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The soda (dope) and BC powder explanations are both correct. Workers noticed that if they took a BC powder with a caffeinated beverage they got a "buzz", thus the basis for calling a soda a "dope". It was (and is) quite common to refer to a soft drink as a "dope" in any context, not just BC powder. We used to paraphrase the musical phrase "Shave and a haircut, two bits" to "Dope and a hot dog, two bits." In those days you could get a soft drink and a hot dog for a quarter.