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View Full Version : How come you never hear of "home grown" cocaine?


KidCharlemagne
03-27-2002, 10:09 AM
I know that cocaine production is much more involved than marijauna but im still surprised ive never heard of US coca growing facilities. I looked it up on the net and saw that it took roughly 250 lbs of coca leaves to make 22 lbs. of cocaine. Im not sure how many coca plants it would take to yield that, but it;s an awful lot of cocaine in any case. The other question is why coca plants arent genetically engineered to produce more alkaloid?

Great Dave
03-27-2002, 10:53 AM
Maybe because it's too hard to recreate the conditions under which coca is grown.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
03-27-2002, 10:55 AM
I doubt this thread will survive long. But, FWIW, I heard somewhere that the seeds keep their viability only for a short while. And they don't grow well in most places...apart from the legal aspects, when's the last time you heard of American cacao or coffee plantations?

zwaldd
03-27-2002, 10:57 AM
Plus you don't get the seeds with your 8 ball. And the Columbian Cartel might cut your thumbs off.

zwaldd
03-27-2002, 10:58 AM
Or is that the Colombian cartel.

Ike Witt
03-27-2002, 11:19 AM
Who needs home grown coca? Methamphetamines are the equivilent of home grown cocaine. Support your local biker gangs and buy American.

KidCharlemagne
03-27-2002, 11:28 AM
First off, I don't see how this thread violates any policies but I could be wrong. It's not like im asking how to setup a facility.
- As far as coffee - it just doesnt have the same profit margins.
I also can't imagine you cant recreate the coca growing conditions in a greenhouse.
- Loved the comment about not getting the seeds with your 8ball - priceless.

meta-x
03-27-2002, 11:53 AM
First of you do need to grow coca plant in your basement. The condition required to grow good coca are hot and dry air. Also, you need to grow quite a few to produce cocaine, you would need quite a big basement. Also, the energy you use to grow such a quantity of coca plant will get noticed as suspicious ( unlike growing a few marijuana plant for you :) ) After you get your plant here's what you do.

(recipe removed - manhattan)

Silentgoldfish
03-27-2002, 12:26 PM
Way to get a potentially interesting thread shut down.

RiverRunner
03-27-2002, 12:36 PM
OK, I'll bite. What's an 8-ball?

RR

Ike Witt
03-27-2002, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by meta-x
First of you do need to grow coca plant in your basement. The condition required to grow good coca are hot and dry air.

I guess that you didn't read your own cite.

Typically, coca thrives in warm, moist valleys between 1500 and 6000 metres above sea level.

A hot, dry basement is not ideal growing conditions for most things, let alone something that is associated with mountain valleys.

zwaldd
03-27-2002, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by RiverRunner
OK, I'll bite. What's an 8-ball?
8-ball...eighth ounce. Typical 'party pack' back in the day - enough to keep four or five friends in bathroom rotation for the night.

Duck Duck Goose
03-27-2002, 02:19 PM
Everything you always wanted to know about growing coca plants, courtesy of the CIA. Your tax dollars at work.
http://cia.gov/saynotodrugs/cocaine_q.html

To address the OP: it's a bush, you can't really grow it in your basement as it's too big and needs too much light and if you use halogens, they're a dead giveaway to local law enforcement (same as with marijuana), it takes a long time (months) to grow before you can start picking leaves, and then it takes a LOT of leaves (i.e. a lot of bushes) to get anything like usable quantities of cocaine. Then it has to be processed before you can market it, unlike marijuana, which is immediately usable.

Coca leaves are a Schedule II Controlled Substance, same as cocaine, codeine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and opium extracts and tinctures.
http://deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/listby_sched/sched2.htm

Marijuana is a Schedule I Controlled Substance, same as PCP, Ecstasy, mescaline, peyote, and morphine and heroin.
http://deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/listby_sched/sched1.htm

And the DOJ would like to point out:
Please note that a substance need not be listed as a controlled substance to be treated as a Schedule I substance for criminal prosecution.

As for why coca plants haven't been genetically engineered to produce more alkaloid, well, it generally takes a big gentech corporation like Monsanto or somebody, to get behind a program of genetic engineering, and I'd have to wonder if they'd be able to get much R & D funding for coca. :D

As for why the Ecuadorians and Colombians and Peruvians don't select for "more alkaloid", well, why should they? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If they did come up with a coca variety that produced alkaloid the way a corn plant produces fructose, they'd flood the market with cheap cocaine, profits would plummet, and they'd be out of a job and back to growing coffee for Folger's. They're not stupid.

astro
03-27-2002, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by KidCharlemagne
I know that cocaine production is much more involved than marijauna but im still surprised ive never heard of US coca growing facilities. I looked it up on the net and saw that it took roughly 250 lbs of coca leaves to make 22 lbs. of cocaine. Im not sure how many coca plants it would take to yield that, but it;s an awful lot of cocaine in any case. The other question is why coca plants arent genetically engineered to produce more alkaloid?

