Much like cancer drugs in one way or another affects all individuals even though some individuals argues that some drug should be legalized while others should not. Individuals in society all function as whole in various issues such as paying taxes and voting. In the United States there is a new trend which can be traced back in 1965’s and it still to be dominant in the market even today. It is the issue to with cocaine which was first introduced for medicinal purposes and later proved to be addicting and ruined many people’s lives. The coca plant is native to Central and South America that is where it is planted and harvested. When products from the coca plant were first introduced, it seemed like great medicine that was helping out many individuals. As it became more used, it proved to only have negative effects and became a schedule one drug and thus it raised many concerns to point that this whole issue remains an argumentative topic in the United States. This and other drugs have made the War on drugs to become a prime focus in American society where it thought to have increased arrests rates significantly. Cocaine is still well known in the United States today and remains a big challenge to the whole nation and thus as other want it should be legalized. It is readily available and is often used in the clubbing and party culture. How the history of cocaine production and exportation affect has today’s ‘War on Drugs’ society in the United States? The flow of cocaine into the United States which started in the 1960’s has taken part in creating the ‘War on Drugs’ and effects today’s society, especially on college campuses.
Cocaine, or many would call it the “wonder drug”, has a long history with humans. From the 17th century when cocaine was legal around the world, and was used in many things including alcoholic drinks and most importantly the famous drink Coca-Cola. Cocaine has a long history as it began with the Andes in Southern America for thousands of years just like any other drug used legally today until 1859 when chemist Albert Niemen discovered the powdered form of cocaine then scientists started exploring the drug in depth (Fukumi,112) The drug gives the users an intense highness which makes them feel like they are on top of the world for a short period of time then has really bad effects on the person as it leads to severe depression and craving for more of the drug and this one of the reasons it should be allowed to be used in the society. Although, some individuals claims that it may be applied to cure many things including headaches and migraines and this is a belief that was even there in the late 1800s. This idea about cocaine being used as treatment can be traced back in 1885 where the coca leaf which is the is the main ingredient in cocaine was introduced in a French coca-wine by John Pemberton. In response to the prohibition that happened that year, Pemberton introduced Coca-Cola in 1886 which is a non-alcoholic drink that had a mix of both of the famous coca leaf and the cola plant which had caffeine in it and it was presented by the company as the cure of many diseases like headaches, migraines, and erectile dysfunction (Modzelewski, et al.89). This argument although may after all be wrong as the drug for many years have proofed to have many bad side effects on users as it lead to addiction among users making them to want more drug. Ultimately, Coca-Cola decided to stop using the coca leaf in 1903 as they realized the drug was not good at all for human consumption and even today it still harmful. After that era of people using cocaine for almost 7 years, people started using cocaine in the beginning of the 1900s recreationally and that was the up rise of the cocaine in its powdered form and it became illegal in the 1920s and therefore the calls to legalize it should be all ignored.
In addition, after it became illegally people that used the drug recreationally. They needed to get the drug as they were getting addicted to it and that was when the cocaine trade started between the two Americas. The drug lords and cartel started showing up, and the struggle was to keep the drug out of the United States to protect the borders. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug as it gives the user a rush that couldn’t be found with any different drug and it made users feel like they were on top of the world (McCoy,67). However, users could not deal with the side effects after the getting highly energized from cocaine and had to deal with that depression and the need of more cocaine so that feeling would continue all the time. With the rise of users and publicity that the drug was getting and advertised and used by many people around the United States, people were working behind the scenes in the black markets on getting the drugs in the country and out to the users. With the incredible rise of user’s, crime rates went up significantly and contributed to change many things in today’s society as it led to criminal gangs not just in the United States, but all over the world. The rise of cocaine usage from mid-1900’s till today changed the world and led to many issues that the world is still dealing with nowadays and this one of many reasons why cocaine should be declared also an enemy to the prosperity of human kind.
Furthermore, the fight on all drugs which began around in the late 1980s in the United States as result of many deaths that were caused by the white powder known as Cocaine or popularly known as “wonder drug” . The “wonder drug” was killing over 5000 people a year and that number has drastically increased even though it is still illegal and thus one may how the number may be if they are legalized. The role of government is to stop the casualties led by the drug. Cocaine affect people’s physical health and also affects people’s mental health as it would take a happy normal person and it would put the person in deep depression after the insane high leading to people stealing and killing for more of the white substance. I believe the government be encouraged in order to be determined in stopping the cartels from bringing in the drugs even though they face many challenges from people who are in high power in both Southern and Central America. In fact, around eighty percent of the cocaine that comes in the United States mostly comes from the Medellin cartel in Colombia which is led by famous drug lords. These cartels expands and kills everyone who comes in their way in order to ensure their business are not stopped and is ongoing as they make not only million by selling the wonder drug, but billions a year which even exceeded some countries’ economy (Yur’yev & Evaristo, 167). Drugs are let in by the cartels either from the Southern United States border from Mexico or by plane from Southern American countries. At this point, many individuals are being thrown in jail for smuggling drugs or distributing the drug in the United States. The money coming from the business is at high rates and attracts many poor people from Southern America to smuggle it without even thinking about that consequences but thinking about the money that would come from the illegal trade. In today’s society, cocaine is indeed one of the most abused drugs in many places especially college campuses as the rates of deaths are rising every year and it all contributed from late 1800s cocaine use in addition to the black market booming and starting cartels and making drug lords. Today, cocaine is looked at as the “party” drug as some teenagers and young adults use it on weekends and sometimes even every day. It is leading to serious issues from families being torn apart to teenagers committing suicide or dealing with serious mental illnesses if not death and it thus causing a big challenge to the American society.
