The legal aspects of Cocaine



Cocaine in any form is a Class A drug. It is illegal to produce, supply or possess it. It is also illegal to allow premises to be used for the supply, production or consumption of cocaine. Penalties are high.

Cocaine is not a cheap drug and it is expensive to maintain a regular intake. Many regular users resort to crime of one kind or another to fund their drug use. Obviously, such behavior can result in a criminal record or imprisonment.

Many young people use cocaine when going out, usually in association with alcohol and hence leave themselves open to the arm of the law. The maximum penalty for someone caught in possession of cocaine is 7 years imprisonment and a fine; the maximum penalty for the trafficking of the drug is life imprisonment (under the misuse of drugs act).

Modes of Administration; Crack Cocaine

Cocaine is either snorted (sniffed), swallowed, injected, or smoked. Habitual snorting can result in serious damage to the nasal mucous membranes; shared needles, as with any intravenous drug usage, put the user at increased risk of HIV infection. The street drug comes in the form of a white powder, cocaine hydrochloride. The hydrochloride salt and the cutting agents are removed to create the pure base product freebase. Freebase is smoked and reaches the brain in seconds. Crack cocaine, also called rock, is a form of freebase that comes in small lumps and makes a crackling sound when heated. It is relatively inexpensive, but must be repeated often to maintain the stimulant effects.


Crack cocaine magnifies the effects of cocaine and is considered to be more highly and more quickly addictive than snorted cocaine. It causes a very abrupt increase in heart rate and blood pressure that can lead to heart attack and stroke even in young people with no history of vascular disease. An example of such a case was the unfortunate death of Stevie "Hyper" D, the original Drum and Bass MC (may he rest in peace).


It also readily crosses the placental barrier. Babies born to crack-addicted mothers go through withdrawal symptoms and are at a higher risk of stroke, cerebral palsy, and other birth defects.


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