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Great Moments in Cocaine

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For no particular reason, I give you the Palm Beach Post, 16 April 1962:

At least one of the five Cubans seized here recently with a record supply of cocaine may have been a Castro agent sent here to spread addiction among local exiles and thus discredit them in the eyes of the United States, official sources said last night . . . .

Charles Siragusa, deputy head of the U.S. Narcotics Bureau, said the sudden influx of the hideous drug into this country has a threefold purpose:

  • To damage U.S. morale by circulating a drug that incites its users to crimes of wild abandon.
  • To accelerate the crime rate particularly among local Cubans so that the goodwill so hard won by refugee families will be broken and the exile population in general will be discredited.
  • [No third purpose was actually listed]

Cocaine orgies already have been held here . . . . Wherever its use becomes widespread, cocaine parties are inevitable.

Cocaine users lose all sense of propriety and morality, and the gravest of crimes becomes a joke. It takes only a few minutes to feel its effects. One deep sniff of the sugary powder and the party is on.

Goddamn, I miss the Cold War.

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  • RepubAnon

    Is it just me, or is the placement of an article about cocaine just after an article about “white saviors” amusing?

    “Coke – Coke for me, please. I understand that it comes in bottles in this country!” Hemlock Stones, the Great Defective, in the Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra (Firesign Theater)

    • davenoon

      I was going to title it, “Cocaine: The Other White Savior.”

    • Anonymous

      “Oh you must mean The Old Same Place – it’s around back, here’s the key”

  • How the hell did you find this?

    • davenoon

      Every now and then, I go browsing through Google’s news archives. And every now and then, I find something worth sharing with the world…

    • Pseudonym

      Trying to diagnose Veritas?

      • rea

        No, no–in vino veritas.

  • Ben

    Cocaine’s a hell of a drug

  • Forbidden Donut…

  • cpinva

    the cold war?

    Goddamn, I miss the Cold War.

    this looks more like something put out by the government in the 1930’s, long before the cold war was even an ice cube.

    • Hob

      Assuming you missed the date on the article, I would think the references to Castro and Cuban exiles would be a clue.

      There was plenty of drug-war propaganda that sounded kind of like this in the ’30s, but it was mostly about pot, and I don’t think it had the “this is a plot by foreign agents to destroy America” angle.

    • DrDick

      Not me. I lived through that clusterfuck, which produced more bad foreign policy than anyone other than Reagan and Bush II.

  • One deep sniff of the sugary powder and the party is on.

    Anyone else hearing this in the voice of the Dos Equis guy?

    • Lurker

      This kind of anti-drug propaganda must have been spread by journalists who had a stake in the actual smuggling business. The end of the story reads like an ad for the substance.

      • Anonymous

        +1

      • Exactly. It ends with a phrase more fitting as the blurb for Boogie Nights. Chiat Day couldn’t have written a better advertisement for blow. I can already see those words on Keith Richards’ tombstone!

    • LuckyJimJD

      “I don’t always seek to damage U.S. morale, but when I do, I use Cocaine.”

    • Anonymous

      More like J Peterman on Seinfeld.

  • joejoejoe

    Demon cocaine stole my third purpose!

  • Jeffrey Kramer

    [No third purpose was actually listed]

    Come on, all together now:

    3. PROFIT!

    • R Johnston

      That’s completely wrong. You should be wondering why the Palm Beach Post hired a twelve year old Rick Perry to write under a pseudonym.

  • Matt T.

    It reads like something from Fear & Loathing On The Campaign Trail ’72. Hear I thought the Good Doctor made up all those pieces about Ed Muskie and ibogaine. If nothing else, it explains the tone of those pieces.

  • c u n d gulag

    Yes, because if there was one thing Cuba was famous for, it wasn’t the gambling, the hotels, the live-sex acts, the cheap hookers (M&F), the beaches, the weather, the baseball, the lax laws for tourists, the rum, the fishing, the fruits, the vegetables, or the cuisine – it was the mountains full of coca plants, and the coca farmers who aided and abetted Fidel’s army when they were hiding in them, and provided them with cocaine to boost their energy and effectiveness in fighting the Batista regime.

    OY!

    • While I like Cuban sandwiches people who have worked long term teaching in Cuba tell me most of the cuisine is rather blah. The one thing they all note is that it has no chili peppers in it and is very bland. I have not in fact heard much good about the food in Cuba from people who have gone there to work long term. There is enough of it now, unlike in the early 1990s, but it does not have a lot flavor.

      • c u n d gulag

        Maybe it’s because the people there were using sooooooo much cocaine from their mountains, that they didn’t notice how bland their food had become, since they were rarely hungry. ;-)

      • Captain Splendid

        Yeah, Cuban cuisine is very boring, especially compared to Jamaican.

        • I dunno. I frequent Versailles (los angeles) and have a good friend whose wife is Cuban and makes authentic meals, and I find it pretty tasty. While I agree that most of it all tastes the same (garlicy), especially compared to other cuisines with more pepper/seasoning diversity, I wouldn’t call it bland.

    • Hogan

      I wonder if this is where DePalma got the idea for Scarface. Well, maybe “idea” is too strong a word.

  • Said a spokesman for the CIA, “They can’t distribute drugs in our neighborhoods. Only we can distribute drugs in our neighborhoods.”

    • DrDick

      And only if we get them from rightwing death squads.

  • Halloween Jack

    Cocaine orgies already have been held here . . . . Wherever its use becomes widespread, cocaine parties are inevitable.

    Cocaine users lose all sense of propriety and morality, and the gravest of crimes becomes a joke. It takes only a few minutes to feel its effects. One deep sniff of the sugary powder and the party is on.

    Out of context of the rest of the article, this is a pretty effective ad for the stuff.

  • Jay B.

    Where do I find this “cocaine”?

  • steverino

    A woman was recently caught at Miami International trying to smuggle 20 kilos of cocaine, hidden in her brassiere.

    A police spokesperson said it was the biggest bust he’d ever seen.

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