Friday, January 18, 2013

Colombia's New Cocaine?

The molecular structure of H2CB, or pink cocaine, on the right.
Just what Colombia needed - now it's also making synthetic cocaine.

That's according to news reports that a synthetic drug called 'pink cocaine' invented in Holland is being manufactured in the Zona Cafetera and the Norte del Valle. The stuff, whose chemical name is H2CB, is said to be relatively easy to make, transport and hide.

If this is true, and not another legend-from-the-Colombian-jungle like the Roundup-resistant coca bushes Wired magazine wrote about a few years ago, then it's got a significance far beyond being yet another criminal enterprise.

Where is it? "The Conjurer," by Hieronymus Bosch,
shows a shell game and a pickpocket.
Have you ever watched those swindlers playing the shell game on a sidewalk? No matter which shell the poor victim looks under, the ball's somewhere else. That's what the War on Drugs often feels like: a nation makes progress, as Colombia has against cocaine, only to have the industry shift somewhere else, like Peru, and the violence migrate to Mexico.

But this brings something more like a pardigm shift. If this 'synthetic cocaine' is really easier to manufacture, transport and hide than normal cocaine while being more profitable, it just might accomplish drug warriors' goal: reduce the traditional cocaine industry - but by replacing it with something even worse.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

12 comments:

Stuart Oswald said...

Lets legalize it.

Magnetic Island Artist Edward Blum. said...

Your blog is amazing, thank you for sharing.

mauricio forero l said...

Si Miguel, a mi tambien me gusta tu blog. I know that I can be Harsh sometimes and, even rude, but is because i find the content of your posts very appealing...please do not lose respect for me...

M. Forero.

Miguel said...

Hi Stuart,

yes, if it turns out that this 'new cocaine' isn't THAT bad for you, and that controlling it won't work, then legalizing and taxing the stuff may be the least bad solution.

Mike

Miguel said...

Thanks Mauricio. I do appreciate your comments, but wish you'd be more respectful of other commentators.

Mike

Stuart Oswald said...

Like the real cocaine is THAT bad.

Miguel said...

Is the real cocaine THAT bad? It's pleasurable, not chemically addictive, and I'm not sure whether it's bad for you, at least in limited amounts.
, ,
Mike

Stuart Oswald said...

Is this the knowledge THAT forms your ideas on drugs? Think you might be influenced or showing a biased.

Miguel said...

For the record, I've never consumed cocaine. (Mostly because I was scared.) And I haven't smoked pot for years. But I have known lots of people whose lives were screwed up in different ways by drugs, legal and illegal.

Mike

Stuart Oswald said...

;)

Carlito said...

I see it differently, more like a software; if the formula can be cracked then it can be produced anywhere in the world and i don't see why the narcos would want to produce it in Colombia, a reasonable business man produces near the demand.

Miguel said...

Yes, that's true - which is why I've never understand why they haven't started planting traditional cocaine in Africa and Asia, for the European and Chinese markets.
, ,
As for the artificial cocaine, it would also make sense to produce is near the consumers. Still, Colombia does have some competitive advantages, such as the existing export routes. The cocaine industry developed here initially using export routes used by marijuana growers.
, ,
Mike