A book to add to your list

This sounds outstanding. Ricardo Cortes gave us “It’s Just a Plant: a children’s story about marijuana” and also illustrated the extraordinarily popular “Go the Fuck to Sleep.” His latest project is one that has taken years of research, development and artistry.

A Secret History of Coffee, Coca & Cola is an illustrated history of coffee, coca leaf, kola nut, Coca-Cola, caffe-ine, coca-ine, secret formulas, special flavors, special favors, and the future of prohibition. It’s a tale of cocaine factories in Peru and New Jersey; secret experiments at the University of Hawaii; and a peek at the files of U.S. Bureau of Narcotics commissioner Harry J. Anslinger (infamous for his “Reefer Madness” campaign against marijuana, lesser known as a collaborator of The Coca-Cola Company).

“This book is an incredible work of artistic journalism. Armed with color pencils and an eye for detail, Cortés has produced a beautiful and subversive history of how that bottle of Coke ended up in your fridge. Cortés weaves his people’s history with meticulously and gorgeously crafted drawings—many of them recreations of the primary documents he uses to tell his story. The end product is a damning, epic tale of hypocrisy: while the US government leads the charge to criminalize the 10 million people who chew coca, it has simultaneously conspired with a multinational beverage giant to ensure an endless supply of coca to fuel its profits.”

—Jeremy Scahill

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40 Responses to A book to add to your list

  1. darkcycle says:

    Added. Cortes Rocks. (I bought five autographed copies of “It’s only a plant” and gave them away to parents on my list last Christmas)

  2. TieHash says:

    I am very excited about this book. Coca is one of the most wrongly demonized plants, it is a superfood and when brewed into a tisane has fewer negative effects than coffee.

  3. Opiophiliac says:

    I read Cortes’ “It’s just a Plant” online, what a book! Since I am a godforsaken junkie who spends most of his disposable income dealing with prohibition inflated opiate prices and on prohibition related problems (like legal fees) I didn’t buy a hardcopy. I hope he tackles opium poppies next, I’d scrape together the 15 bucks for that one.

  4. N.T. Greene says:

    Oh man, the government has a history of looking the other way when money is involved?

    I feel like I heard this sort of stuff in other places too. You know, like that whole bit with the Contras…

  5. Opiophiliac says:


    Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle

    by the Seattle PD. “a practical guide for what the Seattle Police Department believes I-502 means for you”
    Featured on The Rachel Maddow show, “Best New Thing in the World.”

  6. ezrydn says:

    O/T – Two books that are fantastic are “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy.” I found both online as “torrents.” You can’t put them down. Some of us remember the Kennedy period. No one remembers the Lincoln period.

    When Prohibition falls, will the Reformers be as Gallant as Grant when Lee surrenders? Will we say simply “lay down your weapons and go home?” Or, will they demand their “pound of flesh? Be interesting to see.

    • claygooding says:

      I want the pound of flesh,I want the war criminals in this insane war on a plant charged with treason against humanity and gross waste of resources.

      • Opiophiliac says:

        I agree with Clay on this one. The Wo(s)D has more in common with the Nazi’s vs the Jews than the North vs the South. There is a huge power asymmetry between people who use drugs (fundamentally civilians) and the drug warriors (fundamentally soldiers).

        • Francis says:

          “There is a huge power asymmetry between people who use drugs (fundamentally civilians) and the drug warriors (fundamentally soldiers).”

          And we’re STILL winning! 🙂

      • Windy says:

        I think the reason the prohibitionists should be arrested and tried is for the unconstitutional violation of the individual’s unalienable right to self-ownership and self-determination. Same with the gun banners, any restriction at all on what weapons an individual may own and/or carry is a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment.

  7. Duncan20903 says:


    I think it’s very possible that the prohibasites have caffeine in their cross hairs. Remember that caffeine and drinking alcohol product that was banned within the last year? Was that drink named Monster or something similar?