Even though, the usage of cocaine has decreased over the last couple decades, research shows an increase recently on college campuses. Many colleges and universities are known for their crazy party culture and this is a worrying situation as these students are the future generation of a nation. It is shown on the media often such as movies, news, books and social media. Cocaine use is highest among the population of college students in the U.S. In 2014, for instant 4.4% of college students reported using cocaine on a regular basis and thus this is not new at all (Starks, 137). Although usage of cocaine in the general population has dropped in college, campuses have remained the number one hotspot for cocaine usage for decades. For instant in the 1970’s, cocaine reentered into the United States society with a new label; “a rich man’s drug”. At this time cocaine was expensive and usually only found in elite groups. At the time, usually only the wealthier people attended college, where cocaine was readily available among the upper class students. Not only was it able to keep you partying all night, but also a sign of social status. It was used for a number of other reasons as well such as a “combination of stress, reduced supervision, and easier access combined with the impulsivity of a not fully mature brain.” However, the use of cocaine over the years has been a become a causal act for many, because it is so easily accessed and addictive.
In general cocaine as a drug has an extensive history and is globalized and thus it can be connected to almost any topic. The two that were the most involved in the history of cocaine are Humans and the Environment as well as “our shrinking world.” The cocaine trend connects to Humans and the Environment because the coca plant is mass produced in the jungles and rainforests in central and South America. It takes up space to have a coca plant farm and is usually necessary to cut down a large portion of the forests. This really negatively impacts the surrounding ecosystem because it takes away many animals habitats and kills many of the plant life. Not only do they cut down the forests but officers and sometimes even farmers will burn their crop after finding it or trying to hide it away from the authorities. This sometimes causes entire forests to catch on fire which kills off even more of the wildlife. The wildlife that is getting killed off is often already endangered, yet humans continue this horrible cycle. It also connects to “our shrinking world” because it is produced and then exported to almost every country in the world (Palamar, et.al.67). The mass majority of cocaine production takes place in the Central and South America region, and is taken into many countries. The cocaine powder itself is produced in almost every country as well but Columbia still leads in producing the most cocaine. The cartel then transports the cocaine into other countries. Some are closer such as Mexico, while other stretch all the way across the Atlantic Ocean likes Europe. Cocaine’s long journey increases prices and makes more money for the drug cartels (Paoli,98). The more cocaine goes out, the more money comes in. Since the drug is so addictive, it’s always in demand. Cocaine is everywhere and it’s here to stay and according to individuals supporting the legalizing of it in society the they think the government is losing a lot of money bearing in mind the drug would vanish easily as it is everywhere.
In conclusion, the call of legalization of cocaine should be part of our society agendas since the rise of the wonder drug that comes from the famous coca leaf in the 1800s has led to many problems that everything individual is facing in today’s world. In fact, the coca leaf might have many positive effects on people and in the medical field as many argues but with the young adults abusing it, it has led to a serious problem today that may difficult to control in future. Governments all over the world are trying to fight it with educating teenagers about cocaine and teaching them about the negative effects of it and how the boom of the usage of cocaine led to many casualties that we are trying to avoid today and thus campaigns against this call should not be given any priority in this world. Drug cartels do not care about people’s lives, the more cocaine that they produce, and the more money that they make which leads to everyone wondering what if they never existed and what if the leaf was never introduced to the world and was just used in the medical field only. Finally, in think in order to fight the wonder drug we have to learn about the history and roots of the issue and fight it together.
Fukumi, Sayaka. Cocaine trafficking in Latin America: EU and US policy responses. Routledge, 2016.
McCoy, Alfred W. “The politics of heroin: Cia complicity in the global drug trade, afghanistan, southeast asia, central america.” (2003).
Modzelewski, Katherine L., et al. “Active Cocaine Use Does Not Increase the Likelihood of Hyperglycemic Crisis.” Journal of Clinical & Translational Endocrinology (2017).
Palamar, Joseph J., et al. “Powder cocaine and crack use in the United States: An examination of risk for arrest and socioeconomic disparities in use.” Drug and alcohol dependence 149 (2015): 108-116.
Paoli, Letizia, Victoria A. Greenfield, and Loes Kersten. “The Harms of Cocaine Trafficking in the Netherlands and Belgium: Policy Insights from Comparative Assessment.” (2015).
Starks, Michael. Cocaine Fiends and Reefer Madness: An Illustrated History of Drugs in the Movies 1894-1978. Ronin Publishing, 2015.
Yur’yev, Andriy, and Evaristo Akerele. “Socio-demographic characteristics of individuals with history of crack cocaine use in the US general population.” Community mental health journal 52.8 (2016): 1043-1046.