The picture alongside is of indigenous South American women, in their traditional attire, chewing coca leaves. Notice the BIG BAG of these on the woman's lap. Half-a-kilo, for sure.
The poverty-stricken, hard-working peasants of South America have been using coca for millennia. It is completely harmless, completely non-addictive, and a very healthy stimulant – and it enables these poor people to labour hard all day, and to enjoy a little buzz in their heads at the same time. A little joy in a very tough life. A little easing of life’s burdens.
A Czech woman once told me the tale of how she had landed at a high-altitude airfield somewhere in the Peruvian Andes – and immediately fainted because of the low oxygen levels there. She was revived, she said, by sipping tea made with coca leaves. She then proceeded to make a very strong case for the legalisation of coca.
I took cocaine only once in my life – twenty lines of the stuff, ten in each nostril, presented to me by a friend to whom I had confessed, as in the JJ Cale song, that I “gotta try out cocaine.”
Well, I didn’t sleep a wink that night – for it is a stimulant, after all. But I did not waste the trip. I sat alone in a basement and heard Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe over and over again, and again and again. Great night! Incredible music.
But I never felt like trying it again. Though I could easily have done so. Let me tell you why.
You see, I love my work – and, for that very reason, I love my sleep, my daily rest. I like going to bed early, and rising early as well. Therefore, I do not indulge in highs that interfere with my sleep. Not just cocaine – I don’t touch either coffee or tea after 4pm. One night, in Bhubaneshwar, I was taken to one of those new coffee joints by some friends – and I was left tossing and turning the whole night long.
However, some people do need stimulants – at least sometimes. Like performing artistes. Like labourers, too. Do see that great film All That Jazz. Performers use this stimulant - cocaine - just as athletes use steroids. And cocaine is harmless, while steroids and "dope," which athletes regularly use, are very harmful in the long run.
Sometimes, as before examinations, students use stimulants to stay awake and study. Today, they use amphetamines – what they call “speed.” I used speed, too – but only once in my life, before my first year college exams. I have never tried them again.
We need stimulants, too. I need my tea, my coffee, and my tobacco. But I like my sleep – so I prefer a little beer in the evenings. It is a “depressant” – and you get a good night’s rest. You then work well right through the next day.
Now, while coca is all that I have said, it is indeed a very tragic fact that the US State has banned its use – not only within its own territory, but also, through its “aggressive diplomacy,” which is an oxymoron to me, worldwide. There are firebombs being aerially employed by US State aircraft to burn coca fields of poor South American peasants. It’s WAR – for no good cause at all.
Further, and this is even worse, an adulterated form of coca called “crack” – which is highly addictive and extremely harmful – is being used by poor people throughout the USSA.
Coca Cola was originally made with coca – which was also the “pep” in Pepsi. Today, the coca is out – and harmful sugars are in!
Interestingly, the US State also has a very powerful Food & Drug Administration (FDA) that “licenses” all foods and medicines, even, to ensure that they do not damage the health of their citizenry.
And now, there is much talk of “Obamacare” – a “healthcare system” that taxpayers will have to pay for.
Do read this LewRockwell.com article by the "naturopath" Joseph Mercola on the huge health hazards that come with drinking too much of these sugary soft drinks - what Americans call "soda."
The legal "energy drink" Red Bull is very strong caffeine. Very addictive. Kids are drinking it all over the world - with vodka, that too. Horrors!
And coca is a perfectly "healthy stimulant." Non-addictive. Coca has a very long History - which is what the common law people would call "tradition, customs and usage." They would NEVER INTERFERE with such things. And most certainly not in FOREIGN nations.
The Brits never interfered with our ganja, charas and bhang.
There is much "lawlessness" about US interference in world affairs.
I remember an issue of Newsweek I read decades ago in which one particular article was on the US Drug Enforcement Authority. In that, it was mentioned that the then Director of this agency - John Lawn, and I remember that name - had officially commended the then President of Panama, Noriega, for his "co-operation" in his agency's efforts to halt the smuggling of cocaine into the USSA. Some years later, as the world knows, Noriega was toppled by the USSA, arrested, and locked up in an American prison. It emerged that what was really happening was that Noriega was himself the biggest cocaine smuggler - and he would tip off the DEA about the boats of his rivals.
There is also that great Al Pacino film Scarface, in which it becomes obvious that what the DEA pursues - like all bureaus worldwide - are "budgets" and "legislated powers." This is a "mafia" film - and the US has not learnt anything from the Prohibition of alcohol.
These have never worked - see Gujarat, for example, which I toured recently, and on which I have a post on the horrendous effects of prohibition.
Freedom is what works. Freedom comes with responsibility. That is, personal responsibility. The huge fuck-ups happening worldwide are all due to our misplaced faith in "collective responsibility."
Highs are also "knowledge."
And what the hell is "collective knowledge"?
I have learnt all that I have written about from experience - which is "experimentation" - and from many medical books.
Today, IGNORANCE RULES - worldwide.
I am therefore of the firm belief that coca plantations should be the new cash crop in India.
Think of the TOURISM.
Incredible Indyeah - The Place to get HIGH!
Unlike now - when the poor backpacker who seeks a joint to smoke gets the danda from a tax-parasite of a cop.
He then bribes his way out - and never ever returns.
He saves - and goes to Amsterdam!
I call that "Incredibly Stupid India."