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Drugs and ThugsThe History and Future of America's War on Drugs$
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Russell Crandall

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300240344

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300240344.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

Cocaine

Cocaine

A Simple Little Leaf with a Complicated History

Chapter:
(p.41) 3 Cocaine
Source:
Drugs and Thugs
Author(s):

Russell Crandall

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300240344.003.0004

This chapter describes cocaine as the second most consumed illicit drug in the United States, causing more than five hundred thousand emergency room visits annually. It covers informed estimates that place the valuation of the American cocaine market at over $70 billion a year, a number on par with the annual take of Google and double that of Goldman Sachs. It also explains that cocaine is produced from the leaves of the coca plant and considered one of the first plants domesticated in the Americas as archeological evidence of coca chewing in the Andes suggests that the practice goes back at least as far as 3000 B.C.E. The chapter mentions that the Incan civilization in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries used coca leaves in religious ceremonies throughout its empire, which roughly comprised present-day Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. It elaborates how coca remains a fundamental element of Andean indigenous peoples' lives.

Keywords:   illicit drug, American cocaine market, coca plant, Incan civilization, coca leaves

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