Legal Use of Cocaine in the US

"Once the cocaine has been legally produced from the coca leaf, it is exported to various countries for medicinal use, basically as a topical anesthetic (applied to the surface, not injected, only treating a particular area). In the United States the crystalline powder is imported to pharmaceutical companies who process and package the cocaine for medical use. Merck Pharmaceutical Company and Mallinckrodt Chemical Works distribute cocaine in crystalline form (hydrochloride salt) in dark colored glass bottles to pharmacies and hospitals throughout the United States. Cocaine, in the alkaloid form (base drug containing no additives such as hydrochloride in the crystalline form) is rarely used for medicinal purposes. Cocaine hydrochloride crystals or flakes come in 1/8, 1/4 and 1 oz bottles from the manufacturer and has a wholesale price of approximately $20-$25/oz (100% pure).
"Cocaine is still a drug of choice among many physicians as a topical local anesthetic because the drug has vasoconstrictive qualities as it stops the flow of blood oozing. And although synthetic local anesthetics such as novacaine and xylocaine (lidocaine) have been discovered and are used extensively as local anesthetics, they do not have the same vasoconstrictive effects as cocaine."


Frye, Enno, and Levy, Joseph, "Pharmacology and Abuse of Cocaine, Amphetamines, Ecstasy and Related Designer Drugs: A Comprehensive Review on Their Mode of Action, Treatment of Abuse and Intoxication" (Springer, 2009), p. 33.