Looney Tunes Anti-Drug PSAs from the 1970s

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Here's Mel Blanc channeling Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester, and other Looney Tunes characters decrying the use of hard drugs. Read the rest

Merciless reporting on the Chicago Police Department's extortion racket, & the senior officials who covered it up


The more we learn about the Chicago Police Department, the worse it gets -- there's the sabotage of dashcams, the widespread corruption, the investigators fired for refusing to cover up police crimes, off-the-books "black site" where the CPD kidnaps and tortures suspects, the Accountability Task Force Report that called the force racist, corrupt and broken. Read the rest

Meth, Hitler and the Reich: the true, untold story of the Nazis' dependence on coke, meth and oxy


Novelist Norman Ohler became fascinated with the Third Reich's reliance on opiods and methamphetamines when DJ Alexander Kramer mentioned it to him in passing; he set out to write a novel, but in Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich he produced what historian and authority on the Third Reich Ian Kershaw called "a serious piece of scholarship." Read the rest

Novum Pharma's $240, semi-useless acne cream now costs $10,000/tube


The cost of Aloquin -- an acne cream based on iodoquinol and aloe, whose component ingredients cost virtually nothing -- was raised by 128% this week by manufacturer Novum Pharma, who now charge $9,561 for a 60g tube. Read the rest

Tommy Chong asks Obama to pardon him for his bullshit drug paraphernalia bust


Lou Cabron writes, "Tommy Chong has a funny monologue about his 2003 arrest. When federal agents bang on his door and ask if he has any drugs, he says 'Of course I do! I'm Tommy Chong!' But that's just his way of making a point -- that they didn't have a warrant for drugs. Their warrant allowed them to search for glass pipes. (Yes, they actually had a warrant to search for glass.) Read the rest

Criminal entrepreneurship in Mexico's high-tech drug cartels


Dr Rodrigo Nieto-Gomez is a research professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, studying "criminal entrepreneurship" in drug cartels, who beat Amazon to using drones for delivery by years, use modified potato guns to shoot cocaine and marijuana bundles over border fences, and represent the "true libertarian, Ayn Rand capitalism." Read the rest

Ancient psychedelic Ayahuasca's Brooklyn and Silicon Valley devotees

In the New Yorker, Ariel Levy explores the buzz around Ayahuasca, the ultimate artisanal psychedelic drug.

“I came home reeking of vomit and sage and looking like I’d come from hell,” Vaughn Bergen, a twenty-seven-year-old who works at an art gallery in Chelsea, said of one ayahuasca trip. “Everyone was trying to talk me out of doing it again. My girlfriend at the time was, like, ‘Is this some kind of sick game?’ I was, like, ‘No. I’m growing.’ ” His next experience was blissful: “I got transported to a higher dimension, where I lived the whole ceremony as my higher self. Anything I thought came to be.” Bergen allows that, of the nine ceremonies he’s attended, eight have been “unpleasant experiences.” But he intends to continue using ayahuasca for the rest of his life. He believes that it will heal not only him but civilization at large.

The process of making ayahuasca is beyond artisanal: it is nearly Druidical. “We pick the chacruna leaf at sunrise in this very specific way: you say a prayer and just pick the lower ones from each tree,” a lithe ayahuasquera in her early forties—British accent, long blond hair, a background in Reiki—told me about her harvests, in Hawaii. “You clean the vine with wooden spoons, meticulously, all the mulch away from the roots—they look so beautiful, like a human heart—and you pound these beautiful pieces of vine with wooden mallets until it’s fibre,” she said. “Then it’s this amazing, sophisticated process of one pot here and one pot there, and you’re stirring and you’re singing songs.”

She and her boyfriend serve the ayahuasca—“divine consciousness in liquid form”—at ceremonies in New York, Cape Town, Las Vegas, Bali.

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Bad trips may be good for you

A "bad trip" on psychedelic mushrooms may lead to "enduring increases in well-being," according to a new study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Neuroscientist Roland Griffiths and colleagues surveyed nearly 2,000 adults about their psilocybin experiences. Those who experienced bad trips had taken, on average, a powerful dose of 4 grams. From Psypost:

A majority of the participants — 62 percent — said their bad trip was among the top 10 most psychologically difficult situations of their lives. Eleven percent said it was their number one most difficult experience.

