Gordon Ramsay learns how to make cocaine
Cocaine is produced from the leaves of the coca plant (Erythoxylon coca). The plant grows almost exclusively in northern and western South America. Colombia is now the main producer of illegal cocaine with Peru, Bolivia, and Chile providing significant amounts of the drug. The coca plant grows best in the mountain and jungle areas of these countries.
Small laboratories are scattered throughout the coca growing areas of South America. The hand picked coca leaves are soaked in gasoline and other chemicals to extract the coca base from the leaves in industrial-sized drums. Then the base is poured into brick molds. The water is pressed out, leaving a hard, easy-to-handle brick containing about 50 percent cocaine. The bricks are sent to collection points where they are shipped to markets in the U.S. and other countries.
Laboratories are set up to extract the coca from the leaves and then convert the coca into cocaine. There are two types of processing labs: pozo pit labs that use acidic solutions, and the more common lab that uses metal drums and gasoline.