One of the most widely used illegal drugs in the United States is cocaine, and like many other drugs, it comes from a plant that has been used for thousands of years in other parts of the world. Cocaine comes from the coca leaf, a plant that has a long history in spiritual rituals. It used to be that in the Andean Indian culture, the coca plant was linked to a sacred goddess. These cultures believed that they had to please the coca goddess in order to have a successful harvest. The leaves of the coca plant were chewed or smoked to help these natives connect with spiritual beings, as well as provide magical protection and powers. Coca leaves were chewed only by the leaders or royalty. Over time lower classes were encouraged to chew the leaves to experience the benefits. Over the course of the next several years the American majority became more and more aware of the dangers of cocaine. As this problem got eventually so bad it came to no choice but to ban the social use of cocaine. This public pressure forced Pemberton to remove cocaine from Coca Cola in 1903. Eventually the public pressure became so great as to place a national prohibition on cocaine and in 1920 cocaine was added to the list of narcotics to be outlawed by the passing of The Dangerous Drug Act of 1920. Unfortunately with other drugs like heroin, the dangers of cocaine abuse were recognized by law makers after the fact. The market for cocaine had already been established into American history and culture and is with us today.
Cocaine has had a rocky history in the United States. There has been much controversy about the connection between the United States government and cocaine dealers. There have been articles and books written about the CIA working with cocaine dealers to help win the war on communism. Others argue that the aggressive role the U.S. government played in banning the drug actually led to the smuggling of it into our country.
In fact, it was the negative side effects of...
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