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Thoughts On Coca, Cannabis, Opium & Tobacco – Gifts Of The Great Spirit


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Growing Medical Coca Leaf In A Greenhouse

Hi – If you’re interested in growing Coca plants, and suddenly in 2021 many people are realizing they are, and if you enjoy digging around in the past, there is actually lots of long-lost knowledge on Coca Leaf growing and production out there and I’m dedicated to putting it together for you – so let’s take a look!

Shared knowledge is true power

You may already know that Coca was widely grown in glass greenhouses in Europe and Asia in the 1800’s, and there were major outdoor Coca plantations worldwide throughout that century. Every botanical garden in the world displayed the beautiful Coca plant, and botanists everywhere loved it and probed its secrets. Once you review the science from the 1800s its clear – this is not a difficult plant to grow. All that lost knowledge is still out there and my mission is to make it available so that the Coca plant can take its rightful place as a peoples’ medicine alongside Cannabis, Tobacco and someday the Opium Poppy.

If this resonates with your interests, after reading through this post you may also enjoy browsing my ebook “Searching For Mama Coca“. “Searching” is a how-to book full of gifts from the past, with centuries of key knowledge summarized and then hyperlinked to long-lost original sources now digitized and available online. With this guide you can browse the core knowledge for every step of growing and harvesting Coca Leaf and then explore links to the full original sources through the hyperlinked bibliography.


    Ripening Coca Beans – Colombia

 

Coca Starter Beds – Amazonian Peru

There are a lot of myths about how difficult it is to grow Coca outside of certain traditional sweet spots in the Andes. That may have been true before Cannabis growing under lights came of age but it no longer applies – especially to small, boutique or personal crops of Coca.

Science has verified the traditional knowledge that coca plants grown at higher altitudes produce a higher ratio of Cocaine to the other 20+ important Coca alkaloids compared to Coca grown outdoors at sea level or even low altitudes – below 2000′.

But that doesn’t mean that Coca can only be grown successfully in the mountains. Coca has proven to be highly adaptable over thousands of years in human hands. It’s just that Coca’s natural environment, the cradle of its evolution, seems to have been in high Andean valleys, so the plant’s response to clean, intense light is built into its genes – literally.

A classic 1983 Harvard Botanical Museum study says this about Greenhouse Coca:

“Light intensity, humidity and moisture availability may influence profoundly the relative leaf size, form, vein thickness and patterns, as well as stomatal and veinlet terminus numbers in all varieties of cultivated coca. Classical shade-leaf as opposed to sun-leaf structural differences may be found within each variety in relation to microhabitat differences experienced by individual plants and leaves. Humid and shady microhabitat conditions result normally in the development of relatively large, thin leaves with reduced numbers of stomata and veinlet termini per unit area, as well as more slender and less conspicuous veins. Conversely, sunny and drier habitats induce the formation of small and thicker leaves with comparatively more numerous stomata and veinlet termini, and more prominent, thicker veins. Shade-leaf morphology appears not only in South American coca plants grown under shaded conditions, but also in plants of each variety cultivated under glass at temperate latitudes in North America.”

With this in mind, let me introduce you to the Coffee plant – Coca’s remarkably close cousin, or maybe even sister. You don’t hear much about this, but the similarities between Caffeine and Cocaine alkaloids are just the beginning of the incredible Coca-Coffee relationship.

For example, you can’t tell the difference between the Coca and Coffee beans just by looking, and the flowers and leaves are visually almost interchangeable. After a lot of research I’ve concluded that everything important that applies to growing Coffee also applies to growing Coca, and there’s endlessly detailed information about coffee cultivation. Here’s a great website with detailed directions, photos and where to find coffee plants. In reality a simple search will give you dozens of places to buy a wide variety of Coffee plants online. Traditional methods of growing both plants are straightforward and not complex, and anyone who has ever taken a caffeine pill knows without being told that these plants have a lot in common.

There are so many amazing similarities between Coffee and Coca plants, flowers, beans and leaves. In fact the little plants/shrubs/trees are virtually identical to the eye and in their natural chemistry as well.

Coffee plants offer a very useful and completely legal model for Coca cultivation, whether outdoors, indoors under lights, or in a greenhouse. For example, “mountain-grown” coffee has a great reputation and that’s for a good reason. Coffee used to be almost exclusively “shade-grown” a century ago, but along came scientific research and now Coffee bathes in intense mountain light in some of the world’s great coffee-growing regions.

Of course, if the Coca plant could be “shade-grown”, meaning it didn’t need a lot of direct sun and didn’t have to be grown out in the open, the task of Coca cultivators in the Andean nations would be a lot easier. (And it looks like some very clever botanists have figured out how to do just that – or something almost as effective. People are like water – we will find a way.)

Now please check out these two images. One is a handful of Coca seeds in their bean, the other is Coffee seeds in their bean.

                                             Magic COCA Beans

 

                                                       Magic COFFEE Beans

As we go further into it you’ll see that the Coca/Coffee relationship goes far beyond the striking similarity of their seeds, leaves, flowers, alkaloids, and growth habits. Although the societies of the world now treat Coffee as something very familiar and not at all unusual, the fact is that when Coffee first hit the European psyche it had an earth trembling impact on minds and relationships. But that’s another story. The bottom line here is that it looks like pretty much anywhere in the world you can grow good Coffee you can grow good Coca, and that includes outdoor spaces at any altitude and in many different locations, as well as in greenhouses and indoor grow spaces at any altitude with the right kind of lighting.

Still, there is a lot to be said for having a little altitude, which could mean as little as 2-3000 feet depending on the environment. We’ve all heard coffee called Java. That’s because the best coffee in the world in the 1800’s came from Java, and those coffee plantations were right alongside some of the best Coca plantations in the world, also scattered throughout the mountains of Java and elsewhere in the archipelago like Sumatra.

They are still there – wild Coca gone back to nature. Maybe some backpackers are walking right past some rogue Coca bushes right now along an old mountain path in Java. Maybe they will stop and pick a leaf or two for making some fresh Coca tea a little later in the afternoon.  Kinda makes you feel like trekking, doesn’t it? 

