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    Cocaine is usually sold as a powder. It can also be ‘washed up’ into crack cocaine, a smokable form of the drug.

    The British pop artist Robbie Williams has described cocaine as God’s way of letting you know you’ve got too much money. If a cocaine habit gets a hold of you, you don’t have too much for too long.

    So what’s this ‘ere charlie all abaht, then?

    Like most drugs, cocaine comes from a plant. The coca plant. This plant grows in South America. Yes, until 1902 it was the real thing that went into that globally successful brand of soft drink. The coca content was replaced with caffeine (until the advent of caffeine-free cola). Like cocaine, caffeine is of course a stimulant drug.

    If you wanted to get a buzz from the plant you’d need to chew a few leaves, and the mildly stimulant properties would give you a lift. Where it is grown and harvested, many people still do chew the leaves. The vast majority of cocaine is consumed in an entirely different way. Most people’s introduction to charlie involves a tightly rolled banknote, a line of finely chopped white powder and a nostril.


    and then just for good measure, the other nostril…


    …and then a rubbing of the wetted finger over the remaining crumbs, and over the gums.

    a cold, chemical, numbing taste that hovers at the back of your throat, as the high unfolds and you are your very own number one fan. Funny, happy, laughing, menacing, delightful, tough, big, scary, outrageous, saucy, sexy, flirty, dirty, giggly, groovy, nasty, fast and sparkly, towering, masterful…well, whatever you want to be, really. Confident. With a very big capital C. Full of energy. Life and soul. You are the chosen one. For as long as it lasts, which is usually a maximum of thirty minutes…

    What goes up..

    …and before the coke’s wearing off, it’s time for some more. Someone using coke over the course of an evening can start to become compulsive about needing a little bit more, a little bit more, a quick line, a little toot…high doses can cause confusion, disorientation, and a belief that having another line will sort everything out. Even after relatively small doses cocaine use can produce feelings of anxiety, irritability, depression and paranoia. High doses increase the likelihood of these after-effects.

    Some people say that they can use coke and feel fine the next day. No ‘hangover’ at all. They like the way they get high, it wears off, they’re back to normal. Not like other drugs that can leave you feeling all wired and twisted.

    Everybody’s different. It’s just worth taking a moment to say that if you use cocaine and think the world’s meaningless and full of worthless bastards who occasionally seem like they’re ganging up on you, there may be a connection. Although it may mean that the world is indeed full of worthless bastards, and it might just be your turn to be picked on.

    Aside from the psychological impact of the cocaine come-down, other common after effects are hunger and tiredness. As cocaine will reduce your appetite and reduce tiredness, two of the things you are probably unlikely to do if you’re using cocaine are eat properly and sleep.

    And so, my dear Watson, pray tell…

    What risks have we found here, Sir?

    Regular cocaine use will lead to interrupted sleep patterns, anxiety and paranoia. It can cery quickly become a reinforcing cycle of behavior regularly using cocaine might find themselves feeling unwilling or unable to cope in a particular context unless they’ve had some charlie. It might be a work, home or social context, or another context, or several contexts…they might get stressed out and irritable when they’re not using. Occasional weekend ‘social’ use might become regular weekend use, if a party seems to go with less of a ‘bang’ if charlie’s not in the picture. Someone using every weekend can soon start to find that the weekdays become something to get through until the next weekend. And the weekend starts earlier. And lasts longer. Pretty soon you’re having a quick blast in the pub on a Wednesday, or before an important meeting that you want to be on top form for, or whatever other reason you’ve found to absolutely reasonably justify to yourself that this is not a problem, I’m in control here, and it’s just a little something to help me get through the day and it’s not like I inject or anything. It’s not like I get ill here. I mean, shit, it’s no different to smoking a cigarette really.

    bang. gotcha.

    And of course it’s not inevitable. It’s just really easy, if you can afford it. For some people, they know they’ve had enough when they’ve run out of money. If you’ve only got enough for half a gram then half a gram will have to do you. If you can afford a lot more than that – well, why not?