But 34 percent of participants said the bad trip was among the top five most personally meaningful experiences of their life and 31 percent said it was the among the top five most spiritually significant. And 76 percent said the bad trip had resulted in an improved sense of personal well-being or life satisfaction. Forty-six percent said they would be willing to experience the bad trip all over again.

"Survey study of challenging experiences after ingesting psilocybin mushrooms: Acute and enduring positive and negative consequences" (Journal of Psychopharmacology) Read the rest

Court tells cops that license plates from a weed-friendly state are not "suspicious"


The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has stripped two Kansas Highway Patrol officers of immunity for their detention of a man with Colorado plates whom they believed to be suspicious because Colorado has legal recreational marijuana -- thus any car from Colorado was a potential marijuana smuggling vehicle. Read the rest

Massive amount of cocaine found at Coca-Cola plant


A pile of cocaine worth US$55 million was found at a Coca-Cola plant in Signes, France.

"The first elements of the investigation have shown that employees are in no way involved," said regional Coca-Cola president Jean-Denis Malgras.

The 370kg stash of bagged blow was discovered in a shipment of orange juice concentrate from South America.

When first launched at the end of the 19th century, a glass of Coca-Cola was estimated to contain nine milligrams of cocaine. In 1904, the company replaced that ingredient with cocaine-free coca leaf extract. Or at least that's what they tell us.


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John Lennon on his first acid trip


In 1965, John Lennon, George Harrison, Cynthia Lennon, and Pattie Boyd were having dinner at a dentist friend's house. The dentist put LSD in their coffee without telling them first. When he revealed what he had done, John was pissed off, and rightly so. "How dare you fucking do this to us?" he said. Rolling Stone's Mikal Gilmore has the story and an animated interview with John about their first trip on LSD and the secret history of Revolver:

"It was as if we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a horror film," Cynthia Lennon said. "The room seemed to get bigger and bigger." The Beatles and their wives fled Riley's home in Harrison's Mini Cooper. (According to Bury, John and George had earlier indicated a willingness to take LSD if they didn't know beforehand that it was being administered.) The Lennons and Harrisons went to Leicester Square's Ad Lib club. In the elevator, they succumbed momentarily to panic. "We all thought there was a fire in the lift," Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1971. "It was just a little red light, and we were all screaming, all hot and hysterical." Once inside at a table, something like reverie began to take hold instead. As Harrison told Rolling Stone, "I had such an overwhelming feeling of well-being, that there was a God, and I could see him in every blade of grass. It was like gaining hundreds of years of experience in 12 hours."

The couples ended up at the Harrisons' home in Esher, outside London.

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The Mainstreaming of Psychedelics

From MDMA as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder to Ketamine for beating depression, there's a psychedelic revival afoot, one that is firmly rooted in science and medicine. In High Times, Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, policy manager of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), writes about the "Mainstreaming of Psychedelics":

“What brings you to Canada?” the Border Patrol asked Dr. Michael Mithoefer in the spring of 2015. Mithoefer, a psychiatrist, and his wife Annie, a psychiatric nurse, are pioneers in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Mithoefer had been invited to Toronto to address the largest gathering of psychiatrists in the world—the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association—on the results of their research into treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using MDMA.

Needless to say, if there’s ever a time to avoid ruffling feathers with the mention of psychoactive substances, international border-crossing fits the bill. Mithoefer succinctly explained that he was presenting his PTSD research at the APA conference.

“PTSD? Did you know that researchers are using MDMA now to treat war veterans?” the border agent asked him incredulously.

Mithoefer recounts this story to me with delight after he arrives at the APA conference. It’s a sign of how much the times are changing: Not only is the famously old-fashioned APA hosting a panel on the use of psychedelics, but a recognition of their therapeutic value seems to be seeping into the public consciousness.

