Is Coca Tea Legal In The United States?

7 Answers

Hannah Barton Profile
Hannah Barton answered
Coca tea is a controversial topic, known as mate de coca in its native South America; its legality in the US is very unclear. Due to the coca plant’s notorious association with the manufacture of cocaine, only one company in the US, a plant in New Jersey, is licensed to import the plant for use as flavouring in Coca Cola. However, the tea, made by stewing the leaves or a tea bag in hot waters, contains only trace amounts of cocaine, typically less than 0.5 per cent. This has resulted in several anecdotes, endorsements and renunciations from both ends of the spectrum, claiming anything from a non-issue after baggage checks at customs to heavy fines and the threat of incarceration. Several websites claim to sell mail order coca tea to the US. One of the most respectable e-retailers around, Amazon, lists three different types of coca tea for sale, however, all three of them are currently unavailable so even Amazon appears unsure of whether or not it can sell the tea. Coca tea contains several alkaloids (of which one is cocaine) said to produce effects similar to caffeine and is used to treat a variety of ailments including altitude sickness and digestive issues. While coca tea’s legal status may be under some dispute, you may wish to find out for yourself by simply ordering some. Be warned, however, whether or not it is illegal is not the only issue. The amount of cocaine present in the tea may be almost negligible and not produce any of the effects associated with the drug itself but the amount is measurable on drug tests and can produce what is known as a false positive. This means that while you may be able to purchase some tea and receive it without encountering any issues, but you might find yourself being accused of having taken cocaine.
JC rhellion Profile
JC rhellion answered
Coca is one of the most medicinal plants known to man and helps greatly with my medical conditions. Unfortunately, it is illegal unless it is "decocainized", which is a chemical process that removes 99% of the Cocaine and a lot of the flavor along with it. Google or Wiki "single convention on narcotic drugs" and you will learn about the 1961 international treaty (pushed by the U.S. Government)" to wipe out the Coca plant from the face of the earth. Any tea you buy in the U.S. (or anywhere else) that is marked "For Export", or "Export Quality", (anything about export in english or spanish or any other language) has been decocainized. This process also removes some of the flavor making the tea/leaves not as tasty or even bitter. I was buying the tea from Peru in it's natural unadulterated state for almost 5 years , but recently had a $245 order confiscated by U.S. Customs (for the first time). Never got my tea or my money back, and never heard anything else about it. The U.S. Postal service sent me a letter (after I asked for an inquiry and gave them the EMS tracking number), which stated "we are sorry, but there is no record of this item". I have a feeling Customs agents are drinking a cup of free Coca tea while they read this webpage. The Peruvian company I bought it from said that U.S. Customs was stepping up enforcement and inspecting every package that came into the U.S. Because of the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden. Posted on 8/31/11
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Yes, coca is legal to import into the U.S.A.  I have had it stolen from me by the U.S. Customs. 8 pounds was confiscated and they have no idea where it went. I know where it went, it went home with one of the Customs Agents. Thieves. I love the alkaloids that are released when baking soda is added. It has weaned me off of 9 medications that were making my hair fall out. It cured me of my headaches due to 2 back teeth impacting one another. All the doctors did was prescribe me seizure for the headaches, I never took them, I knew different.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
According to a Peruvian travel site, "... Because of the criminalization of coca plant by the United Nations, it is prohibited to export coca leaf products out side of Peru or Bolivia; Ironically, the only legal export of coca leaves to the United States, is done by the Stephan Company, which imports annually around 175,000 kilos of coca leaves, to produce a cocaine serum to give flavor to the Coca Cola."

I don't think importing coca leaf products into the US is legal.  Yes, my order passed through customs as well, but I noticed that the packaging says 'contents: Superior green tea' when this was not the product contained within.
oneanswer guy Profile
oneanswer guy answered
There is a fine line between legal and illegal when it comes to coca leaf (and thusly, the tea).  I have wondered with all the back and forth, so I actually looked it up on the original source for this type of information, the current controlled substance act.  According to the controlled substance act, coca leaf, in it's natural form, is to be considered cocaine in any legal situation.  However, there is a clause that specifically states clearly that coca leaf which has undergone the process of decocainization, is exempt from this scheduling.  The lack of decocainized coca leaf being mentioned in any other part of the controlled substance act, in any other scheduling, means that decocainized coca leaf is not a schedule substance, and is thus legal.
mars mars Profile
mars mars answered
To answer my own question... Yes, it's legal... It passes through customs into the united states everytime I order some.

There are rumors that it's illegal. These rumors come from people who have no experience but like to post something they've read or heard.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
To this day, Coca-Cola uses a United States license to purify the coca leaf for medicinal use.[2]
Because cocaine is naturally present in coca leaves, today's Coca-Cola uses "spent", or treated, coca leaves, those that have been through a cocaine extraction process, to flavor the beverage. Some contend that this process cannot extract all of the cocaine alkaloids at a molecular level, and so the drink still contains trace amounts of the stimulant.[1][3] The Coca-Cola Company currently refuses to comment on the continued presence of coca leaf in Coca-Cola.[4][5]

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