The Physics
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Mass of US Cocaine Consumption

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Joyce H. Lowinson, Pedro Ruiz, Robert B. Millman, John G. Langrod, editors. Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, Third Edition.Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1997. "To supply the annual demand for cocaine in the United States would take a plantation covering 300 square miles; three Boeing 747 cargo planes could carry the year's supply" 330 metric tons/year
Boeing 747 - Then versus now. Boeing. Maximum Payload/Range
244,000 lb (109,800 kg)
5,000 miles (8,000 km)
Nadelson, Carol C. Encyclopedia of Psychological Disorders: Psychological Effect of Cocaine and Crack Addiction.Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999. "Each year, the government estimates, over 300 tons of cocaine are smuggled into the country. Even more disturbing is that in each year since 1991, cocaine and crack use has risen." 300 metric tons/year
What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs 1988-1998. Report from the ONDCP. December 2000. "According to the data for the 1988 to 1998 period, cocaine users consumed somewhere between 270 and 400 metric tons of pure cocaine each year." 270-400 metric tons/year
Washington, Arnold M. & Donna Boundy. Cocaine and Crack, What You Need to Know. United States: Enslow Publishers, Inc. 1989. 100 metric tons/year
Antidrug idea: more tests in US. Miami Herald. (28 November 2002). "The United States, the largest drug consuming country in the world, consumes about 350 tons of cocaine a year, more than a third of the world's overall consumption." 350 metric tons/year.

Blow, coke, dust, snow and nose candy are all street names for the extremely dangerous and addictive drug -- cocaine. Cocaine is extracted from the coca plant which grows mostly in the Andes Mountains of South America, Bolivia, Columbia and Peru. Pure cocaine, the white powdered substance which is illegal today, is derived from chemically processing raw coca leaves. Powdered cocaine is snorted through the nose, and crack (a more addictive and smokeable type of cocaine) is smoked through a water pipe.

Cocaine and crack are stimulants which increase a person's heart rate, blood pressure and other body activities. Cocaine produces a sense of euphoria, which is soon after followed by a "crash" which makes the person feel lousy and craving more coke to get their high back.

This drug's uses were first discovered when the Indians of Peru and other South American countries chewed the leaves of the coca plant or made tea from them, as early as 3000 BCE The plant and its effects were used mostly for spiritual ceremonies and rituals, believing that the coca plant was a gift from God for the people to enjoy. During the last 19th century and early 20th century, cocaine was legal and hailed as a miracle drug by names such as Sigmund Freud, Pope Leo XIII, Jules Verne and Thomas Edison. It was sold in drug stores to cure headaches, toothaches and to relieve stress. At one time, companies such as Coca-Cola put cocaine in their products to get the user happy and wanting to buy their product again. Coca-Cola later eliminated the cocaine and replaced it with caffeine, another stimulant. Cocaine use is illegal today, but still high in demand.

Americans in particular use and abuse cocaine more than any other country in the world. Hundreds of tons of cocaine are consumed each year by Americans alone. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, there are about 4.0 to 4.5 million hardcore cocaine users in the United States.

Joshua Schaikowitz -- 2003