Inquiring minds may well ask – who would want to go to the trouble to grow coffee in a greenhouse or in their garden? Well, plenty of people do grow, harvest, roast and brew their own beans from a few Coffee plants, and they talk online about their experiences, but have you ever had a chance to try Coffee Leaf tea? Most of us haven’t, and I don’t see many Coffee growers talking about it either, which is a shame. Talk about a great way to enjoy something very close to growing Coca in your own greenhouse or plant room – harvesting fresh Coffee leaf and brewing a nice cup of Coffee Leaf Tea.  I first experienced Coffee Leaf tea in Puerto Rico in the 1960’s while visiting a coffee and medicinal herb farm in the mountains, and if you can grow it or find it, you’ll enjoy it. 

Even when more good Coca Leaf tea sources develop online there will still be plenty of reason to grow a little Coffee Leaf yourself at home. Who knows, Coffee Leaf tea may become a thing. Cannabis growers may want to start tucking some Coffee plants in among the Girl Scout Cookies and Durban Poison. Practice with Coffee now – grow Coca in a couple of years. I’m hoping to have myself a place soon where I can play with intercropping coffee and cannabis and other interesting combinations.

   Coca seedlings ready to plant out – Colombia

Of course, if you live in a country like Canada or the Netherlands it looks like growing Coca plants is already legal, though with some limitations, so if you’re already be thinking about having a few Coca plants, why not grow Coffee too, alongside your Coca? That could make things really interesting.

Coffee Leaf tea is totally unlike the brew of the roasted Coffee bean, and my research convinces me that it has many of the same benefits as reported for Coca Leaf tea in the medical literature of the 1800’s.  Aside from their very similar principal alkaloids,  Coffee leaf and Coca leaf share many of the same array of beneficial alkaloids and other phytochemical properties.

I’ve always wondered if anyone in the Andes has ever tried drying and roasting Coca seeds just like Coffee beans? Might be an interesting variation on Coca Leaf tea if it hasn’t been tried.

Brewed Roasted Coca Beans. How cool could that be? I sure hope Juan Valdez is listening.

So, maybe it’s time for some Coffee Leaf tea to start floating around the Cannabis ecosystem and maybe Cannabis growers are the ones to make it happen. After all – who wakes up in the morning, stretches, yawns and then heads to the kitchen for a Caffeine pill? It’s the delicious chemistry of the whole Coffee bean that people love, not the caffeine buzz itself, and one of the greatest shames of the “drug wars” is that the world has been denied the benefits and pleasures of whole Coca Leaf (and maybe the Coca Bean) while being force-fed the magic buzz of cocaine. Besides, my own experience is that a double shot of excellent espresso and a nice little line of uncut cocaine have a lot in common – would you maybe agree?

     This Nice Little Coca Tree is good to go!

After all this talk about Coffee, if you’re still reading then Coffee probably interests you. If so, you’ll enjoy this very nicely-done 200 page guide to growing coffee outdoors. The reason I like it so much, other than it being a great grow-book, is that you can pretty much just substitute “Coca” for“Coffee” throughout the Guide. Check out this free downloadable resource.

                                   Traditional Coca Cultivation Is A Family Thing

Lots of people are already growing Coffee plants at home. If you want to check out actual greenhouse coffee growing, which is almost exactly the same process as growing Coca, check this coffee research website.

But back to the first question: why is high altitude always better for Coca?  That’s what all the historical records say, and that’s why all the traditional Cocals are at altitude. Coca plantations in the jungle are only because it

                                  Tossing The Fresh Coca Leaf Harvest

doesn’t matter to the cocaine trade how high quality the leaves are – you can extract the Cocaine from low-quality jungle leaf just the same. But for highest quality leaf – you have to head for the light- or bring it in. 

The secret to high quality Coffee and Coca leaf is in the ultraviolet part of the light, which becomes more intense and dominant the higher the altitude and the closer you are to the equator.

So if you’re growing outdoors, it looks like your sunniest location will be best as long as the mid-day sun isn’t so intense that it burns the young plants after you plant them out. Shade-starting is traditional for both Coca and Coffee plants, and gradual adaptation is used, but when mature both Coca and Coffee love the sun. When you are growing in a greenhouse, with or without light-assistance, you’ll be able to experiment and find just the right balance to use throughout their life cycle. Just like with Cannabis, I’m sure that Coca will respond to grow-lighting in ways that only experience can predict, and I’m also pretty sure that greenhouse and grow-lighting Coca experience is out there – it just isn’t being shared online yet. However my whole point in bringing up Coffee is that it responds exactly like Coca so anyone can get a very good idea of how Coca would do in their outdoor or greenhouse location by planting and raising a few healthy Coffee trees.  Here again is the link to that free, beautifully photographed and very detailed coffee grower’s guide.

As we all know, to grow great Cannabis indoors you use high-intensity grow lights set up to allow you to vary the spectrum. It’s the same with Coca, the Opium Poppy, Coffee and every other treasured plant growing indoors under lights – there is an ideal spectrum for each point in the plant’s life cycle. I’m pretty sure that you could look at solar data for the Coca regions of the Andes and come up with a pretty good idea of a spectrum map for light-assisted Coca. For example, when you look at the bright yellow on this map of Peru above you can tell you’re looking at the solar intensity of the headwaters of the Amazon flowing down into the Amazon basin itself, which is the home of traditional Coca growing. This looks to me like a solar map of Coca’s natural environment – don’t you think? This is one of those areas where growers will gradually accumulate experience and it will become community knowledge.

In another post  I discussed the historical evidence, mostly from the 1800’s, of vigorous efforts to introduce of Coca plantings worldwide, and took note of a number of places where Coca was grown as part of a botanical garden or conservatory display of Andean plant life.

A hundred and fifty years ago Coca was grown in almost every public Botanical Garden facility in the world and in quite a few private indoor gardens as well. Some of the more famous gardens with notable stands of Coca plants (usually with accompanying displays of how Coca is used by those quaint primitive Andean Indians) include; the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London; the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Royal Botanic Garden at Sydney, the Gardens at Versailles, and the Jardim Botanico at Rio de Janeiro.

Another beautiful example of an indoor Coca garden was the one created by Angelo Mariani at his company’s headquarters in France. This crude drawing hardly conveys what history describes as a complex of beautifully designed and innovative greenhouses as well as a production facility for “Vin Mariani” – pretty universally agreed to be the best Coca Wine ever created, although it was actually more of a Coca Tonic than a wine.

