I’ve got 23 ziplock bags filled with coca leaves laid out on the rickety table in front of me. It’s been seven hours since the leaves were picked, and they’re already secreting the raw alkaloid that gives cocaine its kick. The smell is pungently woody, but that may just be the mold growing on the walls of this dingy hotel room in the southern Colombian jungle. Somewhere down the hall, a woman is moaning with increasing urgency. I’ve barricaded the door in case the paramilitaries arrive.
Yeah, new Duran Duran product may be unavoidable on the radio, but it’s only when a superstrain of cocaine rears its, um, ugly head that you really know the ’80s are back. Wired magazine reports that the US policy of crop spraying in Colombia, instead of killing off the new supercocaine, ironically has been killing only the weeds, ensuring that the crops are bumper. Bumper, get it? Los Angeles, New York, and even London are shoulder-high in high-quality powder not seen since “Hungry Like the Wolf” was a hit.