    There is no physical dependence associated with cocaine. Someone using it regularly will not become ill if they stop using. People often experience a compulsion to take more, though, and can start to feel unable to have a ‘good’ time unless they are using cocaine.

    Crack cocaine

    ‘Crack’ is also cocaine. It’s cocaine delivered in a highly potent and rapidly absorbed form. Some people chew coca leaves, some people sniff the powdered crystalline refined alkaloid cocaine hydrochloride and some people smoke the freebased alkaloid in the form of crack. Just like some people like to look at the full moon on a summer’s evening and others like to strap themselves to the top of an enormous hydrogen-fueled rocket that travels at four times the speed of sound to go have a closer look for themselves. And then burn-up on re-entry, parachute in from 20,000 ft and end up bobbing about in the midst of a vast ocean feeling a little lost and wondering when the last bus home is.

    Crack is a smokable form of the same drug. It’s not just smoking cocaine – burning cocaine powder destroys the drug. Mixing cocaine with the right household chemicals to produce a smokable form, similar to (and much easier to produce than) freebased cocaine is the science of making crack. Rock. Wash. Stones. When crack is heated it produces a smoke containing cocaine which usually has a purity above 90%. When the smoke is inhaled it passes into the bloodstream through the lungs and quickly reaches the brain. Quickly as in within a heartbeat or two.


    …and within a few minutes the high is peaking, leveling, estimated time for re-entry is fifteen minutes…on my mark…10…9…8…


    “I wonder when the last bus home is?”

    This is of course the edited version of the experience. The splosh >>> bus transition is separated by as many blasts on the pipe as cash and time allows. The high is all of the high of cocaine, only more so. Immortal, untouchable. Omnipotent. And oh! for such a searingly short time. The compulsion to have more of that is massive. The come-down is like stepping off a bus. And then finding that the bus is floating several hundred feet above a dark, sinister, menacing place that is dark, and deep and bad. And it has your name on it. And there is absolutely no doubt about it, the world is absolutely definitely meaningless and full of worthless bastards who are ganging up on you just to press home the point about how pointless it all is and they can just fuck off. Bastards. I’ve just about had a fucking nuff of those sad little gits. I could go on…

    The comedown from crack is far more distressing than the comedown from cocaine powder. Mood swings, irritability, anxiety and paranoia are common.

    I’ve met regular crack users who have developed a smack habit after taking heroin on a regular basis to reduce the impact of the come down from the crack they’re using on a regular basis. It can all get very, very messy, very, very quickly. When you get into regular use it’s easy to blow hundreds on crack before you leave the house in the morning.

    Unless you can’t afford it.

    I guess that might be why some people are suggesting that there might be a link between crime and drug use. It kind of makes sense to me.

    ‘ello ‘ello ‘ello

    In the UK, cocaine is controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as a Class A, Schedule 2 drug.

    Other Class A drugs include heroin and LSD.


    Is Britain really ready to overhaul drug laws?

    THE first arrests in the UK for possessing cannabis took place in the early 1950s in Soho, London, in the wake of fears arising out of immigration from the Caribbean. Yet the drug had been declared illegal as far back as 1925, suggesting that the connection between drug use and the law in Britain is a complex one, driven historically as much by popular mood swings and political fashion as genuine health concerns.

    By the Thatcher era, arrests for cannabis possession and dealing had jumped to more than 20,000 a year. The moral offensive failed – by the start of the 1990s, annual arrests had doubled to more than 40,000. By the mid 1990s, it had doubled again on the back of rising prosperity, vast social change and a hedonistic and individualistic culture that, paradoxically, Baroness Thatcher had helped to create.

    Yet all the time, formal drug laws became more draconian as popular consumption among all classes soared. It is not a new paradox.