CocaGraphic21xIf you want to learn more about the fabulous Angelo Mariani and his empire of Coca wines, tonics and medicines you’ll enjoy exploring the archives of this blog. (It’s in French but easy to translate.)

https://angelomariani.wordpress.com/

All these successful indoor botanical and commercial Coca gardens showed that a modest level of Coca plant production is quite feasible and, once the gardens are well-established, they can be self-sustaining over decades. That makes it pretty easy to see that Coca plants can be successfully grown using modern indoor technologies.

Of course growing Coca plants indoors with the idea of producing Cocaine probably not be anywhere near profitable even if it were to be legal. That leaves markets the question of markets for the whole natural Coca leaf itself, and followers of this blog know that I see many ways that Coca Leaf can be the basis of a wide range of viable natural medicine businesses, as it already is in Peru and Bolivia.

But … now let’s mention the single greatest challenge to indoor Coca growing anywhere outside of Peru, Bolivia and Colombia – and possibly a few other places that remain nameless.

There are two ways to grow Coca plants – from seeds or cuttings. The biggest problem with growing from seed anywhere outside of the immediate area where the seed is harvested is that Coca seeds have a very short natural “shelf life”. The seed is protected by an outer protective fruit which begins decaying rapidly, and once the rot starts it renders the seed inside infertile.

However, I do hear from friends in the UK that growers there and in the Nether;ands seem to be getting good viable Coca seed from Indonesia – probably from somebody who has lifted a few Coca plants from the vicinity of one of the old Belgian, German or Dutch Coca plantations in Java and elsewhere in the Indonesian archipelago. Good work plant hunters! 

As far as I can tell nobody has been successful at removing or slowing the decay (anyone used nitrogen?) of the fruity shell or otherwise making Coca seed viable beyond 2-3 weeks, although a simple, slow air-drying process out of the direct sun seems to have worked very well for old-time growers in Java. Maybe that’s what is happening now.

London – Greenhouse Coca from Java seeds (Mateo)

So even a very modest-scale grower in, for example, the Western US, would have to have a very dependable source of at least several dozen viable seeds from the Andes to get started – no small task, to be sure. Any internet source would have to be carefully evaluated – there is a good chance that it might be either a con or a sting. If you find or know of a trusted source please let me know so I check it out and post a link here.

The better option for many growers may be cuttings although traditional Coca growers use this technique just when they expect to plant only a few crops of Coca in a patch, because Coca plants grown from cuttings are sterile. High-production Cartel Coca plantations don’t care about sterility but traditional growers do.

This ancient knowledge is all covered in the Coca Handbook. Coca growers who plant from cuttings (what a lot of Cannabis growers call “cloning”) simply take a cutting with leaf bud activity but no leaves yet, and plant it in the shade by sticking it into a prepared container or soil bed. Nothing fancy – just good moist soil shaded from direct sun. And it’s easy to get growing plants from cuttings – Coca growers using this technique reportedly have a 75% or greater success rate.  Remember this image from earlier in the post? Those are cloned Coca plants, not from seed. They are all uniform in shape and height, just as they should be.

cocaseedlings02

Coca seedlings ready to plant out in full sun

Getting viable cuttings anywhere outside of Peru/Bolivia is still (3/21) a major obstacle facing anyone thinking of growing a Coca garden because cuttings don’t travel well if they dry out, and ideally they go directly from being cut to the rooting medium anyway. Of course any Andean nation could decide to open up the world to Coca cultivation simply by allowing their traditional Coca growers to supply seed and cuttings to the world market. The impact on GDP would be profound, with great benefits going directly to the traditional growing communities. This would be especially appropriate for Bolivia, where the Coca-growing communities have historically benefited least from the wealth generated by the plant they cultivate.

Another side to the challenge of small-scale Coca growing is that as just mentioned plants from cuttings are sterile (no seeds) so growers will have to get fresh cuttings annually or keep cloning existing plants – which will lead to genetic exhaustion pretty quickly. That means, importantly, that leaf production will fall and ultimately the plants will die off.

So growing a few dozen Coca plants would be no small operation even if Coca plants were suddenly legal. Obtaining high quality seed or cuttings from their source in the Andes in time to get a planting started would still be a challenge, but one that I’ll bet will get solved PDQ the moment it becomes clear that Coca can be grown in the first US state to allow it. 

So who is it going to be? My bet is on Washington, Oregon or Colorado. But there are some mighty fine Coca growing environments in New Mexico, California and Arizona too. But IMO the top place in the US for Coca production would be Puerto Rico!

                              Beautiful Little Mama Coca!

If you want to really dive into Coca science as it existed before the great suppression of knowledge that has accompanied the rise of Pig Pharma and the institutionalization of ‘illegal drugs’ then I have a suggestion for you.

“The Coca Leaf Papers” contains 5 complete full-text, digitized, hyperlinked books from the 1800s (with lots of internal links to digitized archives of earlier Coca books) detailing every aspect of Coca use, preparation and cultivation. If it were printed it would be over 800 pages.

I know that’s information overkill, but if you’re a Coca history fanatic like me then overkill is OK. This is a very easily-navigated eBook and it includes: 

“History of Coca”, Dr. Golden Mortimer, 1901

“A New Form Of Nervous Disease: An Essay On Erythroxylon Coca”, Dr. William Searles, 1884

“Erythroxylon Coca: A Treatise On Brain Exhaustion”, Dr. William Tibbles, 1877

“Coca Erythroxylon: Its Uses In Treatment of Disease”, Angelo Mariani 1885

“Coca – Its Therapeutic Applications”, Angelo Mariani, 1890

Plus a groundbreaking English translation of the detailed inside story on Andean Coca

“Drug Wars & Coca Leaf In Brazil”, Ivan Barreto 2014

DIG IN AND HAVE FUN!

While you’re at it you may want to check out these other detailed Coca Leaf posts here on panaceachronicles.com

The Amazing Healing Power Of Natural Coca Leaf – Could It Be As Important As Aspirin?

https://panaceachronicles.com/2017/02/11/the-amazing-healing-power-of-natural-coca-leaf

Wild & Escaped Coca Species – Not Just In The Andes!

