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Why We Took Cocaine Out of Coca-Cola

new jersey pemberton ecgonine alkaloid merchandise no. 5

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#1 Hum

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 17:15

When cocaine and alcohol meet inside a person, they create a third unique drug called cocaethylene. Cocaethylene works like cocaine, but with more euphoria.

So in 1863, when Parisian chemist Angelo Mariani combined coca and wine and started selling it, a butterfly did flap its wings. His Vin Marian became extremely popular. Jules Verne, Alexander Dumas, and Arthur Conan Doyle were among literary figures said to have used it, and the chief rabbi of France said, "Praise be to Mariani's wine!"

Pope Leo XIII reportedly carried a flask of it regularly and gave Mariani a medal.

Seeing this commercial success, Dr. John Stith Pemberton in Atlanta -- himself a morphine addict following an injury in the Civil War -- set out to make his own version. He called it Pemberton's French Wine Coca and marketed it as a panacea. Among many fantastic claims, he called it "a most wonderful invigorator of sexual organs."

But as Pemberton's business started to take off, a prohibition was passed in his county in Georgia (a local one that predated the 18th Amendment by 34 years). Soon French Wine Coca was illegal -- because of the alcohol, not the cocaine.

Pemberton remained a step ahead, though. He replaced the wine in the formula with (healthier?) sugar syrup. His new product debuted in 1886: "Coca-Cola: The temperance drink."

After that, as Grace Elizabeth Hale recounted recently in the The New York Times, Coca-Cola "quickly caught on as an 'intellectual beverage' among well-off whites." But when the company started selling it in bottles in 1899, minorities who couldn't get into the segregated soda fountains suddenly had access to it.

Hale explains:

Anyone with a nickel, black or white, could now drink the cocaine-infused beverage. Middle-class whites worried that soft drinks were contributing to what they saw as exploding cocaine use among African-Americans. Southern newspapers reported that "negro cocaine fiends" were raping white women, the police powerless to stop them. By 1903, [then-manager of Coca-Cola Asa Griggs] Candler had bowed to white fears (and a wave of anti-narcotics legislation), removing the cocaine and adding more sugar and caffeine.

Hale's account of the role of racism and social injustice in Coca-Cola's removal of coca is corroborated by the attitudes that the shaped subsequent U.S. cocaine regulation movement. Cocaine wasn't even illegal until 1914 -- 11 years after Coca-Cola's change -- but a massive surge in cocaine use was at its peak at the turn of the century. Recreational use increased five-fold in a period of less than two decades. During that time, racially oriented arguments about rape and other violence, and social effects more so than physical health concerns, came to shape the discussion. The same hypersexuality that was touted as a selling point during the short-lived glory days of Vin Mariani was now a crux of cocaine's bigoted indictment. U.S. State Department official Dr. Hamilton Wright said in 1910, "The use of cocaine by the negroes of the South is one of the most elusive and troublesome questions which confront the enforcement of the law ... often the direct incentive to the crime of rape by the negroes." Dr. Edward Williams described in the Medical Standard in 1914, "The negro who has become a cocaine-doper is a constant menace to his community. His whole nature is changed for the worse ... timid negroes develop a degree of 'Dutch courage' which is sometimes almost incredible."

Yes, even the Dutch were not spared from the racism.

The Coca-Cola we know today still contains coca -- but the ecgonine alkaloid is removed from it. Perfecting that extraction took until 1929, so before that there were still trace amounts of coca's psychoactive elements in Coca-Cola. As Dominic Streatfield describes in Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography, the extraction is now done at a New Jersey chemical processing facility by a company called Stepan. In 2003, Stepan imported 175,000 kilograms of coca for Coca-Cola. That's enough to make more than $200 million worth of cocaine. They refer to the coca leaf extract simply as "Merchandise No. 5."

