If you've ever known anyone who's been busted for cocaine, you know it's, as Joe Biden would say, no joke.

How it gets into the country is a dangerous and risky business. Unless you're the Stepan Company in Bergen County, according to the NY Post.

It's not for recreational use. Well, not exactly. It's used as it originally was in Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola includes a coca leaf extract as an ingredient prepared at the company facility in Maywood.

The cocaine-free extract is sold to the Coca-Cola Company for use in soft drinks.

The Stepan Company is the only commercial entity in the United States authorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration to import coca leaves, which come primarily from Peru via the National Coca Company.

Adobe Express
Adobe Express

Approximately 100 metric tons of dried coca leaf are imported each year.

Meanwhile, the cocaine is sold to Mallinckrodt, a pharmaceutical firm, for medicinal purposes.

It's mostly used as a numbing agent by dentists.

As you may or may not know Coca-Cola originally contained cocaine when it was invented by a pharmacist in 1885. At that time, cocaine was legal in the United States.

Diet Coke bottles
Diet Coke bottles (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The drug has long since been removed but the extract for flavoring still remains.

The Stepan Company purchased the plant in Maywood in 1959 which was known at that time as Maywood Chemical works.

Importing cocaine into our country was outlawed in 1921 but an exemption in the law was made for this plant.

Yet another contribution from a little-known entity in New Jersey that contributes to something enjoyed all over the world.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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