Wild Coca Species Are Broadly Distributed – Not Just In The Andes!

Coca Leaf Tea, CBD, Asthma & COVID 19 – Way Too Simple.

https://panaceachronicles.com/2020/03/02/coca-leaf-cbd-asthma-covid-19/

The Lost Secrets Of Coca Wine – It’s Coming Back In France Today

https://panaceachronicles.com/2017/12/16/lost-secrets-of-coca-leaf-wine/

The Global Potential Of Coca Leaf Cultivation

https://panaceachronicles.com/2014/05/15/the-global-potential-of-coca-leaf-cultivation/

Coca Rico? Puerto Coca? Coca once grew here. It could again.

https://panaceachronicles.com/2018/10/01/coca-rico-post-maria-independence-prosperity/

Can Coca Leaf Provide Therapy For A Compromised Human Gut Microbiome?

https://panaceachronicles.com/2015/03/02/coca-leaf-therapy-for-compromised-human-gut-microbiome/

Coca In Everyday Andean Communities (Great Video!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLapDJabHu8

Natural Medicinal Preparations Of Coca Leaf from the 1800s

https://panaceachronicles.com/2014/03/26/natural-medicinal-preparations-of-coca-leaf/

Could Coca Leaf Be A Potential Treatment For Deadly Forms Of Fatigue?

Coca Leaf As A Potential Treatment For Deadly Forms Of Fatigue

Could Coca Leaf Be A Safe & Effective Treatment For Asthma?

https://panaceachronicles.com/2014/02/17/coca-leaf-as-a-safe-effective-treatment-cure-for-asthma/

Now For Something Special

If you’ve come this far – thanks! This concludes the “greenhouse” part of the post but since you’re here I’m sure you’ll enjoy this last bit. I’ve recently come across a brilliant, passionate piece of writing that makes the case for the liberation of Coca as well as I’ve ever seen it made, and I want to share it with readers of this post.

Here are a few quotes from an essay entitled “The Case for Coca and Cocaine: Bolivia’s March to Economic Freedom”, written by a candidate for a JD law degree named Daniel Tyler Cook. A full-text link is at the end. It was written in 2004 and as far as I can tell, remains buried in the law school archives. It is a brilliant summary of Coca’s place in Bolivia’s culture and economy and a disciplined, passionate argument for the liberation of Coca and Bolivia.

The author begins:

“For centuries, the Bolivian people have engaged in an intimate relationship with coca. Ancient Indian communities cultivated and consumed coca as a part of their cultural lives. Today, at least one million Bolivians still consume coca in some form. Indeed, coca is recognized as the most indispensable of Bolivian crops to its citizens. Coca also constitutes the raw material for cocaine. This fact ignites international concern, principally in the United States. As a result of the international drug trade, coca and its regulation has shaped, and continues to shape, Bolivian foreign affairs and domestic policy.

“The U.S.-led “war on drugs” has primarily targeted the coca growing Andean Nations, including Bolivia. In doing so, the United States targets the supply side of the drug trade, attempting to eradicate drug production in these source countries with the aim of preventing consumption within U.S. borders. While drug use and abuse might justify such policies from a North American perspective, a Bolivian perspective could hardly justify current international coca policies. Rather, such a U.S.-led perspective exposes the inefficacy of current drug policies aimed at Bolivia.

“This Note attempts to provide an assessment of current U.S.-backed drug policies from a Bolivian perspective. Part I traces the history of coca/cocaine production, use, and legislation in Bolivia and in the international community in order to demonstrate the integral role played by the United States in Bolivia’s coca regulatory regime. Part II examines alternatives to current Bolivian drug policies and offers a different approach to coca/cocaine regulation. This approach emphasizes Bolivian interests over the interests of other countries, specifically the United States, by proposing a unilateral approach to drug regulation to benefit and buttress Bolivia’s culture, society, and economy. This Note concludes that Bolivia’s acquiescence to a self-interested U.S. drug policy not only fails to promote Bolivia’s interests, but also causes more harm than it alleviates.

He concludes the essay, many fact-filled pages later, with this:

“Many of the problems associated with the above-mentioned anti-drug policies do not relate to their moral or practical worth. It is reasonable to assume that a nation would pass laws prohibiting or regulating drugs or crops used in producing drugs. Yet, drug prohibition or regulation is not a necessary action by any means. While the United States chooses to wage its war on drugs, it does not follow that Bolivia should do so as well. In light of the Bolivian reality, coca/cocaine prohibition has substantial costs that might outweigh any benefits prohibition fosters.

“Nonetheless, at present, the policy initiatives summarized and critiqued above have failed to provide for Bolivia’s interests. These policies have taken profitable opportunities from Bolivia’s farmers and growers without providing economically viable alternatives to coca. These policies have replaced the coca/cocaine earnings with U.S. economic aid. In essence, Bolivia has moved from living independently to something akin to living on food stamps. It has become a debtor nation by sacrificing its most profitable cash crop, the coca plant. And it has done this at the urging, indeed the coercion, of the United States.

“Bolivia would be better off if it precluded the United States from playing any role in its drug policies. As long as Bolivia is one of the poorest nations in the western hemisphere and the United States the richest, the two nations cannot negotiate freely and equally. As long as this relationship exists, any agreement between the two undoubtedly inculcates U.S. interests over Bolivian interests. While the United States has a drug problem, Bolivia does not. Bolivia’s citizens do not consume drugs at such high rates as do U.S. citizens. Moreover, the United States’ primary cash crop has not been targeted as illicit because of a derivative product banned throughout the world. The two nations stand in remarkably different positions. As such, the two nations are not in any sort of position to engage in bilateral action on an issue that affects each differently.

Now check this conclusion by the author – all I can say is RIGHT ON!

“This Note suggests that Bolivia divorce the United States as a partner in its drug control policies. If done, Bolivia would be free to regulate coca without fretting over foreign aid the United States foists upon it. This loss of income undoubtedly has consequences. Yet, other nations might pick up where American aid leaves off, narrowing some of the gap. Moreover, without intense drug interdiction and enforcement efforts, Bolivia would save money administratively. And, through liberalization of its drug laws, particularly with regard to coca, much of the Bolivian population can return to attainable goals of sustenance without worrying about violating any of a number of drug laws.

