The drug war is a joke. Everyone knowsthis–including, apparently, the federal government, if a recent release from the Drug Enforcement Administration is any indication. “Slang Terms and Code Words: A Reference for Law Enforcement Personnel” is a 125-page report, issued just this month, that takes an exhaustive approach to the nomenclature of narcotics, and one must give the DEA credit for being thorough. Of course, drug slang evolves on an almost weekly basis, owing to changes in the culture and the exigencies of the black market. Now, between the rise of social media and the emergence of websites like Urban Dictionary, that process has kicked into overdrive, leaving even the savviest dope-fiend in a state of confusion, trying to understand what the streets are saying.
This apparently applies to cops as well, hence the DEA’s efforts at clarifying cops’ comprehension by producing this document, which really is a must-read. “It is designed,” it reports, “as a ready reference for law enforcement personnel who are confronted with hundreds of slang terms and code words used to identify a wide variety of controlled substances, designer drugs, synthetic compounds, measurements, locations, weapons and other miscellaneous terms relevant to the drug trade.”
Just like the Iron Sheik’s legendary “A to Z boys,” the authors take an alphabetic approach to the data, from “Abajo” (heroin) to “Zoomers” (amphetamines). The data is compiled two ways: The drugs are listed in the first part, with all the slang terms listed underneath; the second part has all of the slang terms laid out next to their corresponding drug, for easy reference. The report’s second half will have the most practical use for law-enforcement–and comedians. There’s also a list of slang terms for measurements of weight and volume, as well as for weapons and miscellaneous terminology, much of which is in Spanish, for obvious reasons.
All of that is groovy, but this is a marijuana column, so what about that? Well, among cannabis, concentrates, oils, synthetics and all derivatives thereof, the DEA lists about 395 slang terms. As much as I’d love to waste an entire column by sharing them here, I’ll just note some of my faves: Ace, African Bush, Bambalachacha, Bernie, Black Maria, Caviar, Chernobyl, Chicago Black, Colorado Cocktail, Dinkie Dow, Elefante Pata, Gorilla Glue, Hairy Ones, Holy Grail, Indian Boy, Juan Valdez, Lime Pillows, Machinery, Manhattan Silver, Maracachafa, Mowing the Lawn, Pakalolo, Platinum Cookies, Popcorn, Rainy Day, Red Hair, Righteous Bush, Shrimp, Skywalker, Smoochy Woochy, Terp Sauce, Texas Tea, Tigitty and, of course, Young Girls.
I don’t believe any of this, but who am I to question the government?
The best part? Could be the last page, which is like a comment card for officials who read the report. “DEA Intelligence Product Feedback Database” may well be the coolest phrasing I’ve heard all year, and I deeply regret the fact that I may never get to see exactly what that database contains.
Oh, yeah, just for the record, “Pot” is listed, too; I told you those G-Men were thorough!
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