Cocaine, one of the most addictive drugs known to man other than heroin. It wrecks people’s lives and families every day. Cocaine is not grown in the United States, so how does the drug get into our country?
What Does Cocaine Do To You?
Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that comes in the form of a white powder. It is snorted, injected, or smoked (crack cocaine) to produce an intense euphoric feeling in the user. Once ingested the user experiences increased alertness, a rapid heartbeat, restlessness, increased body temperature, pupil dilation, decreased appetite, and extreme talkativeness.
Where Does Cocaine Come From?
Cocaine comes from the cocoa plant, and the cocoa plant is mainly grown in Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia. From there it is manufactured in clandestine labs by mixing it with several different chemicals. The vast majority of cocaine is grown, extracted, and processed in South America close to the Andes mountains. Here it can be grown naturally and in sufficient quantities to produce mass amounts of the drug. Colombia and Peru produce the most cocaine, with Bolivia being not far behind them in production. The cocoa plants are grown, refined, and processed in areas that are protected like national parks, native reserves, and areas along the border. Here there isn’t a risk of aerial spraying which would kill off the crops. Once cocaine is made it is distributed using a complex chain that involves different groups.
How Does Cocaine Get Into The United States?
Growers of cocoa plants sell the leaves or paste to laboratories. It is then processed in these clandestine labs and given to traffickers. The traffickers either smuggle or sell the drug to big organizations that then arrange for it to be shipped to other countries. This is often done through cartels. The drug is circulated in Central and South America and then smuggled into Mexico or sometimes through the Caribbean. Most of the cocaine comes into the US, but some go to Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. About 90% of the cocaine that comes into the United States comes through Mexico via the border in Texas. Some of it also comes through Arizona and California, although it is a much smaller amount. Once the drug gets into the country, it is distributed to wholesale dealers to sell. It then goes to mid-level dealers who sell it to low-level or street dealers.
How Do We Stop Cocaine From Getting Into The U.S.?
Drug smuggling is an endless battle, and no matter what steps border patrol agents take, nothing seems to stop it. They have put fences up over the years, but that didn’t work. Smugglers started using the ocean, underground tunnels, and ports of entry. 90% of drug seizures seem to happen at the port of entry. The drug cartels are like business people. There are no walls or fences that are going to stop them. It may slow them down, but they will still find a way around them and get the drug’s into the country. Unfortunately, it’s a never-ending battle.
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