“Bolivia might also legalize cocaine as a commodity. While its export would face severe restrictions, legalization might actually have the effect of assisting international drug regulation. In essence, if Bolivian traffickers were forced to procure cocaine through a legal channel, foreign governments could easily locate those people attempting to smuggle drugs across borders. If traffickers were still able to obtain cocaine clandestinely, legalization would most likely have the effect of raising cocaine prices to pay for the intermediary buying the licit drugs to sell to traffickers engaged in the illegal international drug trade. Ultimately, a comprehensive regulatory cocaine regime would create employment opportunities in a legal market, while regulations would keep cocaine from becoming any more dangerous than it already is in a vast, illegal market. Indeed, the violence associated with an illegal drug market would diminish substantially if the illicit market were converted to a licit market.

“In Bolivia’s interest, strict coca regulations would cease, and Bolivians would again be allowed to produce coca to consume and sell on the open market. Confrontations between Bolivian drug police and cocaleros would undoubtedly lessen, limiting dissension and saving lives. With the legalization of cocaine, an illicit market diminishes. The Bolivian government would then assume the power to regulate cocaine production, distribution, and consumption within its borders. The country concomitantly would save needed funding that currently goes to eradication and supply-side reduction efforts that fail to benefit Bolivia’s interests. In the end, Bolivia’s citizens would prevail.

https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1135&context=mjil

University of Minnesota Law School Scholarship Repository, Minnesota Journal of International Law 2004 “The Case for Coca and Cocaine: Bolivia’s March to Economic Freedom”, Daniel Tyler Cook

 


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Does This Seem Familiar?

Do these two 19th Century French aperitif labels remind you of anything familiar?

CocaGraphic15x
Like perhaps beautiful young people dancing among flowers on hillsides singing about  “The Real Thing”?

Happy 2016 – Really


2 Comments

Were All These People Insane, Or Are We Missing Something Important?

MarianiPR1
Angelo Mariani was without doubt the most successful, and probably the most ethical of all of the 19th Century manufacturers of Coca Leaf-based tonics. Unlike most other manufacturers, of which there were hundreds in Europe and the US, he practiced strict quality control, even to the point of developing proprietary Coca plantations in Peru and Bolivia where his proprietary Coca Leaf was grown, harvested, processed and shipped to Europe under carefully controlled conditions.

In contrast most other tonic manufacturers used cheap, dried-out Coca Leaf scrap that was the reject of Coca harvests in Peru and Bolivia – literally the scrapings from the Coca Leaf processing floors in those countries. And reminiscent of the Cocaine trade today these unscrupulous manufacturers didn’t hesitate to adulterate their products with whatever cheap crap they thought they could get away with to bulk out their products.

In addition, the Bordeaux wine that he used as the base and Coca solvent for his tonic was sourced from several prominent French chateau producers, whereas other manufacturers who tried to copy Mariani’s success used the cheapest red swill they could obtain. Again, exactly the kind of behavior we see in 99% of today’s Cocaine (and Heroin) markets.

As a result Mariani’s tonic delivered the same quality medication to patients from one bottle to the next, and it was also pleasant-tasting, and because of these qualities it remained the premium Coca Leaf tonic on the market for decades both in Europe and North America.

Mariani’s attention to detail, and his energetic marketing, primarily through the publication of testimonials from prominent users of his products worldwide, were responsible for his life-long success and should be studied carefully by entrepreneurs in the Medical Marijuana space today.

In this post you’ll get a sense of how doctors and patients of the late 19th Century viewed Vin Mariani tonic. As you read through these excerpts from their correspondence to Mariani you have to ask yourself – were all these people simply idiots, or were they competent physicians and completely sane patients? It follows that if they were neither insane nor idiots, then perhaps the insane idiots are those who stand in the way of sick people having access to pure, natural Coca Leaf remedies today.

These remedies are certainly available (see this post on medicinal tonics being produced in Bolivia today), and given the outstanding economic success of Medical Marijuana in those US states where it is finally legal, you have to ask yourself “What are we waiting for? Why aren’t we growing Coca and producing Coca Leaf medicines in the US today?”

Here are a few of the testimonials from the files of Angelo Mariani:

MarianiDocs
Meulan, March 17, 1874.
I wish to inform you that I have nothing but good results to report in all the cases in which I have employed the Vin Mariani in my practice. Yours, very respectfully,
DR. GASTOK MARCEL


Paris, May 12, 1874.
One of my patients, Lady Superior of a convent in the environs of Paris, affected with a profound anemia, which has resisted all treatment, and which, by the long use of iron and quinine, had become complicated with constipation and gastric disturbance, was relieved of the latter symptoms after twenty days’ treatment with Vin Mariani, and under the influence of this same medicine her anemia gradually lessened, and in the course of three months disappeared.
DR. LAVILLE.

10 Rue Castiglione, Paris.
Obliged by professional duties to be continually near sick people, who often do not leave me time to take my meals, I desired to experiment with Coca as an analeptic. My trials have been with Vin Mariani. and here is what I have found :

A Bordeaux-glass full of this wine has always sufficed to make me forget hunger and to sustain my strength. I felt a slight warmth and general toning up of the body; the digestion of the meal which followed was always more easy than when I had not taken the Mariani Wine, and, although I had not a sensation of voracious hunger as I had without it, I ate very well, the stomach appearing more robust and more active.
DR. CHAPUSOT.

La Porta, February 15, 1877.
Having had such splendid results in my practice with the Vin Mariani since a number of years, I counsel you to have your vrine tried in London and New York, for I am persuaded that in all the great centres, where tlio incessant occupation and the abnormal kind of life led there fatally engender anemia, Vin Mariani is able to render the greatest services.
DR. H. CONNEAU,
Member of The Academie de Médicine, formerly Chief Physician of Napoleon III. , Emperor of the French, Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor.

Paris, December, 15 1876.
Since some time I prescribe to my patients Vin Mariani, and, in the cases of gastric trouble and anemia, I have had nothing but praise for the results obtained.
DR. CABANELLAS.

