From Abajo to Zoomers: DEA Works to Decode Drug Slang

From Abajo to Zoomers: DEA Works to Decode Drug Slang

Written by Christopher A. Parrella, J.D., CHC, CPC, CPCO

You may have heard Mary Jane and Grass used as slang for marijuana or Blow and Crank used for cocaine, but have you ever heard of Blind Squid or Hawaiian Sunshine? They are jargon for Ketamine and LSD, respectively, and are among the hundreds of words included in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Slang Code Words for 2018.

Each year, the DEA puts out a list of these street terms to provide law enforcement with an easy-to-search reference sheet to assist them in their efforts to identify what substances are being discussed by dealers and users.

The list of terms for marijuana is longer than any other and include the ones you may be familiar with such as weed and reefer. But there also are some newer terms like this mouthful “Bambalachacha” and cute names such as “Love Nuggets” and even “Smoochy Woochy Poochy”.

The report is broken down into drug categories with the slang terms listed alphabetically – from Abajo (Heroin) to Zoomers (Amphetamine). It includes controlled substances, synthetic compounds, and designer drugs, as well as slang terms for measurements, locations, weapons and miscellaneous terms.

For example, did you know that a loaf or pie refers to an ounce? And, that a California roll does not necessarily refer to something ordered at a Japanese restaurant, but when referring to drugs it means a pound?

If someone says they, or the drug, comes from Uncle Angel, they are referring to Los Angeles, while Moscas means the border patrol police.

There’s a whole underground language being used by the drug trade, and by those who use drugs. At 125 pages, the 2018 reference guide is huge, compared to the 2017 guide that had just seven pages.

Although quite thorough, the DEA is quick to note that the list is not exhaustive and, because of the “dynamics of the ever-changing drug scene, subsequent additions, deletions, and corrections are inevitable.”

Needless to say, the next time someone says they hear wedding bells you may have to wonder if they are referring to walking down the aisle or to LSD.

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The information presented in these blogs is strictly informational and not meant to be a substitute for professional advice. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the information presented here and any use of our products based on such information.