The facility is guarded. :huh:

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#2 Original Poster

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 22:50

coke is good... made me fat... gave me withdrawal symptons when i stopped drinking 3 liters a day... never got mentally addicted to it though ... only physically so it was easy to cut the habit just 3 days of headaches and mood swings

#3 1941

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 22:53

Pepsi-Pepsi-Pepsi

#4 Perfect72

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 23:56

Ahh, that last part explains why the Coca-Cola company is still and only company in America that is legally allowed to import cocaine. I knew it!

#5 1941

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 23:59

So if it were not for a few racists we all would be addicted to cocaine. :woot:

#6 OP Hum

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 00:00

... the extraction is now done at a New Jersey chemical processing facility by a company called Stepan. In 2003, Stepan imported 175,000 kilograms of coca for Coca-Cola. That's enough to make more than $200 million worth of cocaine.


So where does this 'extracted' cocaine go ... ? Do they sell it on the streets or flush it into the ocean ? :huh:

#7 n_K

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 00:01

Ahh, that last part explains why the Coca-Cola company is still and only company in America that is legally allowed to import cocaine. I knew it!

Erm, no? Other companies do otherwise where do you think the opiate based medication comes from? You need a license to import it and numerous companies have said license.

#8 1941

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 00:01

Some Cartel gets it. :rofl:

#9 Perfect72

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 00:06

Erm, no? Other companies do otherwise where do you think the opiate based medication comes from? You need a license to import it and numerous companies have said license.


Erm, no?

In the United States, the Stepan Company is the only manufacturing plant authorized by the Federal Government to import and process the coca plant,[42] which it obtains mainly from Peru and, to a lesser extent, Bolivia. Besides producing the coca flavoring agent for Coca-Cola, the Stepan Company extracts cocaine from the coca leaves, which it sells to Mallinckrodt, a St. Louis, Missouri, pharmaceutical manufacturer that is the only company in the United States licensed to purify cocaine for medicinal use.


I was mistaken thinking it was Coca-Cola themselves. But, it still stands; only that one company is allowed to import coca into the United States.

#10 Draken

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 00:07

hmmm everyone must note that there's a huge difference between cocaine and coca, cocaine is only 5% coca and 95% poisonous chemicals. The use of "cocaine" in that context is absolutely wrong!!

#11 n_K

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 00:13

Erm, no?

I was mistaken thinking it was Coca-Cola themselves. But, it still stands, only that one company is allowed to import coca into the United States.

http://en.wikipedia....ocal_anesthetic
Cocaine has since been largely replaced in Western medicine by synthetic local anesthetics such as benzocaine, proparacaine, lignocaine/xylocaine/lidocaine, and tetracaine though it remains available for use if specified.
And you can't just magic it, you have to get it from somewhere, so it IS still imported to other companies legally.

#12 streetw0lf

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 00:23

http://en.wikipedia..../Stepan_Company

#13 Draken

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 00:36

http://en.wikipedia..../Stepan_Company


"while the cocaine is sold to Mallinckrodt, a pharmaceutical firm, for medicinal purposes" I can't even imagine the purity :o, damn! oops that sounded like I'm a coke fiend :rofl:

#14 ShawnB

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 00:39

Mallinckrodt Pharma makes Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Oxycontin, and acetaminophen (Tylenol) among other things. They also import opium from India.

#15 redvamp128

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 00:43

... the extraction is now done at a New Jersey chemical processing facility by a company called Stepan. In 2003, Stepan imported 175,000 kilograms of coca for Coca-Cola. That's enough to make more than $200 million worth of cocaine.


So where does this 'extracted' cocaine go ... ? Do they sell it on the streets or flush it into the ocean ? :huh:


The cocaine is never processed to that point at that plant from what I understand when I went on a tour at Coca-Cola World in Atlanta a few years ago.
Someone asked the same question and that was their answer where then they were told the partially processed coca is then sent to pharmacological companies.

Heck back in that day people used all sorts of things in their medicine.



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