    Victorian society, with its invention of industrially manufactured cheap chemicals, a consumer market and leisure time for the masses, also invented the use of recreational drugs. The most popular was laudanum, a cocktail of opium and alcohol purchased over the counter from new, mass market retailers such as Boots. Devotees included Victorian rock star equivalents such as the poets Samuel Coleridge and Thomas De Quincey. The same was happening in the US, where tonics such as Coca-Cola were liberally laced with cocaine.

    However, the 19th century middle classes and their political representatives were growing frightened by the dangerous rise of the urban working classes, expressed in socialism or the abuse of alcohol.

    There were also darker worries regarding the restive natives of the growing British Empire and their supposed addiction to drugs such as opium. A moral panic was born to deny alcohol and other recreational drugs to the lower orders. In the US, the first anti-opium laws were passed in the 1870s directed at Chinese immigrants and their opium dens, in which it was rumoured, young white girls were seduced against their will.

    The milestone in this Edwardian drugs backlash was the 1912 Hague Conference where 46 nations agreed to a Convention for the Suppression of Opium and Other Drugs. Lowly cannabis was not included. Serious anti-drugs legislation began in Britain during the First World War when the government became worried that the heroin gel that women were buying from Harrods to send to their sweethearts on the Western Front might have an effect on discipline. A Dangerous Drugs Act came in 1920.

    Yet middle-class opinion in Britain still saw drugs as a social problem of the lower orders, to be dealt with by medical help, as much as moral sanction. A government report in 1926 recommended that heroin and morphine be permitted on medical prescription to registered addicts. Depression and the Second World War preoccupied the nation and drugs did not resurface as an issue till mass prosperity returned in the 1950s.

    The 1960s saw a sudden plethora of drugs legislation, mostly from the Labour Party, banning LSD and the cultivation of cannabis. Again, the historical accident of new industrial techniques to manufacture cheap recreational drugs was combining with establishment worries about new social and cultural forces. It was a time of student revolution, hippydom and anti-Vietnam War protests. More than 3,000 people held a “smoke-in” in Hyde Park and Mick Jagger, of the Rolling Stones, was imprisoned for possessing cannabis. This prompted a famous Times editorial – “Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?” – suggesting the establishment reaction was perhaps verging on the hysterical.

    In response, Harold Wilson, the prime minister, commissioned the Wootton report which, in 1968, recommended that cannabis possession should not be an offence. But Wootton was rejected by the government and the subsequent 1971 Drugs Act retained stiff sentencing for the drug. Lest anyone think the politicians were growing soft, the new act placed most psychedelic drugs in Class A, along with morphine, heroin and cocaine.

    Why this draconian response to butterflies? Partly it was a fear (often legitimate) of the power of the new man-made drugs. In 1978, the police Operation Julie raid on a Welsh LSD factory found 30 million doses. It was an early indication of the asymmetry in electoral pressures on the politicians. Parents, the police and the fearful were vocal in their opposition, but those enjoying drugs were rarely motivated to form a counter-lobby, even though the their use was spreading rapidly into the middle classes.

    The Thatcher years saw drugs become associated, in the government’s eyes, with political opposition. The Public Order Act 1986 gave police powers to restrict New Age festivals, with their attendant drug-taking. The government also launched a “just say no” policy aimed at young people. Coming from Margaret Thatcher, it was never likely to have any effect.

    Besides, this was an era of yet more cheap industrial drugs: crack cocaine and ecstasy. The latter drug was invented during the First World War. But the anti-Thatcher counter-culture and the fact that prosperous Britain now gave the young widespread affluence spawned a rave culture. At its height, a million pills were swallowed by British teenagers each weekend. Ecstasy defined a whole generation. Better educated and more opinionated, the young were only too well aware that the legal use of nicotine caused about 110,000 premature deaths each year in the UK.

    The Major years saw ambivalence to the failure of the drug laws to engineer social behaviour, and cocaine become the recreational drug of choice among the middle classes as cannabis became passé. In 1993, Commander John Grieve, of the Metropolitan Police, called for the decriminalising of cannabis. Instead, the home secretary, Michael Howard, declared a “war on drugs”. His crusade was not against drugs. It was against rising levels of street crime associated with the need to fund the heroin epidemic among the underclass.

