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The DEA Has The Best Slang Terms For All The Drugs

Hey kids, want to try some wacky tobacky?

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What do flea market jeans, crusty treats, and California pancakes all have in common? According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, they’re all pseudonyms for cocaine. (Though, personally, my favorite DEA-published slang term for cocaine would have to be “devil’s dandruff.”)


Recently, the DEA released an unclassified intelligence report from May 2017, labeled “Drug Slang Code Words,” so now the whole world knows what not to comment on Venmo purchases. Along with a detailed list of slang words, the report features a trippy photo likely repurposed from a ’90s D.A.R.E. poster and a disclaimer:

“Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information presented. However, due to the dynamics of the ever-changing drug scene, subsequent additions, deletions, and corrections are inevitable. Further addendums to this report will attempt to capture changed terminology, to the extent possible.”

Of course, there are several crowd favorites on the DEA’s list of slang that are unlikely to fade into obscurity. For instance, everyone knows “coke” is short for cocaine, “weed” is code for cannabis, and “acid” is the colloquial term for LSD. But since the U.S. Department of Justice established in the agency in 1973, code words for drugs have proliferated and evolved as rapidly as bacteria in a dirty gym bag. And while there are plenty of terms I’ve never heard of, there are also a few the DEA got wrong. For instance, “wake and bake” is more of a lifestyle than a code word for ganja, and “pocket rocket” typically refers to a small vibrator. It’s safe to say the DEA has eavesdropped on some lively conversations.

Check out the full list of DEA-approved drug slang below.

DEA's List of Drug Slang and Code Words by Keegan Hamilton on Scribd

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