the day; long-sleeve shirt, layers? It's such a hard call]. But when it comes to sentencing it’s all Judge Cusi. That should fill his victims, I’m sorry, I mean to say, the defendants with extreme confidence.

Is it me, but anyone reading the very leaf in which people make cocaine out of makes me a bit suspect. Cause you know he isn’t just reading those leaves. Can’t you just hear it now; “I swear, I only lick them when it’s been a very long day in court.” The Judge of course went on to clarify his comments when members of the government called for his head on a coca leaf. He claims he simply consults the leaves when he's needed ‘guidance’ and not to actually decide things. He of course did further damage to his cause when he added that these very leaves help him communicate with plants, mountains, animals and rivers. Uh huh, put down the leaf Judge Man, your work is done here.

I'm all for different cultures having different ways of going about things, not to mention sacred rituals and customs that may fall in that out of the box category (reading leaves, coffee grinds, crystals, voodoo, you know the lot). But I'm thinking that the legal system is that one iron clad area where things should be conducted in a linear, by the book manner. Call me a stickler, but if I'm on trial for let's say, murder (insomnia, one never knows. Honey, I kid, I kid) I certainly don't want some amphetamine hopped up Judge reading a leaf determining my fate. 

Happy Friday.
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