Physicians removed a balloon packed with marijuana from a fellow's nasal cavity 18 years after he smuggled it into prison. The 48-year-old man is now just fine. Physicians from Westmead Hospital in New South Wales, Australia, reported on the unusual case in the British Medical Journal. Apparently the man's girlfriend handed him the package that he shoved up his nose for safekeeping. The package made its way into his nasal cavity where he lost track of it. From CNN:
"A 48-year-old man was referred to the Westmead ENT Department after a CT of the brain, originally performed for headaches, demonstrated an incidental 19x11mm calcified lesion in the right nasal cavity," the report states.
"On questioning, the patient confirmed a long history of unilateral right nasal obstruction and recurrent sinonasal infections."
The rhinolith was removed from the man's nose under general anesthetic, and a subsequent study revealed that it contained a "rubber capsule containing degenerate vegetable/plant matter."
"On follow-up and specific questioning, the patient was able to recall an incident that occurred 18 years prior, while he was incarcerated," the report states. "He remained unaware of the package's presence until presented with the unusual histopathology report."
"A nose out of joint: first reported case of prison-acquired marijuana-based rhinolith
" (British Medical Journal)
image: Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator (CC BY 2.5)
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'Dank' is definitely not dank.
"See you in space," indeed. Far fucking out!
Long-since closed, the Buffalo, New York building that held Starseed Enterprises was recently home to a musical instrument store but is apparently now a church. Read the rest
A woman in Austria was expecting a package of dresses she had ordered from a Dutch retailer. Two boxes from the Netherlands showed up at her door and while one of them contained her clothing, the other was packed with 25,000 tabs of MDMA worth a few hundred thousand dollars. From CNN:
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The unnamed Austrian woman, 58, mistook the purple pills for decorative stones, police said, but on closer inspection her husband, 59, realized they were probably stimulants and returned the package to their local post office in Linz, Upper Austria...
"The (post) office was equally astonished, which is why the police, and subsequently the narcotics department of the City Police Command Linz, was informed."
Following an investigation by Linz's drugs squad it transpired that the package was intended for Scotland. Police Scotland and the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) are jointly investigating the matter.
In the 1950s and 1960s, creepy chemist Sidney Gottlieb headed the CIA's efforts to find a mind control drug. Gottlieb and his delightful associates in the MK-Ultra project thought LSD, still legally manufactured, held the most promise. So they bought every drop of acid in the world and ran numerous horrible experiments on unwitting civilians to test its efficacy. Journalist Stephen Kinzer tells the tale in a new book out this week titled Poisoner In Chief
. From an NPR interview
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Some of Gottlieb's experiments were covertly funded at universities and research centers, Kinzer says, while others were conducted in American prisons and in detention centers in Japan, Germany and the Philippines. Many of his unwitting subjects endured psychological torture ranging from electroshock to high doses of LSD, according to Kinzer's research.
"Gottlieb wanted to create a way to seize control of people's minds, and he realized it was a two-part process," Kinzer says. "First, you had to blast away the existing mind. Second, you had to find a way to insert a new mind into that resulting void. We didn't get too far on number two, but he did a lot of work on number one..."
Whitey Bulger was one of the prisoners who volunteered for what he was told was an experiment aimed at finding a cure for schizophrenia. As part of this experiment, he was given LSD every day for more than a year. He later realized that this had nothing to do with schizophrenia and he was a guinea pig in a government experiment aimed at seeing what people's long-term reactions to LSD was.
The esteemed research institute and medical school Johns Hopkins Medicine is starting the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research thanks to $17 million in private donations. The generous funders include Boing Boing pal and author Tim Ferriss, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, TOMS shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, and investor Craig Nerenberg. Psychedelics have tremendous unlocked therapeutic potential for the likes of severe depression, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and alcoholism, What a wonderful, important, and worthy cause these individuals chose to support. From Johns Hopkins Medical:
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In 2000, the psychedelic research group at Johns Hopkins was the first to achieve regulatory approval in the U.S. to reinitiate research with psychedelics in healthy volunteers who had never used a psychedelic. Their 2006 publication on the safety and enduring positive effects of a single dose of psilocybin sparked a renewal of psychedelic research worldwide.
Since then, the researchers have published studies in more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles. Their research has demonstrated therapeutic benefits for people who suffer from conditions including nicotine addiction and depression and anxiety caused by life-threatening diseases such as cancer. It has paved the way for current studies on treatment of major depressive disorder. These researchers have also expanded the field of psychedelic research by publishing safety guidelines that have helped gain approval for psychedelic studies at other universities around the world and by developing new ways of measuring mystical, emotional, and meditative experiences while under the influence of psychedelics.
The group's findings on both the promise and the risks of psilocybin in particular helped create a path forward for the chemical's potential medical approval and reclassification from a Schedule I drug, the most restrictive federal government category, to a more appropriate level.
Hassan Akhtar attempted to send a shipment from the UK to Pakistan of 5,000 tablets of MDMA hidden inside, ahem, Celebrations tubs of assorted chocolate. Now that's a party! From BBC News:
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Police said the drugs were discovered by the postal company in tubs of Celebrations chocolates and Akhtar was later identified by CCTV footage.
Det Sgt Rob Hood said the defendant was "clearly looking to profit" from selling drugs and "thought by concealing them in chocolate tubs that they would not be detected".
