to us, the federal banning of cocaine seems like a quiet event. In history, you simply read about cocaine being deemed illegal and that’s how it stood now for over 100 years. We forget about it and take for granted that cocaine was legal and a part of many formulas.
How did coca cola respond to the attack on their industry? They put up a fight. There are similarities that show up between them and other companies facing illegalization of their product. They put up arguments alleging that their extracts are safe and natural. How long did the debating last?How long did coke hold out for? Was it an easy switch for them to use caffeine extracts instead?
The tobacco industry put up a big fight after several lawsuits in the 1990s. Pseudo ephedrine, or ephedra put up a fight. They all stood their grounds until the judge or 3rd parties said there was an overwhelming amount of evidence proving their extracts were, in fact, harmful.
Meth was made illegal in the late 1990s. Many of the weight loss companies also switched over to caffeine. The il legalization of meth and switch to caffeine seems to have gone rather quietly too. I remember thinking about buying up the last of the Acetobolan while it was still legal. I believe it was being sold on eBay for significantly high prices.
Businesses wage war with each other all the time. Many use other shell companies to cover up their shady dealings. For example, there was this one company owner Dean Milo, who had to use shell companies because the other distributors would not do business with him or at least give him discounts. He created shell companies to hide his activities and the competitors were not able to detect his practices.
What if Coca Cola decided to attack other popular legal drugs in the early 1900s as revenge. A lot of people say that Reefer Madness was the defining media that helped make weed illegal. Who was behind the making of that video? Who wrote and directed and what was their real motivation? Was it an interest group that could have been influenced by Coke? Were they paid in Coke?
A lot of people are motivated by spite. They will cut their noses off to get back at people. I think it’s very possible that some companies wanted to create a clean slate by making marijuana illegal along with the other drugs that were becoming illegal by the FDA.
A lot of drugs that were once legal can get glorified in the media after they are illegal. It depends on the motivation of the people in control of media. The TV series, Breaking Bad, glamorized meth not too long after it became entirely illegal.
During Prohibition in the 1930s, alcohol was glorified by underground activities. But there was no single company that controlled the alcohol trade. Anybody could ferment alcohol with a still and knowledge.
Coca Cola most likely cornered the market on cocaine and had a bigger stake in the plant. The company was more than just sugar and water. They were sugar, water, and cocaine at one point. Then they lost the cocaine and made a very big switch to caffeine. Imagine all the testing they had to do to make their switch. They had to carefully craft their product to keep it as addicting as possible.
I think Coke learned that attacking other drugs may not be a good business practice, if they did. Today, they see most likely the largest funding for the sugar lobby. They don’t want to lose any other ingredients if they don’t have to. As much as sugar is being singled out, Coke can still argue that the corn sugar extracts they use are as healthy as honey.