It contained extract of Coca leaves, with 6 milligrams of the alkaloid cocaine per fluid ounce.
It was found to be an effective and safe product, endorsed by prestigious medical doctors for a variety of uses, starting as a vocal aid for opera performers. Its uses included that as a treatment for addictions to Opium, alcohol and even Tobacco. In Paris, Mesureur, the French Ex-Minister of Commerce, and the current (in 1910) Director of Hygiene and Public Health, who approved and signed the French government's radical poster campaign against alcoholism, would state that:
http://freedomofmedicineanddiet.blogspot.com/2008/03/coca-to-combat-opiate-alcohol-and.htmlThe amount of cocaine was absorbed slowly, resulting in a relatively long lasting effect that ebbed away gently without depressive rebound or craving- as seen with cocaine in concentrated doses- hence it did not produce addictive toxic-mania behavior. Furthermore, because cocaine is a powerful anesthetic, its consumption in this oral dilute form discouraged excessive consumption as this anesthetic action would numb one’s stomach, reducing one’s appetite for more.
“The dangers of alcoholism would be avoided if no other stimulant were taken for mental or physical trials than that offered by the generous."
“I have also employed it in cases, happily rare in our army, of chronic alcoholism resulting from the abuse of brandy, absinthe or strong liquors. The produced all the excitement sought by drinkers, but had at the same time a sedative influence on their nervous systems. I have frequently seen hardened drinkers renounce their fatal habit and return to a healthy condition." "I have also used to save smokers of exaggerated habits, from nicotinism. A few glasses of taken in small doses, either pure or mixed with water, acted as a substitute for pipes and cigars, because the smokers found in it the cerebral excitement which they sought in tobacco, wholly preserving their intellectual faculties."
The negative effects of concentrated cocaine were observed shortly after its commercial introduction about 1884, particularly with its administration via subcutaneous injection.
Yet within a few months, the political scene turned against Mariani and Coca with an apparent vengeance. In 1904, members of Roman Catholic orders as the Knights of Columbus Harvey Washington Wiley, an important figure in the American Medical Association, the American Pharmaceutical Association, the Chief of the Bureau of Chemistry at the USDA, and Knights of Malta member, publisher William Randolph Hearst began a crusade against cocaine in any form regardless of the concentration factor.
This crusade included denouncing Vin Mariani and Coca (and unpatentable herbs in general) as ineffective through the AMA, and in various newspaper articles published via Hearst via collaboration between Wiley, Hearst and a newspaper/magazine writer Samuel Adams Hopkins. It included an AMA/APhA campaign for “model” legislation through the various State legislatures to ban Coca products, and via Federal legislation as the so called Pure Food and Drugs Act of June 30, 1906 which did not necessarily ban Coca products, and provided a seemingly innocuous labeling requirement for cocaine and opiates, but which gave the USDA dictatorial powers to declare a substance “deleterious” and hence its inclusion in food products as “adulteration.”
With cocaine being so defined as deleterious – without regard to the amount or concentration – and with other such stimulants not included in the labeling requirement, placed Coca at a serious market disadvantage to Coffee and Tobacco- the latter which was excluded from such regulation by the 1906 Act’s definition of USDA authority over substances included in the US Pharmacopeia, from which Tobacco had been conveniently dropped during the preceding year- 1905! Though Coca/cocaine was still permitted in products marketed as drugs, the prescription requirement and the propaganda against it only further discouraged its commerce- all perhaps to the greatest benefit of the growing industry in Tobacco cigarettes.
Indeed, USDA documents throughout the following years would stress the concern of Coca’s use as a Tobacco habit cure, which zero mention of the relative health effects- e.g. Coca being non physically addictive and non carcinogenic, while Tobacco was more physically addictive then heroin and carcinogenic.
Notably the USDA had experimented with the commercial feasibility of growing Coca within the US cir 1904, and though I have not been able to locate any report, only a newspaper article, they would have found that it would require hothouses as Coca is a perennial shrub that can’t survive frost, while Tobacco is such a major US agricultural; commodity dating back to the 1600s, that its likeness with that of Corn adorns the tops of the columns of the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
The powerful interests that run the US government would lobby successfully to have Coca outright banned via a prescription requirement making it into today’s “controlled substance” by 1914 with the Harrison “Narcotic” Tax Act.
Although of dubious constitutionality – note that the US government had to pass a constitutional amendment to ban the manufacturer, transport and sale of alcoholic beverages – the Harrison Act’s prohibition via taxation was upheld by a compliant US Supreme Court , and acquiesced by a compliant population fed a William Randolph Hearst media campaign of double standards and lies- with its perversion of the market to concentrated cocaine the natural result of a prohibition banning herbal Coca and pure cocaine without regard to potency/concentration- promoting drug abuse and crime used to continually further the problem.
Such laws would be pushed worldwide via various US pushed “Opium” conferences/conventions, eventually repealing the various nation’s allowances for dilute Coca preparations through the 1920s, and later through the U.N.
The health results of this have been a disaster, particularly when we include the market protection for Tobacco/cigarettes, yet the Roman Catholic Church or any of the so-called “Protestant” churches apparently never lifted a finger to stop any of this madness.
The Drug War Promotes Drug Abuse
How The Narcs Created Crack
It Was Criminal Mercantilism To Protect Tobacco Cigarettes
Freedom of Medicine and Diet- Coca Forgotten Medicine