The Real Real Thing

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Yesterday Evo Morales, who promises to legalize coca production (though not the cocaine trade), won Bolivia's presidential election. It's not clear exactly how the coca will be sold, but maybe Bolivia will compete with Colombia, which is already offering a coca-based soft drink.

Notice how the Coca-Cola spokeswoman tells A.P. "cocaine has never been an ingredient" in the company's product. That's true in the sense that the original formula did not include cocaine per se. But like Coca Sek, it did include coca leaf extract, which in turn contains cocaine.

[Thanks to sage for the Coca Sek link.]

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  1. When I was traveling in Bolivia a few years back, coca leaf tea was widely available at local bodegas. I enjoyed drinking it.

  2. Coca Cola saying that there was never any cocaine in their “soft” drink is like Bill Clinton debating the meaning of “is.” The weasel-worders will squirm any which way to assert that black is white.

    It’s so tiresome. Can’t we start giving these guys the hook?

  3. No no no, officer. That’s not cannabis. It’s just a leaf that CONTAINS cannabis. Can I go now?

  4. Look for Redbull to start lobbying the US government to ban the possession of this soft drink.

  5. Look for Redbull to start lobbying the US government to ban the possession of this soft drink.

  6. (vigorously rubs coca leaf against back gums)
    (looks up)
    “What?”

  7. When I was in northern Chile earlier this year coca tea was also available in roadside stores. It’s recommended as a way of fighting altitude sickness. It certainly wasn’t an under the table sort of thing.

  8. Let’s focus on the real problem: The corn syrup.

  9. “When I was traveling in Bolivia a few years back, coca leaf tea was widely available at local bodegas. I enjoyed drinking it.”

    Well, well, well, Mr. Bailey, that’s quite the little confession. Under my proposed anti-drug tourism legislation that would be punishable by quite a few years in federal prison. Too bad those damn liberal activist framers of the Constitution banned ex post facto laws. Oh, well, Alito will fix that once he’s on the bench.

  10. Another Castroita comes to power in Latin America. Lets hope he is not as adept at crushing opposition as his role models in Cuba and Venezuela, but you can be sure that his goal, like theirs, is to be Jefe-for-Life.

  11. Curtidor says the drink also is a political statement against transnational companies such as the Coca-Cola Co., which “symbolizes imperialist domination.”

    Who knew? …I wonder what the Hamburgler symbolizes?

  12. . Yesterday Evo Morales, who promises to legalize coca production (though not the cocaine trade)

    What sort of half-assed nonsense is that? A legal cocaine trade could make Bolivia the garden spot of the western hemisphere. But this is just another designed-for-failure fiasco. The illegal cocaine trade will claim an even larger share of the economy but with none of the benefits of a taxed and regulated one. Crime, violence, possibly civil-war will be the inevitable result. Expect a great big “I told you so” from the drug warriors.

  13. Another Castroita comes to power in Latin America. Lets hope he is not as adept at crushing opposition as his role models in Cuba and Venezuela, but you can be sure that his goal, like theirs, is to be Jefe-for-Life.

    Wanna bet that Daniel Ortega will be making a political comeback in a year’s time?

  14. thoreau,

    Enough with the friggin’ corn syrup already! We get it!

  15. Sorry, joe, but corn syrup is officially a Hit and Run “in joke”. It’s an in joke because if I went to some other forum and said “I have corn syrup and I’m not afraid to use it” nobody would have any clue what I’m talking about.

  16. I don’t get it but I do agree. Keep the tin-foil hat references coming, please. Those just crack me up.

  17. “maybe Bolivia will compete with Colombia, which is already offering a coca-based soft drink.”

    A cola-based soft drink with coca extract in it?

    It’ll never fly.

  18. I thought it was more of a gibe than an in-joke.

  19. “Enough with the friggin’ corn syrup already! We get it!”

    Careful, joe. That bottle of corn syrup is likely to go off if you get to loud around it.

  20. Warren: You’re right. Columbia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia would get far more benefits from legalizing the coca trade than from any amount of “foreign aid” they would lose from throwing out U.S. drug warriors.

  21. Damn what a catch-22 for libertarians. Hurray! A world leader who flat out opposes the drug war and will defy america! Finally!

    Oh crap, he’s an avowed marxist who admires Castro and Huge Chavez, and will almost certainly bring about the same lethal level of poverty and oppression in his country, just like the heroes he admires. Dammit.

    nmg

  22. Notice how the Coca-Cola spokeswoman tells A.P. “cocaine has never been an ingredient” in the company’s product.

    Yes, and Bayer never sold Heroin either.

  23. Yes, and Bayer never sold Heroin either.

    Aspirin can be rough on your stomach.

  24. Don’t test me, mediageek.

    I can fight like a giraffe.

  25. “Enough with the friggin’ corn syrup already! We get it!”

    Why do you hate corn syrup, joe?