M. Mariani, Paris : London.
Since using your wine my digestion is splendid and my strength is returning. Respectfully,
DR. DELFER.

Paris, January 25, 1876.
M. Mariani, Paris :
“Ne pigeat ex plebeis sciseltari si quid ad curationem utile,” said Hippocrates (in prœceptis), that is to say, let us not disdain popular remedies. It was with eagerness that I welcomed in my practice the Vin Mariani, based upon Peruvian Coca, a plant so popularly used in its native place. I have proved the efficacy of your preparation, which is at the same time useful and agreeable, in cases of nervous over-excitation with sleeplessness, of uni-lateral headaches, in throat diseases accompanied with pain, in spasms of the stomach with intense thirst, and sometimes in bilious vomiting. By re-establishing the digestive functions, Vin Mariani restores the general strength of the organism, and becomes a tonic without having the inconvenience of other medicaments, called tonics, which produce constipation. As the first of all therapeutical rules is, for me, the one well known since Hippocrates, which has been newly brought forward in our days by Hahnemann, under the formula — Similia similibus curantur, I think that the efficacy of Coca, in the affections I have just enumerated, is due to the application of the homœopathic law; and the well-known fact, that the natives deceive their hunger and; calm the cravings of their stomach by chewing and swallowing a substance which habitually increases the appetite, is a confirmation of my idea.
DR. CONQUERET.

New York, August 16, 1884.
I have prescribed the Mariani Wine extensively during the last year, and with very favorable results. Its tonic and stimulant properties are very marked, particularly as manifested in its action on the nervous and muscular systems. It is well borne by even delicate stomachs. In my experience the weaker and more delicate the subject, the more pronounced its action and the more permanent its effects. While not a universal panacea for all the ills of life, it is a very valuable therapeutic agent, and certainly possesses most of the properties claimed for it.
E. S. BATES, M.D.
161 E. 31st Street, New York.

New York, February 5, 1884.
Dear Sir : — I have examined morphologically your Mariani Wine, and also have tested it on patients, and I can cordially recommend it as being up to its standard, and of utility in cases where wine and Coca are indicated. Yours very truly,
EPHKAIM CUTTER, M.D.

Fayetteville, N. C, February 21, 1884.
Messrs. Mariani & Co., New York,
Dear Sirs : — I find Vin Mariani a most excellent – in fact, an indispensable – remedy in nervous debility. A patient of mine, a constant sufferer in this way, experiences immediate and absolute relief by the use of Mariani’s Wine, while nothing else affords him the least comfort. Your preparation of the diug cannot be too highly recommended.
Yours truly, H. W. LILLY, M.D.

London, November 9, 1882.
M. Mariani :
At the special recommendation of Dr. Lennox Browne, of London, I have tested carefully the Vin Mariani, and I recognize that its splendid effect upon the voice is extremely satisfactory, and almost instantaneous. For over two years I have tried it, ordering it to my pupils, both ladies and gentlemen, whom I had under my care for the development of the voice, and I have invariably remarked that, whenever they had any difficulty in singing or elocution, the Vin Mariani enabled them to continue the lesson, •which, without it, would have been utterly impossible. I have thus every reason to be glad that my attention was called to this remarkable preparation, and am convinced that all artists and orators will welcome it and be happy to adopt it.
PROFESSOR EMIL BEHNKE.

Brevooet House,
Fifth Avenue (near Washington Square),
New York, December 5, 188i
Messrs. Mariani & Co.,
19 E. 16th Street, New York,
Gentlemen : — Madame Valleria has desired me to state that she was greatly benefited by the using of your wine. Dr. Morell Mackenzie, of Harley Street, London, W., some years ago (three or four) recommended Madame Valleria in a similar instance to use your wine, and then, as now, she obtained instant and complete benefit from so doing, and, with compliments, I remain
Your obedient servant, R. H. PERCY HUTCHINSON.

Paris, December 2, 1880.
My Dear Sir: – Well ! yes; know it, and let me write it to you, though I have frequently told it you. Your Vin Mariani is indeed excellent, and equalled by nothing. I drink it, I absorb it, and so also does my family, and we are all deriving so much good from it that I shall never be without it. On my voice it acts like a charm. My friends and brother artists, to whom I have recommended it, drink it regularly and likewise speak in highest terms of the Vin Mariani, and I can only say I advise all artists to give it an experiment, and guarantee they will adopt its use and thank you for it, as I do with all my heart .
MELCHISSÉDEC,
Of the Opera.

Dear M. Mariani : Paris, November 12, 1881.

“Your wine indeed has again saved me! Upon my arrival at the opera and just before the commencement, when I was to sing, I found I had got a severe attack of aphonia, which has disappeared as if by enchantment after I had taken slowly a glassful of your wonderful Vin Mariani. It is to be hoped that all singers will become aware of and utilize the excellent properties of your preparation.

I have tried everything, and never have found anything like it. If the government understood all its duties, it would provide a certain quantity daily for the use of our corps of lyric artists— at all events for all the pupils pf the Conservatory of Music.
Gratefully, I am yours, VICTOR CAPOUL,
Of the Opera,

Fifth Avenue Hotel
Deae Doctor : August 24, 1884
We wish to pay a tribute to the excellence of the Mariani Wine. We invariably use it during our professional labors, and find it very efficient as a tonic which strengthens the vocal organs. We never travel without it, and thank you very much for recommending us to use it. Yours, etc.,
MR. & MRS. W. J. FLORENCE.

No. 21 Fifth Avenue,
New York, December 10, 1883.
Dear Sir: – I have had occasion to speak with many of my brother-artists of the Vin Mariani. Yesterday 1 was suffering with a lowering of the voice and determined to take this wine. Well, I can assure you that it gave me im- mediate relief, and that I shall always make use of this Vin Mariani on all occasions that I have any trouble with my voice. If 1 had a singing school, I should give to my pupils, as a specific for strengthening the vocal cords, this Mariani Wine. Accept my most sincere congratulations, and believe me,
Yours faithfully, GIUSEPPE DEL PUENTE.