    With Labour back in office in 1997, Lord Bingham of Cornhill, the most senior judge in England, called for a public debate on the legalisation of cannabis. This was immediately rejected by the home secretary, Jack Straw. Barely weeks later, it was reported that Mr Straw’s son had sold £10-worth of cannabis to a newspaper reporter. It was more apparent than ever that milder recreational drugs, though illegal, were in widespread use despite 40 years of ever more draconian laws. In January 2002, it became known that 17-year-old Prince Harry had smoked cannabis in the grounds of the Prince of Wales’s Highgrove estate. Seventy-five years of prohibition had obviously failed somewhere.

    Wot are everyones views on coke? personaly I think its completely over rated ,over priced and genrally a waste of time!

    I here of alot of people taking this drug but I find its mostly chavs going down to some garage or rnb event who dont do n e thing else but snort coke and drink stella! and wen u ask em if they do pills they turn there nose up…. I find this a bit strange perhaps its trendy just like if a celebrity wears a certain type of cap then everyone wears that type of cap(latest one bein van dutch used to be buberry) and if a celebrity takes this kind of drug then i suppose all the sheep in this world have to as well to be in with the in crowd!! well these are my views on cocaine!! plur 😀

    can be fun in small doese or on special occasions but way too expensive for the time it lasts

    rinses your money – even if you’ve got it you end up using all your spare cash on the stuff

    makes people arrogant (most celebs take it to hide insecurity and paranoia) and really dark and they do things like this to get the stuff in

    😡 poor dogs 🙁

    I really like it, but I won’t pay for it!

    The drug is overated and overpriced – the only time its any good is when it’s free.

    Only the first line / pipe hits the mark – the rest is just playing catch up.

    after having spent some time in Bolivia, both on coca plantations and in La Paz, where much of it is converted into the boo we think of here, I can’t bring myself to touch the stuff. If it isn’t 50 cents for 2G of pure, it’s a burn.

    plus it turns even the nicest people into a bit of a bore.

    coke has ruined my life

    i don’t know what the effects are because they don’t happen any more. i have to take it to feel normal.

    don’t do it. i hate my best friends because i get all paranoid. i have £2.50 to my name and lots of debts. The £2.50 came from a refund from a vending machine. I lied about the amount to get more money.

    if you take coke it’s your only friend. A hated one too, of course.

    To those who say “it’s all in the mind”:
    Yes, and how much do you value your mind? It’s all you are.

    my life is shit
    don’t do coke

    my life is shit
    don’t do coke

    my life is shit
    don’t do coke

    yeah I also no alot of people in a bit of trouble with money aswell, I recently went to global gathering though and did laughing gas(nitrous oxide), I did it once before at project mayhem at the coven but I didn’t get the full effect!! Did this time though blew me bloody mind!! was like bein on acid but only lasted for a few minutes it was amazing!! see a hell of alot a lot cheaper than coke at £1.50 4 a balloons worth me thinks its worth it!!! If u haven’t tried it do it!! its a gr8 little mind bender!! 😀

    yea! coke is great for xmas and birthdays..

    any more and risk being disowned by yer mates after u pull too many headfucks on people cos u think yer god. No one speaks to my ex these days… hes got a £1000 quid a week habit, and the Asshole Switch has been flipped and were hes gone there aint no coming back..

    I dont do coke, ever, for 50 quid a gram i say fuck it get a q of skunk an sum shrooms.

    naturalist mentalist lol!


    seems we’re all pretty much in agreement here, which begs the question: where are all the coke heads?

    the media seem to regularly be talking about the rise in cocaine use. maybe the users are all to busy talking the hind legs off donkeys to use the net.