    Well here they go again:

    FDA probes link between 5-hour Energy caffeine shot drink and 13 deaths
    The drink has been mentioned in 90 FDA filings since 2009, including more than 30 that involved serious or life-threatening events like heart attacks, convulsions, and in one case, a spontaneous abortion, according to a news report.

    Then again it’s nothing new. United States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola, 241 U.S. 265 (1916)

    • claygooding says:

      I suppose we pointed out that marijuana has the same addiction level with less severe withdrawel effects once too often,

  8. Why do those opposing prohibition fail to point out the costs of banning coca for the sake of protecting cigarettes? Historians asides from me ignore the USDA -AMA cigarette mercantlism as placed into “law” at the time the US took control of the project to construct the Panama canal, which would shorten Coca shipping lines to North Atlantic markets, and which was completed the same year as the HNA- 1914. That p230 Licit and Illict Drugs chart of cigarette sales showing when their use spike speaks volumes, and indicts drug warriors as mass murderers.


    Ignoring the cigarette mercantilism argument shields the drug war’s far greater costs.

  9. Duncan20903 says:


    Damn, who’da thunk it? You know you’ve gone mainstream when a stock promotion scam from a company in that particular industry goes vertical. $2.3 billion market cap. Well just fuck me. I haven’t seen anything like this one since the mania imploded in Y2K.
    A company that creates medical-marijuana dispensing machines says its stock is getting way too high.

    Be careful people and don’t buy any of these pink sheet scams with money you can’t afford to lose. Yes people, even the company’s press release is part of the game.

    I must admit that the **global** debate generated by Colorado/Washington ballot initiative and ancillary events like the example above have exceeded my wildest speculation.

    Alright people, let’s get GWP.L involved.

    • darkcycle says:

      I have friends who are friends of the owners of that company. Occasionally I see their posts when my friend comments on them. The NYT did an article on investing in MMJ that specifically named that company. I believe the owners were interviewed, as well…don’t have time to go look for it. But they were awfully happy about this “turn of fate”.
      I’m not a stock market savvy kind of guy…I started to learn on a lark, but got a good look at the shape of the learning curve and bailed before I lost any money. But just on what I know about the size of their potential market, don’t speculate there.

      • claygooding says:

        Dark,,for some reason the posters of the NO on 502 info are now trying to convince people that marijuana will need to be priced even more than the LCB estimate of $12 per gram too the grower,,because of the expense of growing,,,growers that were against 502 trying to salvage the illegal market that isn’t even threatened at that price.

        How long before the LCB realizes using dispensary prices as ground zero and undercutting the dispensary price still does not effect illegal growers?

        • darkcycle says:

          Do you have a link to what they are saying, Clay? I haven’t seen anything like that…

        • claygooding says:

          It’s at GC in the threads regarding WA,,some in the news forum,,some in the legalization forum,,,They seem to think that the future commercial growers will be working out of a closet or something instead of warehouses and isolated fields,,,

          I am thinking with your rainy falls and outdoor grow problems a hundred acres of auto-flowers planted in mid May and harvested in August,,,before the fall rains arrive would be a winner.

        • darkcycle says:

          We have dozens of varieties bred and proven at this latitude…has everyone forgotten B.C. Bud already? Vancouver Island Seed Co. breeds quick-flowering, mold resistant strains almost exclusively. Last I checked their entire operation was outdoors.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Don’t confuse the stock with the company. Perhaps I decided a little too quickly that management is indicated but this kind of movement of a stock price is at least six standard deviations from the mean. A deviation that far away means that there’s almost no chance whatever that the event was just happenstance. Yes it is possible that management isn’t involved but it really isn’t bloody likely.

        If you recall a guy named Bernie Madoff was friends of a lot of people and it doesn’t appear that he had any problem stealing their money. As a matter of fact his victims had to earn their way into his inner circle before he would rip them off.

        If I am incorrect about this it’ll be the first time and shorting the stocks of companies involved with comparable fluctuations was my specialty back in the day. It was easy money in the bank.

  10. Nunavut Tripper says:

    Millennium Laboratories sounds like a cool company to work for if you want to work there for life doing drug testing.


