Saturday, July 30, 2011

NAACP Calls for an End to the Drug War

Times they are a-changin' a snail's pace it seems.

You won't hear it from mainstream news, but last week the NAACP made a 180-degree turn regarding its views on the drug war.

From the Miami Herald:

Said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous in a written statement, “These flawed drug policies that have been mostly enforced in African-American communities must be stopped and replaced with evidence-based practices that address the root causes of drug use and abuse in America.” 

While this may seem like a no-brainer, the NAACP is arguably the nation's most conservative Civil Rights organization, making their paradigm-shift a pretty big deal.  If you aren't convinced of the drug war/racism link, consider this:  Even though blacks make up only 1/3rd of all crack users, more than 80 percent of those sentenced for crack-related crimes are black.  Despite this inconvenient truth, our president, who at one point denounced the War on Drugs and was widely supported by Black voters (and happens to be Black himself), is furthering the system put in place by our one of our nation's most corrupt leaders (Richard Nixon) in 1970. 

As more people wake up to the fact that the drug war is not only a massive failure but a suppressive, one-sided attack on humanity, expect the level of anti-drug propaganda to increase along with it. 

To quote Obama in 2004: "The War on Drugs is a complete failure." 

 Takes one to know one.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse Dead at 27

Amy Winehouse in her younger days
R&B/pop songstress Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment on Saturday, July 23rd.  While the cause of death has not yet been determined, drugs and/or alcohol are suspected to have played a role.  Her most recent tour in Belgrade was cut short due to her intoxication and inability to perform.  Winehouse has publicly struggled with drug and alcohol addiction since her rise to stardom in 2007 with her hit song, "Rehab," from the album Back to Black.

With her untimely death, Winehouse joins other musicians including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain in the "27 Club": artists who died at the tragically young age of 27 due to drug overdose.   

Just last month, Mary featured Winehouse in her "Faces of Meth: Celebrity Edition" piece, which listed stars who have battled amphetamine addiction.  Despite the lighthearted tone, there is nothing funny about drug addiction.  Whether you enjoyed her music or not, please take this situation for what it is: an opportunity to evaluate your own habits and learn about safer drug use.  Or better yet, stop using altogether.

Amy will be deeply missed by friends, family and fans around the world.

Dope Jams: "Purple Pills"

"Purple Pills" by D-12.  From their 2001 album, Devil's Night.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Controlled Substances Act: A Visual Guide

Click here to embiggen
Here's an interesting visual aide featuring all the drugs in the Controlled Substances Act.  Taken from Sasha Shulgin's latest Facebook post (yes, the Sasha Shulgin).  

Marijuana Decriminalization in Miami Beach

In the midst of a pill mill media frenzy, Florida could be getting some good news on the drug front—marijuana decriminalization.

According to the Miami New Times, a Miami Beach pot legalization group known as Sensible Florida collected 9,000 signatures for a measure that would let smokers off with a $100 fine instead of jail time.  That’s double the number of sigs needed to get the measure on the ballot.  While this is not Florida’s first attempt at decriminalization, it is the first to draw high-profile celebrity support and aggressive local campaigning.  (Among its public supporters are Alfred Spellman and Billy Corben, director and producer of the hit documentary Cocaine Cowboys). 

While full-on legalization is the ultimate goal, any change involving more sensible drug laws is a step in the right direction.  A change we can breathe in. 

UPDATE:  The Miami Beach City Commission has refused to place the issue on the November ballot, citing the law's possible "unconstitutionality".  If at least 4,300 of the signatures are verified, a citywide vote could take place to pass or fail the new law.  The question is, when? 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bath Salts Banned States

     1.  "My state recently banned bath salts.  What exactly is a "bath salt" and which drugs are included in the ban?"

     Bath salt is a catch-all term referring to a group of synthetic compounds with similar pharmacological effects.  The very definition of "bath salt" varies from state-to-state, making the laws difficult to interpret.  For the sake of this review, we'll define "bath salts" as follows:

*Mephedrone//MDPV//3-FMC//4-FMC ("flephedrone")//BK-PMMA ("methedrone")//methylone//butylone. 

2.  "What happens to a drug, and its users, after a ban?"

Banned chemicals go into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act along with hard drugs like heroin and crack.  It then becomes illegal to possess, sell or manufacture said drug for any reason.  Anyone caught doing so will be treated as if it was heroin or crack--often facing heavy fines, hard time or other forms of indentured servitude.

3.  "Which states have already enacted bath salt bans?"


