Ecstasy pill found in child's Sonic burger meal

In Taylor, Texas an 11-year-old girl helpfully unwrapped her four-year-old brother's Sonic fast food burger and found what she thought was a piece of candy inside. Fortunately, she asked her parents before popping into her mouth. They took the "candy" to the police who determined it was actually an Ecstasy pill. Insert your own "happy meal" joke here. From KXAN:

Officers took the restaurant's manager, Tanisha Dancer, into custody for a felony theft warrant from Guadalupe County. When she got to the Williamson County Jail, police said a female correctional officer searched Dancer and found three ecstasy pills hidden in her clothing...

Taylor police said they notified the Texas Department of Health, the restaurant's local owner and corporate Sonic. Police said the Sonic director of operations told them that they have now fired Dancer.

Two other employees were also arrested -- one for marijuana possession and the other for outstanding warrants.

Read the rest

Code recreates Pfizer's 1956 effort to procedurally generate drug names

Procedural generation isn't just for video game landscapes and galaxies. The technique for creating vast amounts of realistic but uncannily superficial content goes back a long way. Pfizer used it to generate drug names in 1956, feeding code to an IBM mainframe and getting potential products in return.

James Ryan (@xfoml) posted excerpts from news article from the time (above), and it's fascinating to read how it's described for a mid-1950s lay audience to whom computers and their ways were utterly alien.

Based on the newspaper's description, Hugo (@hugovk) reimplemented the 60-year-old generator, and now you too can generate thousands of realistic but uncannily superficial drug names.

Some picks:

NEW DRUG NAMES

scudyl whirringom reenef entreeic suffuseeta duplexune nickelan raunchyata handbillal gammonasa pluckerel slawax

... IMPROPER FOR A FAMILY MEDICINE CHEST

loraliva crumpledol moralura burnishite smuttyevo sucklingify hagfishat cockpited moralux ballcockose shittyule cocklesex

From the full output list I like "coughedore" -- like a stevedore, but for unloading mucus.

I wonder how long it took Pfizer to realize that procgen is useless. Read the rest

Fancy apothecary-style jars to hold your peyote, hash, LSD, and shrooms

These porcelain druggist jars by Jonathan Adler are certainly conversation starters but do you really want to label your drug stash so obviously?

Expand your horizons with our Druggist Canisters. Dreamy third-eye mindscapes rendered in Delft-inspired blues and accented with real sparkly gold. High-fired porcelain elevates the experience. Stash your secrets in a single trippy vista, or cluster all four to create your own surreal apothecary.

Prices range from $228 to $298 per jar. Read the rest

Study: first drug more likely to be cannabis than nicotine or alcohol

When I was 12 years old, a kid that I thought was my friend but turned out to only be into me for my Nintendo, tempted me to try a little something that he snuck out of his mother's liquor cabinet. We ingested it! We were so drunk! We were full of shit: we'd been eating powdered pina colada mix, trying to convince each other that we were, indeed, hammered. Anyway, booze isn't the problem for young folks that it once was. More times than not, of late, the first experience that young folks'll have with mind altering substances outside of spending too long inside drawing with a Sharpie will likely be with marijuana.

From The Verge:

This trend is not because teens are smoking cannabis more than ever. Rather, the change is because teens are smoking cigarettes and drinking less while the numbers for marijuana have held steady, according to Katherine M. Keyes, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University and co-author of the new study, published this week in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The authors found this by analyzing 40 years of surveys from American high school seniors. For example, in 1995, three-fourths of seniors who used both marijuana and cigarettes had tried cigarettes first. By 2016, only 40 percent had tried cigarettes first. Today, less than half of teens try alcohol and cigarettes before trying cannabis. (The researchers didn’t look specifically at whether alcohol or tobacco came next.) Other studies have found that, in general, teens are doing fewer drugs than ever, except for marijuana.

Read the rest

Teenagers getting high from sanitary pads

Police in Indonesian cities report that teens have been attempting to get high by boiling sanitary pads (used or new) and drinking the water. According to Adj. Sr. Comr. Suprinarto, head of the National Narcotics Agency's Central Java chapter, the chlorine in the pads is an intoxicant. Of course, ingesting chlorine is an absolutely terrible idea.

“I don’t know who started it all, but I knew it started around two years ago. There is no law against it so far. There is no law against these kids using a mixture of mosquito repellent and [cold syrup] to get drunk,” Jimy (Ginting, an "an advocate for safe drinking," told The Jakarta Post. Read the rest

Public watched opioid addict detox on big screens in Greenwich Village

The film above documents "Treatment Box," a one-day installation in New York City's Greenwich Village over the summer where passers-by could watch 26-year-old Rebekkah suffer through the horrors of painkiller and heroin withdrawal. Anti-addiction organization The Truth orchestrated the recording and public showing of Rebekkah's five-day experience that was edited into a single long-form video. After the detox, Rebekkah entered a treatment facility for treatment at no cost to her. From Ad Age:

The scenes of her shaky limbs, nausea, vomiting and insomnia played out on a three-dimensional installation at Astor Place in New York City in June. Passersby stopped to watch a life-size Rebekkah in her room, often huddled in bed, wracked with pain. Interspersed are short interviews where she explains that she was prescribed opioids when she was 14, after injuring her ankle during cheerleading practice. Addiction quickly followed, and two months later, she tried heroin. “I feel like I’m coming back from the dead,” she says on Day 3 of detox...