220 W. 38th Steeet
March 20th, 1884.
My Dear Sir: – I desire to testify to the excellent effects of the Vin Mariani. Having been for months troubled with nervous prostration, I was delighted to find the wine a most strengthening tonic. It was prescribed for me by my physician. Recommending it heartily to all who all called upon to endure the fatigues of public life, I am, dear sir,
Very sincerely yours, HENRIETTA BEEBE.

New York, July 16, 1884.
Deae Sir :— I have often wished to express to you the wonderful results produced upon my voice by the use of the Vin Mariani, prescribed by my physician eighteen months ago. During my sojourn South I had occasion to use it many times, with marvellous results; when my voice was exhausted from excessive use and so hoarse that not one word out of ten was understood, I would take a sherry glass full of the Vin Mariani and captivate my audience by my full and brilliant voice, really astonishing myself thereby. It certainly is invaluable to vocalists and elocutionists— soothing irritation of the throat, and giving strength and brilliancy to the voice. Feeling deeply grateful, I am,
Most respectfully yours, MARG. BOULIGNY.

Messrs. Maeiani & Co., New York, December 16, 1883.
Gentlemen : — I have used your wine during several years, and have found it excellent. I am well satisfied with it, and cheerfully authorize you to use my name.
Very respectfully, E. FURSCH MADI.

Mariani & Co., Mystic Bridge, Ct., August 12, 1884.
Deae Sirs :— I have taken your Wine of Coca since July 24th, as directed by my physician. I am pleased to write you that I have been greatly benefited by it. My lungs are better, and my general health is in every way improving. I can safely recommend it to my friends as the best tonic I have ever taken. My home physician is so much pleased with the effect of the wine upon me that he has already sent to you for a dozen bottles.
Respectfully yours, FANNIE S. WILLIAMS.

St. James’ Hotel
Mariani & Co., N. Y. City, February 25, 1884.
19 East 16th Street, N. Y. City,
Gentlemen: – For several years I have been using various preparations of Coca, and within the last few months, having had my attention called to your Vin Tonique Mariani, have been using it. I think it by far superior to any that I have yet seen, and I have derived great benefit from its use. Judging it from my own experience, I can and do most heartily recommend it.
Yours, etc., EMORY A. STORRS,
Chicago.

Continental Hotel
Mariani & Co., N. Y., August 25, 1884.
Gentlemen: — It affords me great satisfaction to give you the result of my personal experience in the use of Vin Mariani. For the past three years I have, under the direction of my physician, relied upon it in serious emergencies of illness and overwork. It sustains vitality in conditions of extreme exhaustion, and restores strength more quickly than any other tonic I have used, never causing the least unpleasant reaction.

I have tested it during long journeys, under the pressure of continued physical and mental strain, and have found it unfailing in its good effects. Frequently, when in travelling I have been unable to obtain my regular food, a small quantity of Vin Mariani has afforded me satisfactory nourishment.

I am so convinced of its beneficial nature, that I have induced many of my friends to use it, and their experience coincides with mine.
Respectfully yours, JULIET CORSON.

(The following is from the eminent Professor J. M. Carnochan, M.D., of New York, Professor of Surgery, former Surgeon-in-Chief to the State Emigrants’ Hospital, Health Officer of the Port of New York, and one of the Commissioners of the Health Department of the City of New York, etc.)

M. Mariani, Paris : New Yoek, August 29, 1884.
I have for the last eight or ten years often recommended the Vin Mariani to patients laboring under abnormal conditions of the system, re- quiring a mild tonic and stimulating influence, with marked and excellent results. For convalescents, also, I consider it a very useful remedial agent.
J. M. CARNOCHAN, M.D.

Mr.. A. Mariani, Paris, October 19, 1880.
Dear Sir : — As a rule I object to having my name used as recommending any special preparation of a drug, for this very easily and frequently leads to abuse; but I am willing to make an exception in your case, and to express at your desire, in writing, my opinion of your Wine of Coca – an opinion with which you are personally well acquainted. Since my attention has been called to the good effects of your wine by Drs. Morell Mackenzie and Lennox Browne, of London, I have tried it myself, and have observed its use by Dr. Fauvel, in his clinique and in his private practice. There can be no doubt that, properly used, it is an excellent general tonic; that it has a special beneficial action upon the digestive and respiratory organs, and that, by its stimulation of the nervo-muscular system, it enables persons to undergo physical exertions to which, without it, they would at the time not be equal, and seemingly – certainly so far as I have been able to discover – without consequent reaction of over-fatigue. The latter effect I have particularly observed, as to vocal efforts, in the cases of speakers and singers.
DR. LOUIS ELSBERG, Of New York.

19 Harley Street, Cavendish Square, W.
London, July 6th, 1885
Gentlemen: – I have much pleasure in stating that I have used the Vin Mariani for many years, and consider it a valuable stimulant, particularly serviceable in the case of vocalists.
Yours faithfully,
MORELL MACKENZIE, M.D., London,
Consulting Physician to the Hospital for Diseases of the Throat; late Physician to the London Hospital.

Wiener K. K. Allgem. Krankenhaus
Vienna, July 20th, 1885. f
Messrs. Mariani & Co.
Dear Sirs : — I have used your Vin Mariani for the past three years, and have much pleasure in testifying to its many excellent qualities, combining as it does the well known constitutional effects of Cocaine with that of a mild stimulant exhibited in an acceptable form. Among the conditions in which I have found it of valuable service, I may mention in the debility occurring after prolonged illness – in Oedema of the Larynx accompanying albuminuria, in the slow convalescence after diphtheria, and especially in Graves’ disease, in which latter it not only acts as a cardiac sedative, but also diminishes the accompanying exophthalmos and laryngeal congestion.
I have the honor to be, Yours respectfully,
GEORGE W. MAJOR, B.A., M.D.,

Montreal, Canada.
Professor in Laryngology, McGill University, and Laryngologist and Rhinologist to Montreal General Hospital.
Saratoga Springs, July 20, 1885.
Gentlemen : — I have used the Vin Mariani in my practice quite largely for the last four years with most excellent results, and I consider it greatly superior to any other preparation in the market.
Very truly yours, CLINTON WAGNER, M.D.,

341 5th Avenue, New York.
New York, August 28th, 1883.
Gentlemen : — I have been acquainted with Mariani Wine for a considerable time, and have had occasion to recommend it frequently. I deem it a most excellent adjuvant in the class of cases to which it is recommended, and I hope in the future to still further demonstrate its usefulness.
Very respectfully,
WALTER R. GILLETTE, M.D.,
149 W. 23rd Street.

