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Jim Crow's Drug War: Race, Coca Cola, and the Southern Origins of Drug Prohibition

Jim Crow's Drug War: Race, Coca Cola, and the Southern Origins of Drug Prohibition essay ...................... Jim Crow's Drug War Race, Coca Cola, and the Southern Origins of Drug Prohibition by Michael M. Cohen The story of the origins and early years of CocaCola -- which contained small quantities of coca extracts until 1903 -- helps illuminate changing southern and national perceptions of appropriate drug use. 1890s advertisement, courtesy of the Collections of the Library of Congress. t the end of the nineteenth century, the U.S. hunger for narcotics and cocaine was so notorious that one leading public-health official declared, "We are the drug-habit nation."1 Today, Americans lustfully -- if schizophrenically -- consume huge quantities of both the illegal "dope" of stoners and street junkies and the equally profitable products of high-tech bioresearch labs and multinational pharmaceutical corporations. We are now, as we were a century ago, a people torn between, as the tv says, "just say no" and "the miracle of medicine." But what do we mean by "drugs"? The public imagination struggles mightily to preserve stark distinctions between the various kinds of "drugs": heroin, cocaine, cannabis, alcohol, anabolic steroids, nicotine, caffeine, aspirin, Ritalin, Viagra, Prozac, and OxyContin, to name but a dozen. The history of drug prohibition, however, shows us http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

Jim Crow's Drug War: Race, Coca Cola, and the Southern Origins of Drug Prohibition

Southern Cultures , Volume 12 (3) – Aug 3, 2006

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
Publisher site
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Abstract

essay ...................... Jim Crow's Drug War Race, Coca Cola, and the Southern Origins of Drug Prohibition by Michael M. Cohen The story of the origins and early years of CocaCola -- which contained small quantities of coca extracts until 1903 -- helps illuminate changing southern and national perceptions of appropriate drug use. 1890s advertisement, courtesy of the Collections of the Library of Congress. t the end of the nineteenth century, the U.S. hunger for narcotics and cocaine was so notorious that one leading public-health official declared, "We are the drug-habit nation."1 Today, Americans lustfully -- if schizophrenically -- consume huge quantities of both the illegal "dope" of stoners and street junkies and the equally profitable products of high-tech bioresearch labs and multinational pharmaceutical corporations. We are now, as we were a century ago, a people torn between, as the tv says, "just say no" and "the miracle of medicine." But what do we mean by "drugs"? The public imagination struggles mightily to preserve stark distinctions between the various kinds of "drugs": heroin, cocaine, cannabis, alcohol, anabolic steroids, nicotine, caffeine, aspirin, Ritalin, Viagra, Prozac, and OxyContin, to name but a dozen. The history of drug prohibition, however, shows us

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Aug 3, 2006

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