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She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie
November 28, 2006 6:36 AM   Subscribe

Cocaine: Ever wonder how it's made? Matthew Bristow, a journalist working in Columbia produced two fascinating videos (1 | 2) that detail the job of several actual Columbian producers, without delving too far into the chemistry nonsense: from harmless leaf to unprocessed brick to that familiar white powder. [via]
posted by jckll (30 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bristow's blog itself is also quite fascinating. He has an interview with Gary Becker, Nobel Prize-winning economist, about the war on drugs, and with growers in the Macarena National Park who are being stiffed by the FARC.

He describes the sixteen strategems for trafficking cocaine used by the Cali cartel (including "cocaine that rains from heaven," and "in frozen lobsters").

Also, videos of Columbian police/paramilitary working in the Coca fields, destroying 700 kilos of cocaine and 8.5 tons of cocaine, an interview with the Commander of Columbia's Pacific Coast Guard about stopping sea traffickers and a video of US planes spraying pesticide over Coca fields.
posted by jckll at 6:37 AM on November 28, 2006


I seem to recall an incredible National Geographic article showing how cocaine is produced back in the mid-late 80's. The photos were, unsurprisingly, stunning.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:44 AM on November 28, 2006


Great post, cklennon, really really great post. I think, no, man, I KNOW, I just fucking KNOW that this is the BEST post I have read all day, no in my whole life. I mean, like, shit! This post is so fucking awesome and I would like to read it again and again, man, the links are all, like, SHIT! Man, the links are AWESOME and you're awesome. You're a WILD man, man, a fucking totally awesome wild man, and your post is so great and I just wanted to say that. Fucking awesome.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:56 AM on November 28, 2006 [13 favorites]


National Geographic. I saw this multimedia presentation thing on NG's website but decided not to include it. It's probably not the same article that you're talking about, but interesting nonetheless.

On preview, Cookiebastard: ?
posted by jckll at 6:59 AM on November 28, 2006


I do like it. Sorry, I just got a bit carried away. Must be too much, uh, caffeine. Yeah.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:03 AM on November 28, 2006


Nice post, thanks for this.
posted by dead_ at 7:03 AM on November 28, 2006


Interesting, but doesn't the blow come from Colombia? Columbia is that river in the PNW.
posted by birdherder at 7:12 AM on November 28, 2006


I seem to recall an incredible National Geographic article showing how cocaine is produced back in the mid-late 80's.

I seem to recall in that period that High Times used to publish cocaine centrefold spreads.

Then Len Bias died and they went all puritanical about powders and pills.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:58 AM on November 28, 2006


Remember to recrystallize the 2-carbomethoxytropinone before converting to methylecgonine.

Nonsense indeed!
posted by prostyle at 7:59 AM on November 28, 2006


Got no wife but the white be my girlfriend
posted by Rubbstone at 8:11 AM on November 28, 2006


I imagine the US planes are probably spraying herbicide on the coca plants rather than pesticide.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 8:13 AM on November 28, 2006


Cake Gawker jpg.
posted by jchgf at 8:23 AM on November 28, 2006


Ooops. Cake Gawker jpg, take 2.
posted by jchgf at 8:25 AM on November 28, 2006


Interesting, but doesn't the blow come from Colombia? Columbia is that river in the PNW.

Another reason to move to Portland, see...
posted by cortex at 8:29 AM on November 28, 2006


Flagged as fantastic. Those videos were really fascinating and this post was very well put together.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:45 AM on November 28, 2006


Great post indeed, though I couldn't view the second video without "signing up," which I didn't feel like doing.

On preview, Cookiebastard: ?

Heh. I take it you've never gotten a midnight call from a friend who just did some coke.
posted by languagehat at 8:48 AM on November 28, 2006


"Ohmygod, dude, coke is AWESOME! I had no idea! I mean, I mean, seriously, this is just great! I feel GREAT!

Hey, you should come over!"

posted by cortex at 9:02 AM on November 28, 2006


He has an interview with Gary Becker, Nobel Prize-winning economist, about the war on drugs, and with growers in the Macarena National Park who are being stiffed by the FARC.

I suspect that those guys in FARC have started breaking Biggie's Crack Commandment Number Four: Never get high on your own supply.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:27 AM on November 28, 2006


I don't remember the last time I tried coke. But I remember the first time I turned it down, and I haven't touched it since.

I remember how good it felt to say no, regardless of the cheeze factor my concert companions claimed or the ripping off Nancy Reagan's byline.

Either way, I had no idea about the use of gasonline in production. Same with the amonia, and sulphuric acid. Yikes.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 9:41 AM on November 28, 2006


Jupiter Jones:
I imagine the US planes are probably spraying herbicide on the coca plants rather than pesticide.

...indeed they are...

:S
posted by jckll at 9:55 AM on November 28, 2006


birdherder writes "Interesting, but doesn't the blow come from Colombia? Columbia is that river in the PNW."


Dude, your spelling got PNW3D.
posted by stet at 10:07 AM on November 28, 2006


What is recycled gasoline? Can I buy that in the US? Is it cheaper than the gasoline I am buying for my Honda? Will my car run as good on it?
posted by thilmony at 11:34 AM on November 28, 2006


So. I take it smoking at work is a big "no-no".

No wonder it costs so much. 30lbs of raw coca plus a days labor for two guys and you barely get a Kilo of coke. I have new found respect for the work ethic of the coke producer.
posted by tkchrist at 11:46 AM on November 28, 2006


What is recycled gasoline? Will my car run as good on it?

After it's filtered through coca leaves? Don't know about the car but I bet you would run gang busters. Then explode.
posted by tkchrist at 11:48 AM on November 28, 2006



I imagine the US planes are probably spraying herbicide on the coca plants rather than pesticide.


That's insane, why would they want to harm such a valuable cash crop? It's better than tobacco. They're just getting rid of the bugs.
posted by IronLizard at 1:53 PM on November 28, 2006


You guys should stop eating most of what you can pick up at the supermarket if this turns your stomach...
posted by i_cola at 4:20 PM on November 28, 2006


I don't know how they make it, but it sure does smell good!
posted by Pollomacho at 6:03 PM on November 28, 2006


"familiar white powder."

Oh, is it now.
posted by oxford blue at 6:20 PM on November 28, 2006


Cocaine submarines.
posted by asok at 6:27 AM on November 29, 2006


asok:
One of the interviews I linked to in my first response has a short segment about a much less sophisticated, partially submersible cocaine submarine used by smugglers in Colombia as well. Thanks for your links.
posted by jckll at 7:04 AM on November 29, 2006


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