Utica, New York, July 17th, 1885.
My Dear Sirs : — I have used the Vin Mariani in many cases, and have had considerable experience with it. In my opinion it is the best preparation of Coca attainable, and can be relied upon in many conditions of debility and feeble heart action when this valuable drug is called for.
Very sincerely yours,
EDWIN HUTCHINSON, M.D.

Boston, December 15, 1884.
Messrs. Mariani & Co.: – Enclosed please find amount for two cases Vin Mariani, which please send by Adams’ Express. I use it in my own family. I have been more than pleased with its action, and consider it far ahead of any other preparation of coca, be they wines, fluid extracts, or elixirs. I have tried in my practice no less than six different preparations.
Yours very truly,
CHARLES G. BROOKS, M.D.

Hudson, New York.
Gentlemen : — Your Vin Mariani is giving excellent results. I am well pleased with its effects.
Yours truly,
C. P. COOK, M.D., Health Officer.

New York, June 24th, 1885.
Dear Sirs: — Permit me to say that I am, and have been for years past, using your preparations of Coca, and that I fully endorse all the views that I formerly expressed about them. They are the only preparations of Coca from which I can obtain any medicinal results, and necessarily I use them exclusively, and consider your wine superior to any other makes. Many thanks are due you for your excellent preparations, and I trust others will obtain as good results from them.
Very respectfully yours,
WILLIAM H. MORSE, M.D.,

153 East 77th Street.
Vicksburg, Miss.
Gentlemen : — The “Thé Mariani” is certainly a surprising invigorator. 1 am using it with great satisfaction in debilitated subjects. Were the several fluid extracts and preparations of Coca now on the market of better grade, Coca would hold the place it deserves. Yours is the only preparation I use with confidence. Very respectfully,
H. P. BRISBANE, M.D., Health Ofiicer.

Boston, Mass., October 3rd, 1885.
Dear Sirs: – My first acquaintance with the use of Vin Mariani was made in Paris, France, in the summer of 1880, when my attention was called to it by Dr. J, Marion Sims, who recommended it as a superior tonic for nervous prostration. I have continued to use it and prescribe it ever since with entire satisfaction. I prescribe your Elixir Mariani as a brain food, and as a stimulant to the nervo-muscular system it gives immediate and lasting effect. I also have used your “Thé Mariani” in sweetened milk, and think it excel- lent. I am so convinced of the beneficial effect of these preparations that I hardly know how I could practice without them in such cases.
I am, respectfully yours,
A. W. K. NEWTON, M.D.

Brooklyn, New York, June 23rd, 1885.
Gentlemen: – As regards your preparations of Coca, it gives me pleasure to say that at the present time I can obtain none which is so satisfactory as your Vin Mariani and your Thé. I have always found same uniformly excellent and reliable. My opinion of the value of Coca in general is so well known that I need not express it.
Respectfully yours,
W. S. SEARLE, M.D.
Health Department, Sanitary Bureau,

New York, October 3rd, 1885.
Mariani & Co.
Gentlemen: – I have frequently prescribed your Vin Mariani, and am familiar with its merits. I have, however, never seen any of your other preparations of Coca, and would be indebted to you for samples you so kindly offered. If they are up to the standard of your wine, you deserve to reap great rewards for devising and introducing them.
Very truly yours,
CYRUS EDSON, M.D.

New York, September 14th, 1883.
Dear Sirs: – I have used your Vin Mariani with decided benefits. Of the many preparations of Coca I find the Mariani wine the best, and I have tried many of the others. It produces an immediate tonic effect, and the improvement is lasting. I have ordered it for many of my patients, and it has not disappointed me.
Very truly yours,
S. A. FOSTER, M.D.

Augusta, Ga., January 13th, 1885.
Gentlemen: — I have been prescribing your Vin Mariaiii for some time, and with entire satisfaction. I am just recovering from an attack of diphtheria, which 1 contracted from a patient, and on account of my extreme debility I took your wine and have finished the fourth bottle, and can say I am a new creature since I commenced it, and certainly shall continue taking it for some time. Without doubt it is the greatest tonic ever made, and I am prescribing it every day.
Very truly yours.
E. C. GOODRICH, M.D.

Yonkers, New York, May 6, 1884.
Dear Sirs : — When in Paris I heard of the Vin Mariani, and the good results from using the same, particularly in the treatment of certain obscure nervous diseases. Since my return home I have advised in quite a number of these nervous cases the taking of the Vin Mariani, and with most favorable results. Am pleased to say that the Vin Mariani continues its reputation, and is growing in favor.
Yours respectfully,
GEO. B. UPHAM, M.D.

Amherst, N. H., November 12th, 1884.
Gentlemen: – I had occasion many times to use the Vin Mariani in my practice, and found it the most elegant and efficacious preparation of Coca. It entirely covers and conceals the rather disagreeable taste of the drug, and in my estimation the wine itself is a most happy adjunct to the Coca, in that the alcohol therein contained quickens the absorption of it into the circulation, and, with the essential ether of the wine, adds to the strength-giving properties of the Coca. I consider that the Vin Mariani has saved my wife from sickness, which would have resulted from the breaking down of her nervous system. I have every reason to congratulate myself on the marked effect which the Vin Mariani has upon her. I am glad to recommend it as a superior preparation.
Yours, etc.,
HERBERT D. HICKS, M.D.

From Columbus Medical Journal:
“Cocaine in Headache.”
We received several months ago a supply of the justly celebrated Vin Mariani, with the request that we use it personally for the relief of headache – which is the bane of our life. This wine has for its active ingredient a concentrated extract of the leaves of Erythroxylon Coca – the plant from which the new anӕsthetic is obtained. Each wine-glassful contains the equivalent of about 30 grains of the leaves. Although we have used the Vin only when we felt the attack coming on, it has uniformly aborted the attack promptly and thoroughly. We have used it with others, and with essentially the same success. We have also prescribed it as a tonic in dyspepsia and nervous prostration, and with excellent results.”— J. F. Baldwin, M.D., Editor.