    Originally posted by Unregistered
    seems we’re all pretty much in agreement here, which begs the question: where are all the coke heads?

    the media seem to regularly be talking about the rise in cocaine use. maybe the users are all to busy talking the hind legs off donkeys to use the net.

    TBH it stops me talking after the 1st hit – it just strigs me out!

    I think that it is on the rise, but maybe mainly in the club scene :-/

    tried coke a few times, but (luckily!) it doesn’t work for me. I hate the taste in the back of my throat, other than that there seems to be no effect…. Add to that the cost, and it should be clear I don’t touch white.

    It is fun to take the piss out of snorters tho, just pretend to wipe your nose a lot and you see them get paranoid [IT’S ONLY PARANOIA IF YOU CAN’T PROVE IT].

    We’re allowed some fun too eh 😀


    In recent years, the DEA has observed dramatic changes in the “geopolitics” of coca cultivation and cocaine production. These changing dynamics highlight the fact that Colombian cocaine trafficking organizations continue to dominate the international cocaine trade. Colombia has always been—and remains—the world’s number one producer of finished cocaine HCl. Colombia produces more than 80 percent of the global cocaine HCl supply, and perhaps 90 percent of the cocaine HCl reaching the United States.

    As recently as 1995, however, Colombia only produced about 25 percent of the world’s cocaine base, the intermediate product used to make finished cocaine HCl.1 Colombian traffickers were dependent on Peruvian and Bolivian sources for two-thirds of their cocaine base product. Each year, this amounts to hundreds of tons of cocaine base imported by aircraft from Peru and Bolivia.

    Since 1995, however, net coca cultivation in Colombia has more than tripled, from 50,000 hectares in 1995 to 169,800 hectares in 2001. Stated differently, the physical land area under coca cultivation in Colombia in 2001 was three times the size of the Peru–Bolivia crop combined.

    When expressed in terms of potential cocaine base “output,” Colombia’s production has increased 217 percent, from 230 metric tons in 1995 to 730 metric tons in 2001.

    Colombia accounted for 76 percent of the world’s cocaine base production in 2001. Accordingly, Colombian traffickers have become far less dependent on Peruvian or Bolivian cocaine base sources of supply than in the past.

    2001 marked the ninth consecutive year that Colombia’s coca cultivation and production have increased. In spite of this steady upward trend in Colombia’s potential cocaine output, estimated cocaine production for the entire Andean Region had actually decreased by 17 percent from 1995 to 2000, from 930 metric tons to 768 metric tons.


    From 1995 to 2000, Bolivia’s potential cocaine base production fell by 82 percent, from 240 metric tons to 43 metric tons. This decrease in Bolivian potential cocaine production was largely due to unprecedented coca eradication, enforcement operations targeting essential chemicals, and decreased demand from Colombian traffickers.

    In like manner, Peru’s potential cocaine base production decreased by 68 percent, from 460 metric tons in 1995 to 145 metric tons in 2000. A combination of aggressive crop eradication procedures, a persistent coca fungus in some growing areas, Peru’s air interdiction program, and decreased demand from Colombian traffickers were key factors that led to this decline in potential cocaine base production.


    In 2001, potential cocaine base production for the entire Andean Region increased by 16 percent, from 805 metric tons in

    2000 to 930 metric tons in 2001. Production in Bolivia dropped by 25 percent, from 80 metric tons to 60 metric tons, while Peru’s production only decreased by 3.4 percent, from 145 metric tons to 140 metric tons. On the other hand, production in Colombia, increased by 25 percent, from 580 metric tons to 730 metric tons. In short, the 150-metric-ton increase in Colombia dwarfed the combined 25-metric-ton decrease in Peru and Bolivia.


    Coca eradication remains the centerpiece of Plan Colombia, the U.S. Government’s multifaceted US$1.3 billion assistance package for Colombia enacted in July 2000. In the event that the Colombian Government is able to expand and sustain coca eradication operations in central and northern Colombia—while sustaining pressure on southern Colombia—the expectation is that some of Colombia’s coca cultivation and cocaine processing would be driven into Ecuador and Venezuela. Colombian traffickers would also be expected to encourage expanded coca cultivation and cocaine production in Peru and Bolivia—two countries that collectively produced about two-thirds of the world’s cocaine base as recently as 1995.

