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Coca Leaves


Here’s something which is far from from extinct, but which many people work hard to eradicate.

Cocaine leaves

A tremendous amount of time, energy, and money is spent waging a war on drugs that can never be won.

Should we lighten up or crack down?

Prohibition, extermination and control seem to be ineffective on the object of aversion.

Instead we stoke what we would quell and deplete what we would conserve.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Bodger permalink
    30/07/2009 9:51 am

    Might as well ‘bring it into the fold’ and commercialise it (within a regulatory framework) like cigarettes or alcohol.

    At least people using it would have better idea of quality – and perhaps education could work differently.

  2. 30/07/2009 12:09 pm

    We only pay attention to the subjects which got
    sensational value.
    Some years ago I made a jam of Belladonna berry
    which grown 2m big bush on the road side of London.
    Nobody gave a damn to such plant. (Though, I haven’t got an opportunity to victimise anybody yet. Pity 😦

  3. 31/07/2009 3:10 pm

    The National Museum of Hospital and Pharmaceutical History is proud to offer this artifact a permanent home in it’s collection. It is quite an engaging historical representation of the crude material from which one of the earlier anesthetics was derived. Cocaine was an especially useful anesthetic in ophthalmic surgeries, as a drop onto the eye effected a complete cessation of all sensation, allowing for the development of intricate surgeries that would otherwise have been quite impossible. The NMHPH is delighted to have the opportunity to engage in the Manchester Museums object deaccession program! The object will most likely be integrated into a diorama representing an early apothecary shop, or an exhibit specifically chronicling the development of anesthesia.

    • Tom Stephenson permalink
      31/07/2009 9:14 pm

      I’d be proud to offer this collection a (semi) permanent place in my home too – coca is lovely, but not too good as a long-term recreational – unless the party is really boring – and that’s why I stopped using it quite a while ago.

      As far as anesthetics are concerned, and correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there a world shortage of clinical opiates right now? Wouldn’t it make more sense to pay farmers in Afghanistan to grow poppies under license for export to – even – Bayers, or some other multi-national, rather than torching their crops and trying to get them to grow carrots, or whatever? Most of the young people I know are disenchanted with coke as a drug of choice, so the war against it is more ideological amongst the middle-class kids. Crack is another matter…

      Hugo, what do you think?

  4. 31/07/2009 3:27 pm

    *Addendum to previous comment: If the transport of regulated plant materials is of concern, the NMHPH allows that the Manchester Museum might wish to compost the leaves (which, by the Hermits own admission are far from extinct) and offer only the jar and label, which we will gratefully accept, and fortify with aesthetically similar inert plant material at the time of exhibition.

  5. Leander permalink
    07/10/2009 11:43 am

    The Collections Development Panel, along with the director and the artist, discussed the Coca leaves at a meeting on 3rd September

    The blog responses and discussions were summarised as
    “This had a similar proposal to the orchid, and a similar response. This is made more difficult by being covered by the Museum’s drugs license so we cannot simply dispose of them.”

    The group suggest that we retain as public interest best served by use in the museum.

    The decision was to retain

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