Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Fair Trade Cocaine

"brand" of cocaine which does not exploit Coca growers in Latin America
  (+13, -7)
(+13, -7)
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A number of my colleagues who take cocaine have now stopped taking it (or at least started feeling guilty when they do) as they have become aware of the exploitation of workers in the countries which produce it. The idea is to capture that section of the youth market which consumes recreational drugs and prefers to make ethical purchases. It is perhaps a bit of a WIBNI while such narcotics remain illegal, but if and when they are legalised and brands start to appear it would be easier to implement. As it stands, perhaps some sort of colouring could be added to fair trade coke although this might be easy to fake. Alternatively, sentences for dealers and traffickers of fair trade coke could be more lenient than for the normal gear by way of incentive.
stupop, Aug 29 2001

(?) Bar Coded Cocaine http://dailynews.ya.../barcodes_dc_1.html
"Flour and sugar sold in Brazil don't always have them, but packages of cocaine offered by a notorious Rio de Janeiro drug gang are now showing up complete with bar codes and price tags" [sdm, Aug 29 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

I'm not sure I agree with you angel. http://economist.co...cfm?Story_id=709603
Not sure the Economist does either [Gordon Comstock, Aug 29 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

NIH agrees with me. http://www.drugabus...25-00Testimony.html
[angel, Aug 29 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

And they're not the only ones. http://www.mdle.com/legdrugs.htm
[angel, Aug 29 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

It's not just me the Economist doesn't agreed with. http://www.national...s/by_nfia/undo.html
I could go on, as could you. [angel, Aug 29 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       Huge fishy! All currently illegal substances should remain illegal. All traffickers and dealers in illegal substances should be jailed immediately. (Prepares for attack.)
angel, Aug 29 2001

       Interesting, tenuously related story [see link]...   

       “Radical” economists have been kicking the ‘regulate the drug market’ ball around for yonks. Drugs have *very* inelastic demand curves and could be taxed from here to infinity. Look at alcohol and tobacco. There are numerous problems with this like flow-ons, and inability to really regulate production. Long story short -you can’t supply someone with a harmful narcotic and seriously contend that you, as a producer, or an advocate of that production, aren’t exploiting them.
sdm, Aug 29 2001

       <snort></snort>"Man, this is killer blow"
Yeah, my boss tipped someone off about some inside info with petroleum prices... <snort></snort> ...the guy bought futures and made (your monetary unit here)25,000 - gave him an ounce of pure blow as a gift - He had me keep it for him as he'd dig into the supply big time otherwise" <snort></snort> <gummer></gummer> "You think those coca harvesters get a reward?" <snort></snort> "Gee, Inever really thoughtabout it" <snort></snort>"Everseenthose harvesters? their teeth areall messedup man" <snort></snort> "Theydon'thave dentalplans, huh" <gummer></gummer> "Theychewontheleaves, dude" <snort></snort> "Manyou'rerightthisisgreatcoke" <snort/snort> "I'llbetyourbossisgonnanotice ifwekeepsnortinthisshitman" <gummer></gummer> "Yesyou'rerightnotonlythatbut weshouldthinkofthosepoorharvesters"
thumbwax, Aug 29 2001

       Drugs are bad, m'kay.   

       Except caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. Which could be bad, but aren't really.
-alx, Aug 29 2001

       Great idea! I say make it green, for eco-friendly. Di you know that drug dealers are using barcodes now to keep track of their goods?
futurebird, Aug 29 2001

       [obligatory legalise drugs post... dude]
Guy Fox, Aug 29 2001

       Nice concept. If you expanded and illustrated this a little (statistics, photograph of poor coca farmers, cute little logo for the campaign, denial of comments from the groups currently funding the coca trade) it wouldn't feel out of place at e.g. the Onion.
jutta, Aug 29 2001

       A lot of plants, especially coca, are farmed intensively and non-sustainably, and in places where fragile ecosystems get damaged. An ethical farming policy may also be necessary.
-alx, Aug 29 2001

       "Some people say alcohol is a drug. Its not a drug, its a drink" - Chris Morris.
Hans, Aug 29 2001

       This is a great idea. I will propose it at the annual shareholders meeting for OCEC.
mystic2311, Dec 23 2003

