While trying to figure out an article to write this week, I asked a friend of mine if he had any ideas. He told me something about kids snorting cocoa. Naturally I thought it was an autocorrect for coke or coco (cocaine), but after looking it up on Google, I was shocked to find that it was no spelling error.
Kids (and adults) are snorting Cocoa Powder to get high.
Cocoa powder is derived from the Cacao tree. The beans on the tree are removed and processed into cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and dark chocolate. Cacao is the unrefined stuff, all raw and straight from the tree. Cocoa powder is the processed and refined version. However, the names are often used interchangeably (even though they're really not the same).
After doing some research, I found out that this has been going on for some time. It’s so popular, in fact, that Belgian chocolate company Dominique Persoone actually invented a device called a "Chocolate Shooter" to assist people in their snorting habits. It’s a strange contraption and works kind of like a catapult. He invented it as a birthday present for The Rolling Stones, but it took off and is now sold at The Chocolate Line for 45 Euros (about 52 US Dollars). However, it's really not easy to obtain unless you go to the store itself. Online orders don't accept credit cards, so you have to do a bank transfer. Maybe that's a good thing for us here in the States, even though you don't necessarily need this shooter to snort things.
This craze is especially popular in Europe. Berlin hosts a huge party called “Lucid” where the hosts feed their attendees raw cacao in the form of drinks, pills, and powder of course. 18 pounds of this stuff is obtained for the party alone. They say it isn’t a crazy rave product like acid or Molly, so you won’t hallucinate. However, it’ll release some endorphins, give you a euphoric experience, and relax your body a little. Alcohol and even cocaine are being traded in for it.
This is slowly becoming the new alternative to cocaine, especially since it's legal and easy to obtain. Seriously, go to any food store and it's right there in the baking aisle. It will be nearly impossible to outlaw since it is a common household item. There are places in Canada that are selling small baggies of it for $2. Another store sells a complete kit for it, thankfully including a warning about excessive sniffing. Some people claim that their reason for snorting it is so they can get the effect of just eating regular chocolate, while others openly admit they do it to get that high feeling. Willy Wonka's character traits make so much more sense now. Tell us again why you love chocolate so much?
On a more serious note, I've heard of people snorting Pixie Sticks or Smarties at the lunch table once or twice for laughs. But for some, cacao snorting or ingesting isn't just for giggles. It's a new habit. There are PARTIES DEDICATED TO THIS. If that doesn't concern you, I may question your judgement (or lack thereof).
While I'm glad that this stuff is less dangerous than other recreational drugs, I still don't think it's acceptable. Snorting anything is extremely dangerous for your nose. It damages the cilia, inner membranes, and even the nose's ability to function properly. I don't want to pass judgement, but there are better things in life than snorting a baking product.