White House: Cultivation of plant used in cocaine production hits record high in Colombia

White House: Cultivation of plant used in cocaine production hits record high in Colombia

Cultivation of the plant used to make cocaine has reached an all-time high in Colombia, the White House said in a report Monday.

Coca cultivation increased 11 percent, to about 807 square miles in 2017, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Potential pure cocaine production increased by 19 percent, to 921 metric tons, that same year.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE’s message to Colombia is clear: the record growth in cocaine production must be reversed,” said ONDCP Deputy Director Jim Carroll in a statement. "Colombia is an important United States partner with a critical role. We will continue to work with them to reduce drastically the production of cocaine destined for the United States.”

Annual increases in Colombian coca production directly relate to greater cocaine use in the U.S., resulting in more overdose deaths and crime and violence associated with the drug trade, the ONDCP said in its report.

The two governments agreed in March to develop a plan to cut cultivation and production levels by half over the next five years.