       I just read recently that for every tonne of Cocaine imported into the UK, four people lose their lives. This is largely due to landmines and armed guards who protect the coca fields. At the risk of churning my own idea, I hereby revoke my earlier self-fishbone.
stupop, Nov 09 2004

       [angel]: "It's not just me the Economist doesn't agreed with"? For shame. ;-)
bristolz, Nov 12 2004

       The Economist is incorrect in stating that drug legalization would increase drug use. It sure would for a couple years, but after that things would go back to normal. The Dutch actually smoke less pot than the Americans do--more importantly, they wait til they're older to do it--and even more importantly, substantially smaller percentages in all age ranges move on to harder drugs. (These are all population-adjusted stats.)   

       Fair trade cocaine would be a good idea in a legalized world. But how can an illegal trade be regulated?
disbomber, Apr 03 2005

       I made a little calculation: if all Bolivian coke - estimated by the CIA factbook at 115 tons - was to be fair trade, sold at the current market price of 50 euros...   

       Than that would mean an extra income for Bolivia roughly equal to over HALF THE GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT (about 6 billion euros, compared to $ 13 billion GDP in oficial exchange terms; meaning about 6 times more as what gas exports bring to the country). Now in a country where 5% of roads are paved, 90% of the people in the countryside live in poverty and 5 out of every 100 babies die, you can really use that kind of money. Save a baby, snort fair trade cocaine!   

       The ethics of the proposition: Why are people allowed to destroy their lives with alcohol, and not with cocaine? Why does the world care more about the few people who kill themselves with cocaine than about the lives of people in Peru, Colombia and Bolivia - where legalised fair trade coke would help save the lives of thousands of babies, prolong live expectancy and stop the financing and hence the killing of groups like the FARC who depend on coca trade? Could it possibly be that Western societies are a bit --racist--? You care about the environmental damage coca growing causes? True, a lot of forest gets cleared for coca, and the damage to the soil is huge. But to support the same population with another crop would automatically mean clearing much more land or living in even more dire poverty...   

       Here in Bolivia coca farmers are the richest poor people around. The coca crop (at least half of it NOT used to make cocaine, btw) pays for their daily rice and even the schooling of their children.   

       Don't take this proposition too seriously, but if you like to make your friends "evolve their ideas" (Bill Hicks, anyone?): join the "Make Cocaine Fair Trade" Facebook group.
joost, Oct 02 2008

       Drugs are bad okay?   

       They distort your perception and brain structure, interfere with your brain chemistry and cause alarming psychosomatic side effects. That is why they are called drugs. I know we would all like to think they don't (ref. permissive attitudes of the user) and that they enhance certain aspects of physical experience (an age old practical use) but in the long run they do.   

       Joost, your prices need to take into account the cost of rehabilitation of users, crimes committed, medical treatment, victim compensation, etc etc. to reflect the true social cost of the drug. Just saying it costs this much to produce, my profit is this, therefore that is the price of the drug, doesn't take account of the externalities and is a naive view of the real cost.   

       So any public sale of the drug would also either be accompanied by some pretty serious waivers of responsibility by the vendor, or some serious insurance charges or taxes to cover these add on costs to the society.   

       The public, unrestricted sale of drugs is a drug users fantasy. At best, society is going to 'tolerate' their sale. There's no way we should tolerate all the downsides just for some users to get out of their reality for a short while.   

       That being said who's looking forward to dropping a few next friday night at the spearhead concert.
williamsmatt, Oct 02 2008

       Matt, You do have a point that users should pay for the social costs of their habit, in particular disencouragement campains.   

       As for you stating that " The public, unrestricted sale of drugs is a drug users fantasy. At best, society is going to 'tolerate' their sale.", sounds somewhat bizarre to me, especialy living in a country where a large proportion of government income comes from the sale of tobacco and alcohol, which to my latest information are, in fact, drugs.   

       Social costs of tobacco for example are relative: according to some studies, what smokers cost more to health insurance is compensated by what they cost less to pension funds, thanks to their habit of dieing young. This might be valid for cocaine users as well, especially if you tax their habit.
joost, Mar 16 2009


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