Pubdate: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 Source: Daily Press, The (Escanaba, MI) Copyright: 2006 The Daily Press Contact: http://www.dailypress.net/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/3443 Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v06/n1335/a04.html Author: Randy Vizyak COLUMNIST MISSED THE POINT How did Andy Heller become an award-winning journalist? Perhaps his grammar and punctuation is (sic) very good. His logic certainly is not. In his Oct. 5 column "New energy drink just stupid," he ridicules a beverage maker for calling their drink "cocaine." Where does he think the name "'COCA'- cola" comes from? He should do some research on this subject. There is a product called "Mate Coca" sold by a company in Bolivia. It really does have "cocaine" in it. The natural coca leaf contains the alkaloid cocaine. So what? The natural coffee bean contains the alkaloid "caffeine." Looking at this from a strictly botanical and chemical point of view, what's the difference between the effects of cocaine and the effects of caffeine? Their both stimulants. One could make a cup of coca leaf tea and it would be a benign substance. One could extract the caffeine from the coffee bean and have a potent white powder substance. If the U.S. government treated the coffee bean the way it treats the coca leaf, we could no longer get a cup of coffee. But Columbian drug lords would be selling pure white powder caffeine for $5,000 an ounce. It's more profitable to smuggle the potent white powder than it is the natural leaf. Mr. Heller is very good at sensational journalism, but very poor in critical thinking. Randy Vizyak, Mukwonago, Wis.