  11. claygooding says:

    A Simple Constitutional Argument For Letting States Legalize Marijuana


    “”Former federal prosecutor Mark Oslet wrote a CNN op-ed that presents a clear and concise argument as to why the U.S. federal government should honor state laws legalizing marijuana.””

    “”Oslet, now a law professor, argues that a central principle built into the structure of the U.S. government through the Constitution “demands that individual and state rights be honored above all but the most important federal imperatives.”

    In the book “Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know,” drug policy scholars note that the “Constitution does not allow the federal government either to order state governments to create any particular criminal law or to require state and local police to enforce federal criminal laws.”” ‘snipped’

    The number of articles supporting the vote are facing very few prohib articles,,,have we stunned them?

  12. darkcycle says:

    The reverberations aren’t dying down. Watch that rubble:

  13. darkcycle says:

    OH! THE IRONY! The PAIN!!!!
    Prohibitionists have the last laugh after all! Hostess to go out of business the very same month CANNABIS IS LEGALIZED!
    It’s an EVIL CONSPIRACY!! I want my Raspberry filled powdered sugar DONUTS!!!

    • Entemanns is a quality replacement tho’ the world will surely be a different place w/out Hostess blacberry (or cherry) pies, with a pint of chocolate milk …

      But Little Debbie’s… don’t bother.

      Will there be Hostess Horders? Lord knows the shelf life is tremendous and the value steady over long term.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Just because a company goes into bankruptcy court doesn’t mean that their products are going away. I’m within 2 miles of a Boston Market. IIRC they’re now owned by McDonald’s corporation. The Boston Market corporation went belly up too. Just going into bankruptcy doesn’t mean that the company is going teats up either. It really does matter how they ended up in BK court. In the case of Boston Market it was profligate borrowing that made that happen. The bankruptcy court waves a magic wand and the debt goes away.

        “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”

        The brand names and recipes are most certainly assets and won’t be going away..

  14. David Sirota calling out Obama – good article at Salon. The petition already has enough signatures for an answer, but I signed it anyway.The more the merrier.
    I have to say that I like Sirota’s style.


  15. claygooding says:

    Why The States Must Secede To Save America


    Declaration of Independence 2.0: Restoring the Republic
    November 16, 2012

    Radio host Alex Jones today called for a second American Revolution led by states who would secede from the federal government and reconstitute the Republic under the terms of the Declaration of Independence, bill of rights and constitution.

    The call for Americans to rally behind a restoration of the Republic and the bill of rights comes on the back of a burgeoning secessionist movement that has swept the country with residents from all 50 states submitting petitions to the White House calling for states to withdraw from the union and form their own independent governments. The petitions have received a combined number of signatures totaling over a million. ‘snip’

    I think this is getting a little more serious this time.

  16. Its called – Respect States’ And Citizens’ Rights Act


    I truly do believe that if it passes we have seen the end of the Federal prohibition of marijuana.

    • claygooding says:

      The corporations controlling our congress won’t even allow this bill to be debated on the floor,,any opposition to states rights would mark them as a “company man”.

      • I don’t think that this time its going to happen that way, but we have been optimistic and fooled before.

        I predict one helluva summer in 2013 without it being passed and this prohibition ended by then. I am dusting off all the tie dyed and getting the grand kids to start working on the signs for the summer of love ala 2013.

        We can love the prohibs to death. I might as well go out with a bang. I have had enough.

        • Duncan20903 says:

          It is different this time TC. Yes, in years past we underestimated just how intransigent the enemies of freedom could be. But our biggest difficulty in making a case for re-legalization is and always has been getting the everyman to consider and evaluate the evidence.

          Perhaps the most dramatic example of this phenomenon is the 2010 action of the Iowa Board of Pharmacy in unanimously voting that cannabis has proven medicinal utility and that the law requires it to be re-scheduled. The Iowa BoP only considered the case after being sued and court ordered to hear the re-scheduling petition. After hearing the evidence suddenly they’re at 6-0 in favor. That’s a stunning reversal IMO.