Your leaf to cocaine source is wrong, the ratio is closer to 1000 lbs of coca leaf to about 2 lbs of cocaine and the intermediate processing steps are potentially hazardous and involve noxious and dangerous solvents and related chemicals. This (in addition to the other difficulties mentioned by other posters) might change the economic feasability of the cost/benefit ratio for most people who want to "grow their own."

wring
03-27-2002, 03:03 PM
homework assignment:

Gather up enough little leaves to make what you think would equal a pound.

weigh it.

Gather up more leaves (since you most likely underestimated by quite a bit)

multiply the amount of space you need by 1000.

imagine trying to conceal that.

It'd be similar to attempting to shoplift a grand piano by sticking it in your pants pocket, I suspect.

chula
03-27-2002, 03:07 PM
As I learned on another thread, cocaine is legally produced in the United States from imported coca leaves. Apparently it's OK for big US corporations to profit from the plant but not South American peasants. So why wouldn't Monsanto get in on the action?

"The Legal Importation of Cocaine" (http://uic.edu/classes/osci/osci590/9_3%20The%20Legal%20Importation%20of%20Coca%20Leaf.htm)

A good article from the Guardian on cocaine (http://mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n1536/a12.html)

chula
03-27-2002, 03:08 PM
As I learned on another thread, cocaine is legally produced in the United States from imported coca leaves. Apparently it's OK for big US corporations to profit from the plant but not South American peasants. So why wouldn't Monsanto get in on the action?

"The Legal Importation of the Coca Leaf" (http://uic.edu/classes/osci/osci590/9_3%20The%20Legal%20Importation%20of%20Coca%20Leaf.htm)

A good article from the Guardian on cocaine (http://mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n1536/a12.html)

Great Dave
03-27-2002, 03:21 PM
DDG said-
Coca leaves are a Schedule II Controlled Substance, same as cocaine, codeine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and opium extracts and tinctures.

Coca tea, too?

Jimbrowski
03-27-2002, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by wring
It'd be similar to attempting to shoplift a grand piano by sticking it in your pants pocket, I suspect.

I am terribly, terribly ashamed for what I am about to do, but I am unable to stop myself. Please get me help.


"Is that a grand piano in your pocket, or ...?"

"Nope, just glad to see you."

Robb
03-27-2002, 04:10 PM
Jimbrowski, you've just changed what it means "to tickle the ivories".
I don't think that we can help you.

Mad Matt
03-27-2002, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by Jimbrowski


I am terribly, terribly ashamed for what I am about to do, but I am unable to stop myself. Please get me help.


"Is that a grand piano in your pocket, or ...?"

"Nope, just glad to see you."

Er... was that a pianist joke?

manhattan
03-27-2002, 05:03 PM
meta-x, the name of this site notwithstanding, we are not a drug site.

And we do not condone instructions on how to break the law. You know this; you agreed to cooperate when you registered.

You are not to post instructions on how to break the law again.

Mangetout
03-27-2002, 06:07 PM
I'm definitely not suggesting that anyone should do it, but I don't think coca plants would stand out in the same way that cannabis does; cannabis is a very distinctive (and attractive, IMHO) plant; coca, on the other hand is a pretty nondescript evergreen bush - if the local conditions were right, I reckon it would never be noticed in a garden shrub border or even as a hedge.

The processing is probably the stumbling block I'd say; from what I have read, you'd have to be mad to muck about with the chemicals needed to process the stuff.

handy
03-27-2002, 06:12 PM
Who says it's NOT being done? If anyone was growing that stuff in the US, they wouldn't come out & say so. Frankly, I think that as they have said before, its too much work. As a landscaper, I don't see why it cannot be grown in the US.

DPWhite
03-27-2002, 06:44 PM
There is at least one pharmacuetical company in the U.S. that makes pure cocaine for surgical use. One use I know of is to shrink sinuses for surgeries involving sinuses. It's use is highly restrictive. I think Cecil had a column on it once.

Tuckerfan
03-27-2002, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by javaman
I doubt this thread will survive long. But, FWIW, I heard somewhere that the seeds keep their viability only for a short while. And they don't grow well in most places...apart from the legal aspects, when's the last time you heard of American cacao or coffee plantations?