You know which part we object to most, dear reader. Read the rest
From the far-out folks at Flavor Paper comes Cannabliss, a subtly psychedelic scratch-and-sniff wallpaper that smells like weed. They write:
We have nailed a very pleasant yet dank scent that is made from true flowering hemp terpenes to ensure we’re keeping it real. CBD for your eyes and ol factory. Dope.
As Alex writes at Weird Universe, "Most of the people who will buy this already have rooms that smell like marijuana."
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Mexico City judge Víctor Octavio Luna Escobedo gave two people permission to use 500 milligrams of cocaine per day, saying the drug conveys benefits such as "tension relief, the intensification of perceptions and the desire [to have] new personal and spiritual experiences." According to Newsweek, the two happy cokeheads musn't sniff the drug while "working, driving or operating heavy machinery ... they are also not allowed to take the drug in public, in the presence of children, or encourage others to consume it."
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In New Zealand, a dog walking with its human along the beach peed on $3 million worth of cocaine which washed up on the Auckland shores on Wednesday. Read the rest
At Barcelona's international airport, police arrested a Colombian gentleman who arrived from Bogota with half a kilogram of cocaine under his toupée.
According to a Reuters report, "The man attracted police attention as he looked nervous and had a disproportionately large hairpiece under his hat. They found a package stuck to his head with about €30,000 (£27,000) of cocaine."
No word whether the unnamed man is a drug bigwig.
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Following a raid where they caught a suspect flushing evidence down the toilet Loretto, Tennessee Police Department has asked the citizenry to refrain from flushing dope due to the potential risks to local wildlife, including the possibility of creating "meth gators."
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Joint pain. Poor digestion. Hair loss. Erectile dysfunction. No libido. These are just a few of the lasting symptoms experienced by Kim Dong-hyeon, a bodybuilder in South Korea, after using over $3,000 of black-market steroids per month for many years. In this video he tells an Asian Boss reporter that he injected himself with steroids 20 times a day and that 98% of bodybuilders in South Korea take steroids. Read the rest
More than 2,500 years ago in western China, people in mourning gathered at a cemetery for a ritual that involved getting high from cannabis plants burning in wooden pots. It's likely that they were trying to communicate with spirits. From Science News:
Evidence of this practice comes from Jirzankal Cemetery in Central Asia’s Pamir Mountains, says a team led by archaeologist Yimin Yang of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Chemical residues on wooden burners unearthed in tombs there provide some of the oldest evidence to date of smoking or inhaling cannabis fumes, the researchers report online June 12 in Science Advances....
East Asians grew cannabis starting at least 6,000 years ago, but only to consume the plants’ oily seeds and make clothing and rope out of cannabis fibers. Early cultivated cannabis varieties in East Asia and elsewhere, like most wild forms of the plant, contained low levels of THC and other mind-altering compounds.
Yang’s team identified a chemical signature of cannabis on charred plant material from 10 wooden burners, or braziers, found in eight Jirzankal tombs. Chemical signs of an unusually high level of THC were found inside nine braziers and on two stones that had been heated and used to burn plants in the braziers.
image: Xinhua Wu
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Oakland, California is now the second city in the United States, following Denver last month, to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms. Oakland City Council unanimously passed the resolution on Tuesday. From NPR:
Oakland's resolution is broader than Denver's. Denver's initiative decriminalized the use and possession of mushrooms containing the compound psilocybin, whereas Oakland's refers to "entheogenic plants" in general, which includes the mushrooms and other plants and fungi containing psychoactive substances.
The resolution says city money will not be used "to assist in the enforcement of laws imposing criminal penalties for the use and possession of Entheogenic Plants by adults." It says that investigating people for growing, buying, distributing or possessing the substances "shall be amongst the lowest law enforcement priority for the City of Oakland...."
(The substances') possible therapeutic effects were highlighted in an agenda report filed to City Council by the resolution's sponsor, Council member Noel Gallo.
"For millennia, cultures have respected entheogenic plants and fungi for providing healing, knowledge, creativity, and spiritual connection," the report states, saying that these plants may be beneficial for conditions such as substance abuse, anxiety and PTSD. "This initiative aims to empower the Oakland community by restoring their relationship to nature."
These substances are currently not legal under federal and state law.
"Oakland City Council Effectively Decriminalizes Psychedelic Mushrooms" (NPR)
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Cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis component that doesn't get you high but seems to have countless other benefits, has now been shown to reduce heroin cravings and the anxiety that's triggered when jonesing for the opioid. Researchers at the Addiction Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai ran a randomized, controlled, double-blind study with several dozen addicts who have been abstaining from use. From their scientific paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry:
Acute CBD administration, in contrast to placebo, significantly reduced both craving and anxiety induced by the presentation of salient drug cues compared with neutral cues. CBD also showed significant protracted effects on these measures 7 days after the final short-term (3-day) CBD exposure. In addition, CBD reduced the drug cue–induced physiological measures of heart rate and salivary cortisol levels. There were no significant effects on cognition, and there were no serious adverse effects.
And from Scientific American:
The anxiety reduction isn’t specific to opioid-related cues and could generalize to other situations, says neuroscientist Yasmin Hurd, first author on the study and director of the Addiction Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “It’s just that this particular anxiety leads someone to take a drug that can cause them death, and anything we can do to decrease that means increasing the precious chance of preventing relapse and saving their lives.”
image: "Ball-and-stick model of the cannabidiol molecule." X-ray diffraction data from P. G. Jones, L. Falvello, O. Kennard, G. M. Sheldrick and R. Read the rest