Before beginning the campaign, the organizations met with a medical ethicist to determine whether the project should move forward, and the treatment protocols were reviewed by Phoenix House, a national addiction treatment program.

Read the rest

Meth smuggled as Aztec souvenir calendars and statues

Federal agents busted eight people for attempting to smuggle 26 pounds of methamphetamine disguised as Aztec souvenir decorative calendars and souvenir statues. The suspects apparently tried to mail the goods from Garden Grove, California to Hawaii.

(UPI via Daily Grail)

Read the rest

Weed legal in Canada

Weed is legal now in Canada. Here's what it'll cost ya. Some places are banning smoking it in public and there are other bumps expected, but the business windfalls are expected to define an emerging market by attracting global brands previously leery of associating with drugs. With nearly 40m inhabitants, Canada became overnight the largest market for legal weed, with few of the peculiar regulatory compromises found in large U.S. states.

Previously: The New York Times has the dope on cannabis use in Canada Read the rest

Depictions of Addiction: a free online photography course, starting in two days

The amazing, award-winning photographer and photography teacher Jonathan Worth (previously) is about to launch his next course: Depictions of Addiction, from Connected Academy, with internationally renowned photographers Nina Berman, Jeffrey Stockbridge and Graham Macindoe. Read the rest

Johns Hopkins researchers recommend reclassifying magic mushrooms from schedule I to IV drug

Based on a new study of the safety and abuse potential of psilocybin, the hallucinogenic drug in magic mushrooms, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers recommend that "psilocybin should be re-categorized from a schedule I drug—one with no known medical potential—to a schedule IV drug such as prescription sleep aids, but with tighter control." Read the rest

Boxes of bananas donated to Texas prison contained $18 million in cocaine

Ports of America in Freeport, Texas donated 45 boxes of ripe bananas to the nearby Wayne Scott Unit prison. When the prison officers unloaded the boxes, they "discovered something not quite right."

"One of the boxes felt different than the others," TDCJ (Texas Department of Criminal Justice) said in a statement. "They snipped the straps, pulled free the box, and opened it up. Inside, under a bundle of bananas, he found another bundle! Inside that? What appeared to be a white powdery substance."

They counted 540 packages of cocaine worth approximately $17,820,000. Now that's bananas!

(UPI) Read the rest

Long Island officials to 'crack down' on crack pipe vending machines

Three vending machines dispensing crack pipes for $2 each were discovered roadside in Long Island. The machines were marked "PENS" and did indeed contain pens, well, ballpoint pens that had been turned into crack pipes. Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine tested the machine by inserting the required eight quarters and later remarked, "We're going to crack down on this."

ABC7NY:

Suffolk County police will decide if the machines warrant criminal charges.

"To sell a pipe is not illegal, but this is considered drug paraphernalia," Town Councilman Michael Loguercio said. "And it also is being dispensed from a machine that was installed illegally per town code."

Now, in the video, they report that the machines formerly dispensed tampons but I think they're wrong. Pen dispensing machines exist and look just like the ones found.

Read the rest

The time Paul McCartney "saw God"

Yep, the Beatle was tripping balls. Specifically, he had just taken a hit of DMT with famed 1960s art dealer Robert "Groovy Bob" Fraser. From the NME quoting a paywalled Sunday Times interview:

“We were immediately nailed to the sofa... And I saw God, this amazing towering thing, and I was humbled. And what I’m saying is, that moment didn’t turn my life around, but it was a clue.

“It was huge. A massive wall that I couldn’t see the top of, and I was at the bottom.

“And anybody else would say it’s just the drug, the hallucination, but both Robert and I were like, ‘Did you see that?’ We felt we had seen a higher thing.”

Illustration: Mitch O'Connell's fantastic Paul McCartney poster art. Read the rest

His Dream of Skyland, a mysterious and touching journey through opium-drenched colonial Hong Kong

Top Shelf has reprinted the first volume of Anne Opotowsky and Aya Morton's groundbreaking 2011 book His Dream of Sky Island, an indescribably gorgeous graphic novel set in British-ruled Hong Kong: it's a tale that ranges over cruelty and dignity, love and venality, unspeakable crimes and unstoppable bravery.

$2m "fentanyl" bust turns out to be big bag of sugar

Last week, New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon boasted of making “one of the largest seizures in the state” after hauling 12 pounds of "fentanyl" from a drug bust. Sadly for McMahon, the state crime lab says it is sugar.

“The job of the District Attorney is not to convict at all costs, but to be ministers of justice. That commitment requires us to move swiftly to dismiss or modify charges when we become aware of new evidence that calls into question a defendant’s guilt,” Ben David, the district attorney for New Hanover County, said in a statement.

The people busted aren't off the hook, as other "drugs" were found. Fortunately for them, "contributing to the epic self-own of a law enforcement officer" is not on the books in North Carolina. Read the rest

Legal weed is 22.5% cheaper on the west coast

There are nine US states with legal recreational marijuana; five on the west coast and four in the east. Read the rest

There's an EpiPen shortage. Parents of kids with serious allergies prepare for back-to-school without the life saving medication.

The EpiPen is a widely used medical device that delivers emergency medication to prevent someone with a severe allergic reaction from going into anaphylactic shock. There's a shortage of EpiPens across the United States. Parents of kids with serious allergies are worried about sending their kids back to school without one. Read the rest

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