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Coca Cola...Oh My!!!

Back in the 70's I attended a meeting of the Theosophical Society in Atlanta, Ga.  The meeting was held in a stately old mansion.  There were about a dozen very wealthy older women in attendance.  Intelligent spiritual seekers of the esoteric. One of the women present was Dorothy Candler, the Coca Cola heiress.                     I had a keen interest in medicine and pharmacology in my youth.  I hoped that I might pose a question to her in private at the end of the meeting.  We were served cake and coffee and I waited for an opportunity.  When I approached her she was quite gracious.  "Mrs. Candler, could I ask you a question about the early days of Coca Cola?"   "Why yes, my dear," she replied with a smile.   "Is it true that there was cocaine in Coca Cola at one time?"  "Oh yes, but you see, back in the day, there was a dab of cocaine in everything under the sun!  We set up the soda fountain alongside the apothecary.  There were a couple of hundred formulations and everything had a dab of cocaine in it.  Teething drops for babies, tonic drops for the tired working man or weary mother, sleeping drops for the elderly...EVERYTHING had a dab of cocaine in it, so the drugstore was a very popular place!"  As she warmed to her topic, the other ladies made their way over and she shared the story with everyone.  "But the government observed the trend and decided that we would be in trouble if it continued.  So they passed the law outlawing cocaine. Hundreds of little companies folded overnight!   Coca Cola fought the ruling, but the government held firm.  We persisted!  'But we're a big company and we pay you a lot of tax money!'    "Sorry!  The cocaine has to go!"   "Coke didn't want to close its doors, so we continued to fight.  Finally we sat in closed door sessions with lawmakers where we hammered out a deal.  We agreed to take the cocaine out if we could replace it with a different addictive plant substance...the famous secret ingredient!  And that is how we survived!"   It was legal, it would never have to be divulged on a label...and there are no limits to how much is used.

Afterward, I thought to myself.  She was a lovely lady, the Candlers were beloved for their philanthropic endeavors, but all that aside, I wasn't sure how I felt about being addicted to something without my knowledge or permission!  It made me angry...  I vowed to never let myself become addicted to anything like that.       Many years have passed, but I continued to keep an eye on the story. As I recall, she told me in private what the substance was...a South American plant whose name I do not recall now.  As time went on, we had gas chromatographs that could analyse the various components of a formulation, so it wasn't long before the competitors had access to the secret ingredient.  All the drink makers use them.  In fact, there are many addictive plant substances in nature. Every company in a bid to capture market share ups the dose. Coke! Pepsi!  Mountain Dew! ( which regrettably appears to be the worst offender with its Mountain Dew and energy drinks)   The syrup is key.  MacDonald's uses a different syrup than the formula for the grocery chain.  More addictive!  The consumer can tell you...They feel it!   When I counsel people, I share the story. "You were addicted without your knowledge or permission! Think about it!  Life is difficult enough without these added burdens.  Get mad.  'Mad' is rocket fuel for good change.   You will need to treat yourself like an addict for a bit as you withdraw.  Be gentle with yourself and remain aware.  Refuse to be their addict!"

Recently, in another unexpected twist to the story, I was doing research into CBD oils for my clients.  As a former manufacturer, I thought perhaps that I could purchase in bulk and bring the price down considerably from the rip-off prices that are charged.  An issue around toxicity arose as I learned that hemp is the best remediation plant in the world for use when soils are poisoned by chemicals, radiation and the like.  People said not to buy from Russia, India or China for the pollution issues.  Only buy it from Canada was the advice.  Well, I lived in Canada long enough to know that they also have serious pollution issues.                            My reasoning: hemp pulls the toxins from the soil into itself, we then distill it and place it under our tongues... a triple whammy for toxicity for the unwary masses!!! Further, when asking the various companies for chemical analysis records for each batch, all but 3 companies quickly hung up on me.  Then a friend stepped in to help.  "Just go with Swiss X.  They are the biggest and the best. They'll be around in 10 yrs and they've surely done all the research." "Who is Swiss X?"  "Oh you know!  They're the ones with Snoop Dog and Willie Nelson."  Groaning at the thought, I looked them up.  I found that they had the most expensive CBD oil for one.  Then, on a hunch, I dug into the financials.  I was shocked to find that the real power behind the throne was the billionaire heir of Coca Cola!   I realized that they have ALWAYS been in the drug business!  They have never left it. They will ALWAYS and ALL-WAYS be in the drug business.  Shortly afterward, they announced plans for a CBD-infused cola.  

Just a little more info on this unsavory character https://heavy.com/news/2019/05/alki-david/