Ridiculous Vintage Ads of Cocaine and Cocaine Paraphernalia from the 1970s and 1980s

These vintage advertisements for cocaine and cocaine paraphernalia capture the chaotic and disturbing atmosphere of the 1970s. In those days, advertisements offered all kinds of coke equipment, including sprays to ease sore noses, products to keep the powder dry and free of clumps, ivory snorting straws, gold-plated razor blades, and exceptional coke sniffers. The War on Drugs was in full swing at the time, and cocaine was still very much illegal. However, the sale and marketing of cocaine equipment was a legitimate and lucrative business (with the fine print “Not for illegal use!”).

Cocaine became a fashionable new drug for entertainers and business people in the 1970s. Cocaine seemed like the ideal companion for a trip down the fast lane. Cocaine experimentation increased tenfold at some American universities between 1970 and 1980. According to the FDA, drug use peaked in the U.S. in 1979, when one in ten people used illegal drugs daily. It was a glamorous party drug that suited late nights, loud music, and flashy fashion. Large amounts were coming into the country from South America; the drug was cheap, and dealers took advantage of this by buying large quantities, mixing it with ammonia and baking soda, and selling it like crack. In contrast to white powder, crack – solid, smokable, faster, and more addictive – found its way into low-income communities.

Cocaine was traditionally considered a rich man’s drug (due to the high cost of a cocaine habit), but by the late 1980s, cocaine was no longer considered a drug of choice. It was considered America’s most dangerous and addictive drug, linked to poverty, crime, and death during that time. Under Ronald Reagan, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act was passed in 1986. A provision of the bill allows the president to increase tariffs (taxes on imports) on products from countries that do not cooperate with U.S. efforts to stop drug imports. The act also makes it easier to seize the assets of drug offenders (houses, boats, cars, and money). As a result of the act, money laundering laws were also created, making it illegal to move illegally obtained money (such as drug sale proceeds) into or out of bank accounts.

#2 This is an advert for the Sno-Blo, meant for clearing out one’s nostrils after snorting the white powder.

#7 This strainer was proclaimed to be better than a blade and was a steal at $7.

#9 The romantic White Lady mirrored plates went $6 and $12 each.

#22 The Hot Box machine allows the user to work out the percentage of pure cocaine when taking it at home.

#23 A company called ‘Johnny’s Snowflake’ offers a no-spill straw.

A company called ‘Johnny’s Snowflake’ offers a no-spill straw.

It claims the user will recoup their $25 cost with the first use and can be also be used simply as a straw or spoon.

#27 This ad encouraged consumers to weigh out their white powder..

#31 Head magazine informed its readers about the latest dope prices and how to remove cuts from coke.

#32 This advert clarified that the user’s problem wasn’t with their drug habit but because they didn’t keep the substance in a dry wood chamber.

#33 Glossy ads endorsed cocaine paraphernalia, such as this advert hawking a jade slab, spoon, straw and blade.

#36 This advert hints that if a user is shelling out big bucks for cocaine they might as well keep it in something just as expensive .

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Written by Jacob Aberto

Sincere, friendly, curious, ambitious, enthusiast. I'm a content crafter and social media expert. I love Classic Movies because their dialogue, scenery and stories are awesome.

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