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Blame the War on Drugs for stoned, face-eating murderers


No one know if the 19 year old who murdered a man in Florida and gnawed on his face while wearing a Donald Trump hat was high, and if so, what he had taken, but the bizarre, violent behavior is consistent with people who take flakka, a popular South Florida synthetic drug meant to mimic cocaine. Read the rest

Meth lab found underneath a Walmart parking lot


We've heard countless stories about people brewing up meth in Walmart bathrooms, but now police have found a meth lab underneath a Walmart in Amherst, New York! They discovered the underground lab inside a culvert below the store's parking lot and a crew in hazmat gear is now clearing out the tunnel. From WIVB:

“We’ll talk to the proper authorities to figure out what we need to do to make sure that’s not accessible anymore,” said Captain Scott Chamberlin.

He said they did not receive any tips. The culvert was checked during a random preventative patrol.

“Routine patrol, that’s what we do every day,” said Captain Chamberlin.

We asked him if it’s routine to check underground.

He said, “We check in various areas that people who might be up to no good, might be using for no good.”

Members of the NYSP Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team passed buckets of evidence up from the manhole.

“Spray paint can, some various chemicals, a liquid we believe is methamphetamine,” said Captain Chamberlin.

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Fantastic infographic of cannabis strains


Boing Boing pal Jody Radzik designed this incredible infographic of marijuana strains for Berkeley, California's Patient’s Care Collective who claim to be "the longest continuously operating medical marijuana dispensary on the planet." Click the images to expand (your mind)!

"The chart basically expands upon the traditional sativa-indica-hybrid classification scheme in a way that helps folks to make sense of the bewildering array of choices in marijuana medicine available at the PCC, as well as just about any other dispensary in the state," Jody explains.

Far fucking out.

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Video about using psychedelic drugs to treat anxiety, addiction, and OCD

In the last decade, researchers at Johns Hopkins University and elsewhere have launched new studies investigating whether psychedelic drugs, from shrooms to LSD to DMT, can treat mental disorders ranging from depression and PTSD to anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Vox reporters German Lopez and Javier Zarracina surveyed the state of medical research on hallucinogens:

In a recent study, British researchers used brain imaging techniques to gauge how the brain looks on LSD versus a placebo. They found big differences between LSD and the placebo, with the images of the brain on LSD showing much more connectivity between different sections of the mind.

This can help explain visual hallucinations, because it means various parts of the brain — not just the visual cortex at the back of the mind — are communicating during an LSD trip.

This, researchers argued, may show not just why psychedelic drugs trigger hallucinogenic experiences but also why they may be able to help people. "In many psychiatric disorders, the brain may be viewed as having become entrenched in pathology, such that core behaviors become automated and rigid," the researchers wrote. "Consistent with their ‘entropic’ effect on cortical activity, psychedelics may work to break down such disorders by dismantling the patterns of activity on which they rest."

"The fascinating, strange medical potential of psychedelic drugs, explained in 50+ studies" (Vox)

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When science intersected with the counterculture, things got wonderfully weird


In the late 1960s and 1970s, the mind-expanding modus operandi of the counterculture spread into the realm of science, and shit got wonderfully weird. Neurophysiologist John Lilly tried to talk with dolphins. Physicist Peter Phillips launched a parapsychology lab at Washington University. Princeton physicist Gerard O'Neill became an evangelist for space colonies. Groovy Science: Knowledge, Innovation, and American Counterculture is a new book of essays about this heady time! The book was co-edited by MIT's David Kaiser, who wrote the fantastic 2011 book How the Hippies Saved Physics, and UC Santa Barbara historian W. Patrick McCray. I can't wait to read it!

From an MIT News interview with Kaiser:

We want to address a common stereotype that dates from the time period itself, which is that the American youth movement, the hippies or counterculture, was reacting strongly against science and technology, or even the entire Western intellectual tradition of reason, as a symbol of all that should be overturned. In fact, many of them were enamored of science and technology, some of them were working scientists, and some were patrons of science. This picture of fear and revulsion is wrong.

We also see things that have a surprisingly psychedelic past. This includes certain strains of sustainability, design, and manufacture, notions of socially responsible engineering, and artisanal food. This stuff didn’t start from scratch in 1968 and didn’t end on a dime in 1982...

These folks were rejecting not science itself but what many had come to consider a depersonalized, militarized approach to the control of nature.

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