    Recent coca production trends and political developments in Bolivia and Peru that are unrelated to Plan Colombia are troubling. Reporting indicates that Bolivian coca farmers are replanting coca at an alarming rate. This replanting is not surprising, considering that coca leaf prices in Bolivia are at record highs. In addition, increased violence by coca farmers against government eradication forces in the Chapare and Yungas has slowed down the pace of eradication.

    In 2001, the U.S. Government reported the first increase in Peru’s coca cultivation since 1995. Although growth in new coca was limited (some 3,400 hectares), it confirms other disturbing trends. Prices for Peruvian coca leaf have rebounded and some Peruvian coca farmers are replanting previously abandoned fields. If these trends are not reversed, the counterdrug successes achieved in Peru will be increasingly at risk.

    1Cocaine base converts into HCI on a 1:1 ratio. Accordingly, 1 kilogram of cocaine base is required to produce 1 kilogram of finished cocaine HCI.

    This report was prepared by the DEA Intelligence Division, Office of International Intelligence, International Strategic Support Section, South America and Caribbean Unit. This report reflects information received current as of April 9, 2002.

    June 2002

    Recent coca production trends and political developments in Bolivia and Peru that are unrelated to Plan Colombia are troubling. Reporting indicates that Bolivian coca farmers are replanting coca at an alarming rate. This replanting is not surprising, considering that coca leaf prices in Bolivia are at record highs. In addition, increased violence by coca farmers against government eradication forces in the Chapare and Yungas has slowed down the pace of eradication.

    In 2001, the U.S. Government reported the first increase in Peru’s coca cultivation since 1995. Although growth in new coca was limited (some 3,400 hectares), it confirms other disturbing trends. Prices for Peruvian coca leaf have rebounded and some Peruvian coca farmers are replanting previously abandoned fields. If these trends are not reversed, the counterdrug successes achieved in Peru will be increasingly at risk.

    I went to the ‘southern cone’ of Latin America last year and spent some time in Bolivia.

    I met a butterfly collector in a village in the Amazon jungle who agreed to be my guide into regions more remote than petrol could take us. On the first day we set off in a canoe and in the afternoon moored at the river bank and stopped to meet a farmer. He grew lots of fruit (although it hardly need to be culivated), some coffee, sugar cane and loads of ginger. he also cultivated coca between the rows of his main crops. This fed him and his family. His coca output was used to sell at local markets where indegenous people chew leaves like your granny drinks tea.

    A few days later and my guide and I found ourselves crawling through dense tropical vegetatin on hands and knees trying not to be spotted by the guys with machine guns patrolling a ‘farm’. “es muy peligrosso aqui” said my giude. he was right. This crop was bound for La Paz to be processed for foreign markets

    These are two very different uses of the same plant, but one is steeped in tradition and history, and the other was invented by (and now causes untold problems in) western societies.

    Bolivia has recently seen it’s president toppled by strikes, roadblocks etc and the first indigenous president appointed (in a country of majority Quechuan population). This has as much to do with poverty as it did with the right to produce coca: A sacred plant central to many aspects of Andean life, such as weddings, harvest celebrations… not to mention very difficult to live without at 4500m above sea level (one of the effects is increasing lung capacity).

    In the late 80’s the US spent millions paying Bolivian coca farmers not to grow (on their own land). They simply used to money to move to some other piece of land, syndicate and grow more. Now the approach is a military one, resulting in the deaths of many workers that are simply trying to earn enough to live on.

    However, when people were no longer allowed to practise what they believed was thir right, the government finally fell. Perhaps our governments should take heed. With oppresive laws and actions, you may see a statistical decline in something you don’t like for a short time, but you can’t supress people forever.






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