The New Volatile Politics: U.S. Drug Law Apostasy
Within the next 15 years after the Popes feted Mariani, Coca all but disappeared from vast swaths of major industrialized world consumer markets, virtually prohibited by laws illegalizing its sale outside of non-refillable prescriptions, and largely forgotten by a medical profession that was turning its backs upon plant based substances defined as drugs, in favor of the then relatively new class of synthetic substances defined as drugs, within a political situation where how things were defined was not necessarily consistent with science nor public health.
Coca did not become prohibited because of any showing that it was detrimental to public health. Rather it was vilified by those citing the acute toxicities of concentrated cocaine (that is, when taken over a short period of time in high doses), who publicly assumed this translated to Coca being unacceptably dangerous (whether acute or over time), whereas Tobacco and Coffee were not). This position, previously adopted by some within the south-eastern United States with its market motive to protect Tobacco, was adopted by a number of national US organizations about 1904 involved with political matters relating to medicine and to foods.
It correlates to the market competition involving two plants.
One is long grown in the continental U.S. as a commodity enshrined solidly at the top of the columns of the U.S. Capitol building and a major commodity crop commodity in North America before the creation of the U.S. during its 1776-1783 war for independence.
The other was being touted as replacement but can’t be grown outdoors in almost all of the U.S. but for portions of southern Florida, Texas, and portions of the South west, and is thus a foreign agricultural crop commodity primarily exported from South America’s west coast; that’s a coast that was otherwise soon destined to become significantly “closer” to North Atlantic markets with the impending completion of the Panama Canal: a project that the US re-started in 1903, and would reduce shipping distances from Peru to New York or Europe by 9,000 miles upon opening in August of 1914.
Tobacco had been a major crop and Coca after all was being touted as a means to combat the Tobacco habit, something unlikely to endear it to U.S. Tobacco interests.
It also correlates with a more generalized movement to further peoples’ liberties under the guise of protecting society, but done in the name of more mundane political objectives of controlling markets for the sake of various political interests of Tobacco and pharmaceuticals, and against non-patentable medicinal substances: IOW plants.