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Timeline of Events in Coca History

Cocaine is a tropane alkaloid (as are atropine and scopolamine). A timeline of tropane alkaloids.

Timetable of Events in Coca History

Date Event Link
5000 BCE Chewing of activated coca in Peru Antiquity, Winter 2010
3000 BCE Coca chewing throughout South America
1500 Incan coca plantations in Peru
1505 Reports of coca reach Europe
1539 Catholic bishop of Cuzco tithes coca, takes 1/10 of crop in taxes
1550s Pizarro destroys Incan empire - disrupts coca usage patterns
1560 First attempt to eradicate coca leaf, by Spanish Viceroy of Peru - Francisco de Toledo
1574 Monardes' text on coca translated from Spanish into Italian and English Bauman Rare Books
1575 Spaniards use coca to make native slaves more productive while mining CocaSpain
1580 Monardes brings coca leaves to Europe
1662 Abraham Cowley's poem, "Legend of Coca", first mention of coca in English literature LegendCoca
1708 Coca first mentioned in medical literature, Institutiones Medicae, written by Dutch physician/botanist Herman Boerhaave
1787 "De la celebrada planta llamada Hayo, por otro nombre Coca" Don Antonio Julian, padre
1794 Peruvian doctor José Hipólito Unánue publishes "Disertación sobre la coca", a popular reference work for decades
1835 Sir William Hooker, of Kew Gardens (London), publishes first accurate drawing of coca plant in popular press KewCoca
1838-1878 Britain forces China to import addictive opium from British India, with British merchants using the profits to buy healthy Chinese tea Opium Wars
1850 Coca tinctures used in throat surgery
1855 German chemist Friedrich Gaedcke extracts coca alkaloid (non-addictive) from coca leaves Gaedcke
1859 Albert Niemann, of the University of Göttingen, synthesizes cocaine hydrochloride (addictive)
1863 Angelo Mariani patents Vin Mariani, a combination of coca extract and wine
1865-1905 Many patent medicines in the United States contain cocaine UBuf2001
1869 Seeds from the commercial variety of coca arrive at Kew Gardens
1870s Coca cultivation introduced into SouthEast Asia, in particular, island of Java CocaJava
1876 Tomas Moreno y Maiz, a Peruvian military surgeon, publishes "Sobre el Erythroxylon Coca del Perú y sobre la 'cocaína'" in Lima's El Nacional newspaper
1884 Cocaine's use as a local anesthetic in eye surgery is popularized
1884 Sigmund Freud publishes "On Coca" in which he recommends the use of cocaine to treat various medical conditions Portuguese version
1884-1887 Pharmacist Alfredo Bignon leads effort to establish a Peruvian cocaine science and technology (obtains patent in 1885) Goot2007
1886 John Pemberton introduces Coca Cola, containing cocaine, cola syrup, sugar and caffeine (old photos)
1888 Ulloa "Coca Commission" in Peru strongly urges export of coca products
1890 German chemist Eduard Ritsert synthesizes benzocaine, a white powder drug with an anesthetic effect similar to cocaine, that is now available over-the-counter GB190308095
1890 26 Stat. 620 - United States starts taxing opium imports, at $12/pound; U.S. ends opium imports in 1909 26Stat620
1900 Farbwerke (Hoechst) waives rights to its superior 1894 patent for making cocaine, Verhafen zur Darstellung von Ecgoninalkylester DE76433
1903 Coca Cola, for racist reasons, eliminates cocaine from its Coca Cola sodas The Atlantic, Jan. 2013
1905 Tobacco is dropped from the list of medical drugs in U.S. Pharmacopoeia, so it can't be regulated in 1906 by a new food and drug law Harvey Wiley
1906 Pure Food and Drug Act is passed in the U.S., which regulates labelling of (but does not prohibit) products containing cocaine and other drugs that appear in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia PureDrug
1910 U.S. Department of Agriculture advocates against cocaine (then being used to help people quit smoking cigarettes that are more addictive and destructive) to protect the tobacco industry USDA-v-AMA-re-coca
1914 U.S. passes Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, regulating and taxing the sales of cocaine and other drugs HaNaTax
1910-1930 Netherlands: cocaine is a legal drug, main company is Dutch Cocaine Factory DE-2006
1910-1930 History of the Nederlandsche Cocaine Fabriek (Dutch Cocaine Factory) NCFHist
1935-1950 Peruvian doctor Carlos Gutierrez Noriega publishes false scientific data on coca chewing and harmful effects on diet - debunked by Burchard in 1992 CGN1992
1930-1950 In the U.S, Harry Anslinger uses racial hatred of African and Mexican Americans to have marijuana falsely equated with cocaine as a regulated drug RACIST
1948-1949(?) Howard Fonda, a VP at a drug company, travels to Peru to "assess" coca, but not speaking Spanish nor native languages, writes a biased and racist report. In 1949, the U.N. erroneously adopts his findings about coca
1949 U.N. Commission of Enquiry on the Coca Leaf - a scientifically flawed, racist U.N. study on coca, used to justify banning coca leaf use in 1961 treaty UNComEngCoc
1961 U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is passed - coca and cocaine regulated under Schedule III UNSCND61
1968 U.K. Wootton Report agrees with 1894 India Hemp Drugs Commission, 1929 U.S. Army Panama Canal Report, and 1944 New York Mayor's Committee on Marijuana, that long term use of marijuana in moderate doses has no harmful effects Wootton
1979 U.S. v. Stieren - appeals court rules that while cocaine is medically not a narcotic, it can be politically referred to as a narcotic 608 F.2d 1135
1987 World Council of Indigenous Peoples: Lima declaration in support of traditional coca use Lima1987
1988 Bolivia Law 1008 of July 1998: Regime applicable to coca and controlled substances BolCocaLaw
1989 In Argentina, Article 15 of Law 23737 of 1989 is passed, permitting chewing of coca or drinking of coca tea Article 15 of Law 23737
1992 Roderick Burchard discredits Gutierrez Noriega's racist claims that coca chewing was harmful to Andean diets Burchard
1995 UN WHO report states use of coca leaves has no negative health effects - report is suppressed WHO 1995
2006 Evo Morales, long-time head of coca growers' union of Bolivia, and political activist, is elected President of Bolivia EvoMorales
2008 United States suspends Bolivia from the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act for not eradicating enough coca leaf ATPDEA
2013 United Nations recognizes rights of Bolivians to chew coca ABC News, 12 Jan 2013
2013 European Union announces willingness to allow the import of coca products backed by scientific evidence of utility La Razon, 31 August 2013
2013 UK parliamentary group issues report urging legalization of coca use The Independent, 09 October 2013
2014 CELAC: special declaration about coca leaf approved by Celac Celac, 29 January 2014
2014 World Health Organization calls for decriminalization of drug use WHO, July 2014
2015 Mandato nacional de los cultivadores de coca de Colombia Constituyente Nacional de Cultivadores de Coca de Colombia, July 2015

See also: interesting timetable of coca eradication in Colombia from 1978 to 2013.

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