Hey javaman aren't there (or at least used to be) coffee plantations in Hawaii? Also, I think that in some cases in Colombia they intermix the cocoa plants with coffee plants to throw off the Federales. So you might be able to grow it in Hawaii and probably places in California, but it'd probably be hard to keep it from being spotted rightaway, whereas in South America, there's plenty of isolated locations one can grow the stuff and not have to worry too much about it being spotted before harvest time.

Duck Duck Goose
03-27-2002, 08:55 PM
Originally posted by Great Dave
Coca tea, too?
Well, I'm assuming that if it's a drug offense to possess coca leaves, then it's probably a drug offense to use them to make coca tea.

sirkle
03-27-2002, 11:23 PM
Is cocaine legal in Colombia?

Badtz Maru
03-28-2002, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by zwaldd

8-ball...eighth ounce. Typical 'party pack' back in the day - enough to keep four or five friends in bathroom rotation for the night.

Still typical as of about 3 years ago. How much did one cost back 'in the day'?

chula
03-28-2002, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by sirkle
Is cocaine legal in Colombia? No. The cultivation of the coca leaf was made illegal in Colombia in 1947. Cocaine (though not necessarily the leaf) was banned internationally by the 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psycotropic Substances. Coca, but not cocaine, is legal in Bolivia.

choosybeggar
03-28-2002, 06:14 AM
Originally posted by KidCharlemagne
I know that cocaine production is much more involved than marijauna but im still surprised ive never heard of US coca growing facilities. I looked it up on the net and saw that it took roughly 250 lbs of coca leaves to make 22 lbs. of cocaine. Im not sure how many coca plants it would take to yield that, but it;s an awful lot of cocaine in any case. The other question is why coca plants arent genetically engineered to produce more alkaloid?

"Clean that mess up else we'll all end up in jail.
The test tubes and the scale,
Just get it on out of here.

Get along, get along Kid Charlemagne."

KidCharlemagne
03-28-2002, 06:21 AM
Beggar,
Nothing brings a smile to my face quicker than someone who gets the name reference. :)

red_dragon60
03-28-2002, 07:21 AM
Something you have to think about is the relative prices. If you can earn 2$ a day by growing coffee and 4$ for growing coca, you grow the coca. However, look at how little you're earning! The reason they grow it is because it is the best-priced crop in that region. Growing makes tiny amounts of money. The big bucks go to the people who refine it.

Also, if you are planning on refining it, you might want to take out a life insurance policy. I can assure you that the chemicals you use will catch on fire, and are very explosive. Something to think about: 55-gallon drums filled with ether.

Mangetout
03-28-2002, 07:32 AM
This is the longest-lived thread of this type that I've ever seen.

Ike Witt
03-28-2002, 07:51 AM
Coca is also legal in Peru. In fact it is a tradition to be given a cup of coca tea by your host (or hotel) upon arrival in Cuzco. You can also go to the market and buy a large bag of coca leaves for really, really cheap and it includes a lump of something to use with the leaves while chewing to get the maximum effect.

zwaldd
03-28-2002, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by Badtz Maru
Still typical as of about 3 years ago. How much did one cost back 'in the day'?
$250, give or take. 'The day' being mid 80's.

meta-x
03-28-2002, 11:33 AM
I feel i should apologize to you guy... i went a little far with my little recipe. hopefully, manhattan was kind enough just to chop a part of my message instead of shutting this thread down ... ouf.

To to go forward with this question :D Here's a little tough of mine. Those who actually control the cocain cartel take a lot of risk getting the cocaine in other country. Obviously they must already be searching way to produce it where they sell it. I guess this would be less risky. Those guy are after profit, so i think that the reason is mainly cost effectiveness. Does anyone know how much can cost all the greenhouse material needed for such massive production. Then we could compare this with relative cost of delivering the substance to verify if its indeed a cost question.

Duck Duck Goose
03-28-2002, 12:49 PM
Does anyone know how much can cost all the greenhouse material needed for such massive production.

It's a question not only of cost-effectiveness, but of simple logistics.

According to the CIA, (http://cia.gov/saynotodrugs/cocaine_l.html) a typical coca farm in Bolivia will be 2 to 4 hectares (5 to 10 acres) but the individual fields will be much smaller, and the size of a typical family coca field is 1 hectare in size--a hectare is the area of a square measuring 100 meters on a side, or about 2.5 acres.

So let's talk about 1 hectare of coca plants.
Coca plants are generally planted in rows about one meter apart, but the space between plants can be much more or less depending on the type of coca plant. There is an average of about 45,000 plants per hectare in Bolivia and an average of about 25,000 plants per hectare in Peru.

