I have always longed for the day when I could claim that reading celebrity gossip makes me more informed about the world. Well, speaking of drugs, this via Page Six (h/t reader HH):

[Hugo Chavez] let slip his drug use during a four-hour speech last week to Venezuela's National Assembly. ... "I chew coca every day in the morning ... and look how I am," Chavez said, flexing his biceps. According to the Miami Herald, one of the few news organizations to report his remarks, Chavez, a teetotaler, said [Evo] Morales "sends me coca paste ... I recommend it to you."

Coca paste is apparently illegal in Venezuela. "Indigenous Bolivians and Peruvians can legally chew coca leaves as a mild stimulant and to kill hunger," says the Herald. "But coca paste is a semi-refined product ... considered highly addictive."

-- Eve Fairbanks