Collegium Helveticum
ZT-00079984 by United Herbaria Z+ZT / CC BY 4.0

Hidden Deep
Demystifying the Coca-Plant for Science and Beyond


This is a public event. Participation is free of charge and registration is not required.

The coca plant has a unique position as an ancient medicinal plant. Its healing properties have been passed down orally for generations among the indigenous cultures of the Andes. Regrettably, for the past five decades, it has also become inextricably linked to illegal drug trafficking. The misuse of one of its alkaloids, cocaine, has cast a shadow over the way this specimen is viewed when it comes to research and has hindered the study of its beneficial medicinal applications. This workshop wants to open up a discussion on the coca plant’s potentials, linking up with a growing interest in reevaluating the benefits of psychoactive substances through controlled scientific research and careful analysis.In this colloquium, participants from various disciplines will discuss the possibilities and implications of using and researching the coca plant to gain insights on psychoactive substances and help navigate their stigma.



Opening and welcome remarks

Veronika Akle
Collegium Helveticum


Political and Regulatory Challenges for Coca Research in Colombia

Maria Alejandra Velez
Director Center for Studies on Security and Drugs (CESED)
Universidad de los Andes (Colombia)


On-site presentation

Johanna Jacobi
Department of Environmental Systems Science
ETH Zurich


The Meaning of Reclaiming Coca: Reconciliation, Innovation, Collective Imagination

Carmen Posada
Advocate for Futuro Coca, Madrid


Coffee break


Kuka: The New Horizons of the Coca Plant–The Food of the Spirits

Screening of documentary
Written and directed by Ricardo Arango Cadavid


Workshop “How Deep to Go”


Closing remarks

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