On the death of Rob Ford

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My condolences to his family, who deserved a better person in their lives. Read the rest

Nixon started the War on Drugs because he couldn't declare war on black people and hippies

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Nixon aide/Watergate jailbird John Ehrlichman confessed to Dan Baum that Richard Nixon started the War on Drugs because "We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities." Read the rest

Medusa's Web: Tim Powers is the Philip K Dick of our age

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Tim Powers is a fantasy writer who spins out tales of wild, mystic conspiracy that are so believable and weird, we're lucky he didn't follow L Ron Hubbard's example and found a religion, or we'd all be worshipping in his cult. Along with James Blaylock and KW Jeter, Powers was one of three young, crazy genre writers who served as Philip K Dick's proteges, and Powers gives us a glimpse of where Dick may have ended up if he'd managed to beat his own worst self-destructive impulses.

An LSD trip story: “Went to a Donald Trump speech on acid SUPER BAD VIBES”

Bad trip, dude.

“Got a terrific view of his exquisite hairpiece in person that seemed to have a mind of its own as it was breathing and taking on different forms throughout the whole speech.”

It may be fact, it may be fiction. We do not know. But this first-hand account of an unfortunate fellow who fell under the delusion that it would be a good idea to attend a campaign rally for GOP presidential candidate and noted racist shitbag Donald Trump while tripping balls--it's a very good acid trip story.

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Parents rent drug-sniffing dogs to search teens' bedrooms

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The Last Chance K9 Service in New Albany, Indiana is just one of several companies that sells the services of drug detection dogs to parents who think their kids are hiding drugs in their room. A visit costs $99. Since opening in September of last year, owner Michel Davis says his K9 teams have searched more than 50 homes and have a 90 percent hit rate. For example, one teen had stashed his weed in a cereal box and another hid her pot pipe in an Altoids can. The dogs weren't fooled. I'm sure these cases end with big, teary, loving family hugs and the kids say nope to dope from then on. From the Courier-Journal:

Davis, who has tactical training in the detection of drugs, firearms and bombs, said the majority of his work has been focused on bigger contracts, including searches of businesses and other private contracts he said he's not at liberty to discuss.

But he said he's motivated to aid parents, adding a personal touch and pep talk because of his own experiences. He said had a tough upbringing in Louisville, experimented with marijuana and saw some of his friends progress to harder drugs. He was inspired to fight addiction in his own way after an addict seeking money in 2005 attacked his pregnant fiancee, causing her to lose the baby.

"We want to take drugs off the streets," Davis said of his team, which includes other dog handlers with military backgrounds.

"What we do is help the family fix the issue," he said.

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Are you a spiritual leader? Take shrooms for science

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Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine seeks religious and spiritual leaders to participate in a research study on psilocybin and mystical experience.

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Morbid and risque Valentines of yesteryear

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These feel like the winners of a photoshopping contest, but if they are, I can't find the source. Read the rest

How LSD became a brain hemorrhage patient's lifesaver

In GQ, Eric Perry writes about how a brain hemorrhage left him "depressed, stuck in a rut, and strangely fearful of death." Then he learned of new medical research on the benefits of psychedelic therapy to treat anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. So Perry signed up for his own acid test with others who were seeking solace via psychedelic experiences. From GQ:

My guide for the evening had accepted my 400 dollars, the price for my journey, in tie-dyed pants. It was my own fault I wasn’t tripping very hard—I’d told her, out of nervousness, I didn’t want to travel to other planets—though I suspected she knew less about the “sacraments” she was prescribing to us than she purported to. (“Do you know that Peruvians drip ayahuasca into the eyes of their newborns?” she’d told me earlier. “All Peruvians?” I’d asked, and she’d blushed.) Still, I liked her, partly because there was something in her eyes that made me think of the Wordsworth line from “Elegiac Stanzas”: “A deep distress hath humanized my soul.” I sensed there’d been some suffering in her past. Many of the participants, I noticed, had the same benignly haunted look. An ex-physician told us that ten years ago she’d been diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer; she’d recovered, but couldn’t shake the feeling that it would return any second to finish her off. To allay her lingering fear of death, she’d enrolled in a psilocybin trial, and her “whole reality changed.” She divorced her husband and began to juggle motherhood and what full-time psychonauts call “The Work,” traveling the world to partake in aya ceremonies.

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As Walter White was to meth, so is the “Drug Wizard of Wichita” to Fentanyl

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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.

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Sarah Palin on drugs

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Erowid Sarah Palin is a Twitter bot that melds Sarah Palin speeches with psychedelic trip reports posted to the excellent Erowid drug information clearinghouse.

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Gay Tory MP outs himself as a "poppers" user, slams proposed ban

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UK Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, former Minister for Justice, has "outed" himself as a user of poppers -- alkyl nitrites, a psychoactive inhalant often taken before sex -- and decried his party's plan to class poppers as an illegal drug. Read the rest

5 books that bust the myths of drug writing

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In November of 2014, my crime thriller Cracked was published by Titan Books. Its protagonist is a crack-addicted former fighter and personal trainer, Danielle “Danny” Cleary.

Soon after I signed the publishing contract for this series – it will be a trilogy – I realized with a kind of sinking, sickening clarity, that I might be asked about the drug use in the book. While Cracked isn’t about, uh, crack per se, I knew that having an addict for a heroine was going to raise some eyebrows. The drug use, like some of the violence in the book, is precise and detailed. Barbra Leslie's Cracked is available from Amazon.

Now, I’ve never been a fighter (although I do like to punch things). But the drug use? Yeah, I didn’t have to make that part up. Ten years ago, after a painful split from my then-husband, I tossed my middle-class, respectable life out the window and dove head-first into a world of dive bars, cocaine and finally, after falling for a guy whose addiction beat mine by many years and orders of magnitude, crack. (This was very out of character for me: I’m one of those people who can’t smoke weed without feeling nauseous, and never had a second’s interest in any hallucinogen or opiate, though à chacun son goût, and all that.) I was able to stop. I’ve been drug-free for about seven years now.

Despite all this – and my bookworm English degree, and a life filled with reading nearly everything I could get my hands on – I was never attracted to books about drugs, or written by addicts. Read the rest

Esoteric Australian political humour: Stoner Sloth vs Tony Abbot

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Here's the joke: Stoner Sloth is a disastrous, tin-eared anti-marijuana ad campaign from the New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet. Read the rest

Experts baffled to learn that 2 years olds are being prescribed psychiatric drugs

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In 2014, US doctors wrote ~20,000 prescriptions for risperidone, quetiapine and other antipsychotics for children under the age of two; a cohort on whom these drugs have never been tested and for whom there is no on-label usage. Read the rest

Robert Silverberg's government-funded guide to the psychoactive drugs of sf

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In 1974, the US National Institute on Drug Abuse commissioned sf giant Robert Silverberg to research and write Drug Themes in Science Fiction," a survey of 75 sf stories and novels that included fictional psychoactive drugs. Read the rest

When the INS tried to deport John Lennon, the FBI pitched in to help

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Michael from Muckrock writes, "While patiently noting that their anonymous tipsters thought Lennon was not a 'true revolutionist' because he used drugs, the FBI worked with INS over several years to bolster a case to deport the Beatles' musical genius." Read the rest

Man finds 3 ounces of weed hidden inside drink can purchased at Walmart

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Keanu Netzler of Salt Lake City, Utah said his girlfriend bought him a can of Arizona Iced Tea from the local Wal-Mart. At home, he tried to open the can, but had difficulty. He cut the can open and found a cement sleeve inside stuffed with three ounces of weed.

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