The potent drug Fentanyl is widely used in medicine as a painkiller, and in anesthesia for major surgery. The intensely concentrated opiate is also a recreational street drug, with a growing number of addicted users--some of whom consume it together with chemically related opiates such as heroin.
Fusion profiles George Marquardt, an eccentric gadgeteer in Wichita, KS who became a career clandestine chemist. How important was he? When the feds finally nabbed Marquardt, the country's first “Fentanyl epidemic” dried right up.
Snip from the Fusion interview:
Fentanyl is so deadly that it’s nearly impossible to cut or create safely in a clandestine setting. But someone was doing just that: It appeared to investigators that an enterprising individual had cracked the prescription’s recipe in an illegal lab and was now selling his secret to drug dealers and other “cooks.”
They were right. Their man was a onetime science-fair champion and self-taught chemist in Wichita, Kansas, named George Marquardt.
In an exclusive interview with Fusion, Marquardt -- now 69 and an ex-convict, barred by a court from touching laboratory equipment -- discussed his skills and his trade.
“I am not a pharmacist,” he said. “I am not an M.D. I'm a fellow that will manufacture a chemical compound if you have a sufficiently large quantity of money.”
Marquardt explains to Fusion how wound up producing illegal drugs in the first place: he worked with a pal to produce heroin “using basic lab equipment and old chemistry manuals, some printed in German.”
The Walter White of Wichita
“I was perhaps about 14 or 15 years old at the time,” he said.
“This is not, you know, as remarkable as you might think,” he added. “If you look through these old laboratory manuals, this is just chemistry. Put one step ahead of the next. You work up your products. And I became skillful at feeding one reaction into the other.”
UPDATE: As I had cautioned, The Mirror indeed had its “facts” muddled. According to this October article in Vice, the photos seen here are actually from the woods around the University of Virginia’s Mountain Lake Biological Station. No idea if the fellow was actually tripping or thought he was a Siberian tiger. Shame, as the […]
Jan Hoffman writes about recent research into the effects on psychedelics such as psilocybin on anxiety and depression: “About 80 percent of cancer patients showed clinically significant reductions in both psychological disorders, a response sustained some seven months after the single dose.” Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, a past president of the American Psychiatric Association, and Dr. […]
The Telegraph created an interactive data visualization of cannabis use in countries around the world. Here are the winners: • Iceland – 16.2% (prevalence of use as percentage of population) • US – 16.2% • Nigeria – 14.3% • Canada – 12.7% • Chile – 11.83% • France – 11.1% • New Zealand – 11% […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]