So, where are you going to put 25,000 coca plants? In a greenhouse? You'll need a really big greenhouse. Quite a few greenhouses, in fact.

The biggest greenhouse these folks offer is 30 feet by 96 feet, or 2880 square feet, priced at between about $8,000 and $10,000 per greenhouse, although they do run specials sometimes.

http://growitgreenhouses.com/commercial/commpages/30x96_1.html
http://growitgreenhouses.com/commercial/commpages/30x96_2.html

If it won't cause all the anal-retentive Dopers out there to shriek in unspeakable agony, I will seat-of-the-pants assume that a meter is about a yard, or 3 feet, and that a hectare is therefore a square measuring 300 feet by 300 feet, which is 90,000 square feet. To provide 90,000 square feet of greenhouse space, you're going to need 31 maximum-size, professional-type 30' x 96' greenhouses. If you can get them on sale for $5,000, that's going to run you $155,000, and that's not including heating costs. Coca is not frost-tolerant at all, so if you're growing your coca anywhere besides Central Florida or Southern California, you're going to need a serious professional-type heating system.

You're going to need potting soil, fertilizer, pesticide, etc. I'm not even going to try to price that out.

And here's the biggest problem: where in the world, literally, are you going to hide something like 30 or 40 greenhouses full of coca plants? The neighbors will want to know what you're growing in there, and I doubt whether you can persuade them that it's "hybrid poinsettias".

So assuming that you buy a remote estate somewhere in Idaho, and manage to set up your 30 or 40 greenhouses, and miraculously nobody notices, what do you have for your money? Once your bushes are mature enough that you can start harvesting, if you're working alone, you'll be basically spending all your waking hours picking leaves.
It can take up to almost 300 man days to harvest one hectare-or about 2.5 acres-of coca bushes. That's the equivalent of 300 men working one day or 1 man working for 300 days.
Depending on where the coca bush is grown and the type of bush, dried leaf amounts vary from less than 1 metric ton (about nine-tenths of a US ton or 2,200 US pounds) to nearly 3 metric tons per hectare.
And finally, what do you have, for all your investment, not to mention the grunt labor of picking leaves?
Depending on the country where grown, coca leaves from a 1 hectare field can be processed into 4.0 to 7.4 kilograms (about 8.8 to 16.25 pounds) of cocaine.
Gee, five whole keys of coke. :rolleyes: I doubt if the Cartel would be terribly worried about the competition, but I know the DEA would be mighty interested.

And remember, if you go to jail, the Feds get to keep all your nice greenhouses, not to mention the estate in Idaho. :D

Badtz Maru
03-28-2002, 11:22 PM
Originally posted by zwaldd

$250, give or take. 'The day' being mid 80's.

Not that much more expensive...up until 1999 or so I had seen it go for everything from $120 to $200 for an 8, usually somewhere between $140 and $160. At least one thing is cheaper now than in the 80s...

KidCharlemagne
03-29-2002, 08:41 AM
Duck Duck,
Im not sure about your numbers but im assuming that's a pretty huge operation - like cartel size. Someone said you need 1000 lbs of coca leaves to make 2 lbs of cocaine. Id be curious to know how many coca plants you;d need to yield that. And what the growing time on a tree to produce x amount of leaves be.

astro
03-29-2002, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by KidCharlemagne
Duck Duck,
Im not sure about your numbers but im assuming that's a pretty huge operation - like cartel size. Someone said you need 1000 lbs of coca leaves to make 2 lbs of cocaine. Id be curious to know how many coca plants you;d need to yield that. And what the growing time on a tree to produce x amount of leaves be.

Here is the source

1000-2 is the conservative range -1000-3 is the less coinservative range.

United Nations General Assembly
Special Session on the World Drug Problem (http://un.org/ga/20special/presskit/pubinfo/info2.htm)

New York, 8-10 June 1998 - KEY STATISTICS: ILLICIT DRUG PRODUCTION, TRAFFICKING AND CONSUMPTION - A. Production

Applying the most conservative conversion ratios (coca leaf to cocaine), at least 800 tons of cocaine were produced out of the 1997 coca-leaf harvest; applying a slightly less cautious overall conversion ratio of 1000:3 (which is easy for cocaine manufacturers to reach), the estimated amount of illicit coca-leaf production for 1997 would have yielded about 1,000 tons of cocaine. With seizures of around 300 tons of cocaine per annum (1995-96), 500-700 tons of cocaine may have thus been available for consumption. Seizures of coca leaf of 700 tons per annum (1995-96), equivalent to 2.1 tons of cocaine, are almost negligible quantities and do not change the overall picture. The same is true for domestic consumption of coca leaf which is largely covered by traditional coca-leaf production

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