          It’s cumulative. Every time someone or thing on the other side of the table grasps the reality of the situation it weakens the arguments made by the enemies of freedom. A lot of people on our side of the table call this the “tipping point”. What that phrase means to me is that we’ve convinced enough people to subscribe to our arguments and that’s going to cause people on the other side to start reconsidering without us having to do anything to make that happen. That certainly hasn’t been the case until very recently.

  17. Peter says:

    it cracks me up when i see chabot now. sabet is just a devious shit but chabot really seems to believe this stuff about evil. i think hes a serious wackjob and the defeat of his drug war might tip him over the edge

    • kaptinemo says:

      And not just him.

      American politics has always been prone to a certain degree of craziness. After all, you’d have to be crazy to begin with to think that you’re a better judge of what’s good for another adult than they are, and want to ram that supposition down another adult’s throat via the legislative process. Because History is full of examples of what happens when, eventually, after all the pain and misery the self-appointed morals proctors cause, the worm turns, and the biters get bit.

      The sado-moralists can’t understand why their victims scream curses their way as they are being caused to suffer by the SMs; the sado-moralists always claim that it’s for their victim’s own good.

      But the sado-moralists always forget the cyclic nature of History…or they try their mightiest to keep it from happening, by legislation, no less. The clause in the ONDCP’s charter about preventing drug law reform is a perfect example of that kind of cloud-cuckooland thinking. WA and CO showed just how infinitely stupid that is.

      So…what to do with the foaming, real-life prohib crazies when we win? What to do with the Batshite Crazy Uncles in the attic?

      So long as they don’t try to re-inject their mania into our lives, via the legislative process, let them rant away. In the end they’ll have as much relevance as the Anti-Saloon League does today.

      Because there’s something else they ought to worry about: what happens to them if they don’t take such sage advice and stay in their looney-bins.

      People like Chabot never, ever seem to realize that in obsessing with evil, they often internalize what they think they are fighting. In thinking they are fighting an external evil, the processes they inevitably reach – “The end (‘save the children!’)justifies the means” (thereby destroying their and our freedoms and liberties) – causes them to incorporate that evil into themselves. In short, what they have done is EVIL.

      An evil that needs to be responded to. Evil that needs to be expunged from the body politic in such a way that it is never, ever entertained as government policy, ever again. And that means after we win, if they don’t knock off their mania, of taking the prohibs to court for the grossest violations of human rights this country has seen since the days of slavery.

      It means totally demolishing not only faceless bureaucratic organizations that worked that evil in the name of ‘public good’, but the bureaucrats and other enablers who implemented that evil, themselves.

      I said in another forum that after we win, most of us would be willing to let them slink off of History’s stage and enjoy the quiet ignominy they deserve, if it meant they would never trouble decent people again. But if they won’t?

      Then I am reminded of the old warning about thinking you’re wearing the white hats while your hands are stained with the blood of innocents: “Justice is what they deserve! Mercy…is in not getting it”

      Given what they have done, I and so many millions more are not inclined to be merciful.

  18. Nunavut Tripper says:

    Speaking of the little weasel Sabet here is a quote from him in a Florida rag. He’s definitely in the pocket of big pharma.

    ” Doctors prescribe it for everything from glaucoma to terminal cancer. Eighteen other states and the District of Columbia have legalized its medicinal use. But the University of Florida’s Drug Policy Institute director, Dr. Kevin Sabet, said, legalization advocates are wrong.

    “They must be smoking something,” he said. “The scientific consensus is undisputable.”

    Sabet is a former senior adviser in the Obama administration drug policy office. He says, there’s no basis for Bondi to remove marijuana from the Schedule I list.

    “That definition simply means that the whole, raw marijuana plant is not medical and it has the potential for abuse. And that is a technical criteria that is true,” he said.

    He said, the component ingredients of cannabis do have medicinal value, but they’re already available in pill form. And, he said, a cannabis mouth spray is going through approval testing by the FDA.”


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