Is coca-leaf tea legal?
||If a person were in possession of coca tea and/or drank coca tea, would that be a crime in the U.S.? I've seen such teas available online. There was no warning not to order, and people I know have received it through Customs.|
||Coca-leaf tea is indeed illegal in many countries, including the United States. In recent years, this tea has been made available online--even through mainstream non-drug related vendors. We have heard from several people in the U.S. and other countries where the tea is illegal who have ordered and received it without any apparent problems. But a person could be arrested for possession of this tea, which contains a controlled substance.|
Users of coca-leaf tea have generally reported that it is less stimulating than regular caffeine-containing tea. Some users have reported breaking open the tea bags and chewing the coca leaf along with baking soda or holding it as a quid with baking soda in their cheek, in order to get stronger effects. Even then, we have heard mixed and generally non-enthusiastic reports. Traditional coca leaf users chew repeatedly throughout the day; many people new to chewing leaf don't have that much dedication to the process, and they quickly give up when they realize that it does not provide the sort of immediate stimulation that snorted or smoked cocaine can provide.
Considering the average price of coca-leaf tea, it would be cost-prohibitive for anyone to use it as a source to produce cocaine. It may be this fact that has caused governments to ignore the sales of this product in areas where it is illegal. In addition, since commercially produced tea-bags look innocuous (and sometimes have their description in Spanish), Customs officials may not stop to consider that their content is illegal. We suspect that law enforcement has more pressing matters than going after coca-tea users, but it is certainly a risk that a buyer takes when importing this material.
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