  26. Ron,
    It’s not just the tax income, it’s the defunding of organized crime and communist guerrillas. An opportunity to establish a rule law that is just not possible where much of the population depends on illegal trade directly and all are complacent.

    The biggest obstacle is not the loss of US “foreign aid” (scare quotes yours). It’s US military retaliation. Traditionally US taxpayer financed covert operations, (often extra-legally) I wouldn’t put it past W to declare cocaine a weapon of mass destruction and send in the marines. That is if there’s any left once he pulls them out of Iraq.

  27. It’s not just the tax income, it’s the defunding of organized crime and communist guerrillas.

    Twenty bucks says that in a year the same “organized crime” and “guerrilla” types will be doing pretty much what they do now, only they will be doing it under an end-of-the-drug-war “amnesty” and sharing revenue via taxes with the new Big Jefe. The (former) guerrillas will also act as local enforcers and secret police for the new totalitarian in the Presidential Palace.

    Exactly how this will be an improvement, I’m not sure.

  28. That’s a very interesting prediction, R C. Sadly, you might be right.

    Would we invade a South American country that was openly allied with drug smugglers?

  29. That’s a very interesting prediction, R C. Sadly, you might be right.

    Would we invade a South American country that was openly allied with drug smugglers?

  30. “I can fight like a giraffe.”

    Aroo?

    I am now thoroughly confused, as giraffes are generally docile creatures.

    Hippos and water bison on the other hand…

  31. RC sez:

    “Twenty bucks says that in a year the same “organized crime” and “guerrilla” types will be doing pretty much what they do now, only they will be doing it under an end-of-the-drug-war “amnesty” and sharing revenue via taxes with the new Big Jefe. The (former) guerrillas will also act as local enforcers and secret police for the new totalitarian in the Presidential Palace.

    Exactly how this will be an improvement, I’m not sure.”

    Well, I’m sure it will be an improvement for Bolivians.

    But I think you’re right – the prohibition in the US will provide all the black market dynamic necessary to keep the cocaine trade very violent and profitable. Maybe less so in Bolivia.

  32. “I am now thoroughly confused, as giraffes are generally docile creatures.”

    Yes, exactly.

    (It’s an old joke. You had to be there.)

  33. fights like a giraffe

    Also:

    Oh crap, he’s an avowed marxist who admires Castro and Huge Chavez, and will almost certainly bring about the same lethal level of poverty and oppression in his country, just like the heroes he admires. Dammit.

    Another Castroita comes to power in Latin America. Lets hope he is not as adept at crushing opposition as his role models in Cuba and Venezuela, but you can be sure that his goal, like theirs, is to be Jefe-for-Life.

    Kerry would be worse?

  34. Ultimate, ultimate origin of: fights like a giraffe

  35. “[i]”Twenty bucks says that in a year the same “organized crime” and “guerrilla” types will be doing pretty much what they do now, only they will be doing it under an end-of-the-drug-war “amnesty” and sharing revenue via taxes with the new Big Jefe. The (former) guerrillas will also act as local enforcers and secret police for the new totalitarian in the Presidential Palace.

    Exactly how this will be an improvement, I’m not sure.”

    Well, I’m sure it will be an improvement for Bolivians.

    But I think you’re right – the prohibition in the US will provide all the black market dynamic necessary to keep the cocaine trade very violent and profitable. Maybe less so in Bolivia. [/i]”

    Coca has many uses, not just cocaine and is already legal to grow and use in the Chapare region of Bolivia. There is no insurgent movement in Bolivia at this time and not much organized crime beyond what the government has been doing for the past few hundred years. Look ar Morales and the Bolivians who voted for him from their perspective — they are told all these crony capitalist policies that have done nothing to improve the place are free-market capitalism recommended by the US and the IMF — who would you vote for? I’d vote for Evo Morales — good luck to him…

  36. “Twenty bucks says that in a year the same “organized crime” and “guerrilla” types will be doing pretty much what they do now, only they will be doing it under an end-of-the-drug-war “amnesty” and sharing revenue via taxes with the new Big Jefe. The (former) guerrillas will also act as local enforcers and secret police for the new totalitarian in the Presidential Palace.

    Exactly how this will be an improvement, I’m not sure.”

    Well, I’m sure it will be an improvement for Bolivians.

    But I think you’re right – the prohibition in the US will provide all the black market dynamic necessary to keep the cocaine trade very violent and profitable. Maybe less so in Bolivia.

    Coca has many uses, not just cocaine and is already legal to grow and use in the Chapare region of Bolivia. There is no insurgent movement in Bolivia at this time and not much organized crime beyond what the government has been doing for the past few hundred years. Look ar Morales and the Bolivians who voted for him from their perspective — they are told all these crony capitalist policies that have done nothing to improve the place are free-market capitalism recommended by the US and the IMF — who would you vote for? I’d vote for Evo Morales — good luck to him…

  37. thoreau,

    Like all three of your jokes its become repetitive and boring.

  38. But constantly reminding us that Hak has the biggest balls of all? That’s not annoying in the least.

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