Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca plant (erythroxylon coca), indigenous to the Andes Mountains in South America. Coca has been used for centuries by the natives of Peru and Bolivia, who chew or suck the leaves to increase endurance and relieve hunger. Its effects are similar to those of amphetamines.
Pure cocaine was first extracted and identified in the mid-1800's and was introduced as a tonic / elixir to treat a wide variety of real or imagined illnesses. Later, it was used as a local anesthetic in eye, nose, and throat surgeries. Its more famous 19th century proponents included the psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, who described it as a "magical drug" with the ability to ease the symptoms of depression, alcoholism, and morphine addiction. To the disdain of Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes made frequent use of cocaine's apparent ability to increase mental powers and reduce fatigue. Until the turn of the century, cocaine could even be found in Coca-Cola. It was made illegal after World War I, except for medical purposes. Most of its therapeutic uses have since become obsolete with the advent of amphetamines and other synthetic drugs.
The leaves of the coca plant are made into a paste and its contents heated with hydrochloric acid to produce cocaine hydrochloride. This most common form of cocaine is a white, crystalline powder, freely soluble in water, but rarely used internally or injected. The most popular method of use is to separate the powder into fine "lines" of approximately 1/4 gram, 4-6 inches long. A small straw is then used to "snort" the cocaine into the nose.
Cocaine stimulates the cells of the central nervous system and cardiovascular system. The feeling of stimulation that comes from cocaine use is due to its activation of nerve cells in the brain that release dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure and a sense of alertness. Physical symptoms include an accelerated heart rate and breathing, and higher blood pressure and temperature. The two most important factors in determining the effect of the drug are the amount taken and the method of ingestion. Intravenous use ordinarily produces a euphoria within 20-30 seconds, whereas snorting may take from 3-5 minutes. The effects of smoking cocaine or crack are almost immediate.
The common street selling price of cocaine hydrochloride powder is $80-$100 per gram. The purity of the drug is almost always diluted by dealers wanting to increase the volume of the cocaine to multiply profits. Popular "cutting" agents include lactose, inositol, mannitol, lidocaine, and even cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar.
Street names: Coke, Charlie, Snow, Flake, Blow, Toot, Aunt, Uptown, Yao, Dream, Foo-Foo Dust, White Dragon
Freebase cocaine is cocaine without its water-soluble component, or "base." It is prepared by dissolving cocaine hydrochloride with a strong alkali, and drawing out the cocaine from its impurities. The preparation of freebase cocaine involves the use of highly explosive solvents such as ether. "Crack" or "rock" cocaine is the street name given to freebase cocaine processed from cocaine hydrochloride to a base, then using ammonia or baking soda and heating it to remove the hydrochloride. The resulting mixture is allowed to harden, then broken into small pieces or rocks, which can be easily smoked in a pipe. The term "crack" refers to the crackling sound made when the mixture is smoked.
While prices for crack vary according to purity, quantity, and place of sale, its relatively cheap price has caused this form of cocaine to become very popular in the inner cities. Common street prices for a rock are $40 (1/4 gram) or $10-$25 (1/10 gram). Smoking delivers large quantities of cocaine into the lungs, reaching the brain in a few seconds, and producing a high more intense than cocaine powder. The "high" lasts 15-30 minutes followed by a more crushing depression. Following its introduction in the mid-1980's, crack has quickly attracted a loyal following, and has brought with it increased drug abuse problems and violence.
Penalties for Possession and Dealing under Indiana Law
Indiana law makes no distinction between cocaine hydrochloride powder, freebase, or crack. All are included in the definition of "cocaine" in IC 35-48-1-7, which is listed as a Schedule II controlled substance under IC 35-48-2-6(b)(4).
Penalties for possession and dealing cocaine are the same as for all other Schedule I or II narcotic substances (Heroin, Morphine, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone) and Methamphetamine.
Possession of Cocaine (IC 35-48-4-6)
less than 3 grams (Class D Felony)
3 grams or more (Class C Felony)
less than 3 grams and on a school bus or within 1000' of school property, a park, family housing complex, or youth program center (Class B Felony)
3 grams or more and on a school bus or within 1000' of school property, a park, family housing complex, or youth program center (Class A Felony)
Possession of Cocaine not only includes possession on the person, but may also include the "constructive possession" of cocaine found in any area over which dominion and control are exercised. For example, the driver of a car may be in constructive possession of cocaine found inside the glove compartment or trunk. The resident owner of a home may be in constructive possession of cocaine found in the kitchen or bedroom.
Dealing in Cocaine (IC 35-48-4-1)
Dealing (Class B Felony)
Possession With Intent to Deal (Class B Felony)
Dealing and 3 grams or more (Class A Felony)
Possession With Intent and 3 grams or more (Class A Felony)
Dealing and recipient under 18 (Class A Felony )
Possession With Intent and recipient under 18 (Class A Felony)
Dealing or Possession With Intent to Deal, and on a school bus or within 1000' of school property, a park, family housing complex, or youth program center (Class A Felony)
Dealing in Cocaine includes manufacturing, financing the manufacturing, delivering, or financing the delivery of cocaine. Dealing also includes Possession with Intent to Deal. There is no requirement of a sale, mere transfer is sufficient.
A Class D felony is punishable by 1/2 to 3 years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000. A Class C Felony is punishable by 2 to 8 years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.
A Class B Felony is punishable by 6 to 20 years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.
A Class A Felony is punishable by 20 to 50 years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.
Under IC 31-30-1-4, all crimes of Dealing in Cocaine are excluded from Juvenile Court jurisdiction when the defendant is over 16 years of age, and has a prior conviction or adjudication for dealing. The case is filed directly into adult court with adult crimes and penalties applicable.
Under IC 35-50-2-2, Dealing in Cocaine as a Class A Felony has a minimum mandatory nonsuspendable sentence of 20 years imprisonment if the defendant possessed a firearm, or delivered to a person under 18 years old on a school bus or within 1000' of a school, public park, youth program center, or family housing complex.
Under IC 35-48-4-15, following a conviction for Possession or Dealing in Cocaine, the court shall in addition order the person's operator's license and motor vehicle registrations suspended at least six (6) months but not more than two (2) years.