WA:  Mephedrone, MDPV
OR:  All except 3-FMC
ND:  mephedrone, MDPV
OK:  All except butylone
AR:  All except butylone
LA:  All except butylone
MS:  mephedrone, MDPV
AL:  All except butylone
GA:  mephedrone, MDPV, 4-FMC, BK-PMMA, methylone
FL:  mephedrone, MDPV, 3-FMC, BK-PMMA, methylone
KY:  mephedrone, MDPV, methylone
WI:  mephedrone, MDPV
WV:  mephedrone, MDPV
VA:  mephedrone, MDPV
NJ:  All except butylone
PA:  All except butylone 
IL:  MDPV (All cathinones?)

4  Are more bans on the way? 

Yes.  See below.



***Absence from this list does not imply that a substance is legal.  Check your local and state laws before purchasing bath salt drugs.  

In addition to state laws, several Federal bills have been proposed to make bath salts illegal at the national level.  You can track the status of each bill below: 

I will attempt to update this list as I hear of new bans.  If I've left anything out, please contact me and I'll correct it ASAP.  And remember:  ignorance of the law is no defense for breaking it!  Not in a court of law, anyway.  Staying informed is the key to freedom in a police state such as this. 

Be Safe Kiddos,

Mary Microgram

Skin-Rotting Substance Found in U.S. Cocaine

If you think the Russians--with their flesh-eating krokodil--have a monopoly on drug-induced skin diseases, think again.  We have yet another gangrenous scandal to report, this time involving cocaine.

According to Science Daily, cocaine users have been coming down with a strange skin condition known as purpura, or purpling of the skin.  The disease is thought to be caused by levamisole--a substance added to cocaine by drug dealers as a bulking agent.

Once used to treat cancer, levamisole is rarely prescribed to humans today due to the risk for serious side effects (see rotting ear above).  Its main use is in veterinary medicine, where it is administered to livestock as an anti-worming agent.

Science Daily reports that levamisole was detected in about 30 percent of cocaine samples confiscated in 2008 and a whopping 70 percent in 2009.  For all you statistical geniuses out there, that's a huge increase.  Phenomenal really.  This unfortunate situation hits even closer to home than the horrific krokodil story and is poised to affect thousands, if not millions, of Americans.

Call me a preachy Patty, but it has to be said:  gruesome complications like these could be completely sidestepped by ending the drug war.  While the strange skin condition is caused by levamisole (NOT cocaine), mainstream media will likely blame it on cocaine itself, finding yet another excuse to spew forth vile propaganda.  Until governments and health agencies take back control of street drugs, people will continue to suffer needlessly as a result of drug impurities, abstinence-only drug education and other state-inflicted issues. It's time we stand up and demand smarter drug policies in America.

Obama, won't you lend us your ear?

Science Daily: Contaminated Cocaine Triggers Decaying, Dying Skin

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rare Drug Profile: Jenkem

Scientific Name:  Feces, urine (methane).

Effects:  Auditory/visual hallucinations.

Description:  Jenkem is a hallucinogenic substance made from fermented human excrement.  The active compound is methane gas, which produces symptoms like dizziness and hallucinations when inhaled.  While Jenkem is a real phenomenon among poor Zambian children, reports of an American jenkem epidemic have been debunked as a hoax. 

Methods of Ingestion:  Inhalation.

Side Effects/Risks:  Fecal/oral contamination, hypoxia.

Sample Trip Report:  "It lasts about an hour.  With glue, I just hear voices in my head.  But with Jenkem, I see visions.  I see my mother who is dead and I forget about the problems in my life." (BBC News) 


BBC News: World: Africa Children High on Sewage

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Krokodil: The World's Most Dangerous Drug

If you thought jenkem was bad, you ain't seen nothin' yet.  Meet krokodil, a drug that's arguably the most gruesome byproduct of drug prohibition since it began.  Simply typing the drug’s name into Google images produces an onslaught of stomach-turning pictures of rotting flesh (you’ve been warned).  So what is this monster drug and who is using it?

Krokodil is a slang term for homemade desomorphine—a heroin-like drug that is made from a caustic mixture of codeine, paint thinner, gasoline, hydrochloric acid and red phosphorus.  The name comes from the Russian for “crocodile” and refers to the green, scaly appearance of the skin after injecting the drug.  Understandably, most chronic users don’t survive longer than two or three years and often end up with permanent disfigurations.  Because of its high acidity, krokodil often causes gangrene and amputations, even after only one use. 

So who the hell is desperate enough to use this drug?  Short answer: poor Russians.  In Russia, where heroin has become scarce in the past few years, krokodil has become a growing trend due to the easy availability of OTC codeine.  According to Time magazine, somewhere between a hundred thousand and 1 million people were thought to be injecting the drug in 2010. 

Needless to say, krokodil and other deadly imitation drugs would not exist if not for drug prohibition.  By making safer drugs (in this case, heroin) illegal, we open the doors to an endless array of Frankendrugs like krokodil.  This situation is another frightening example of how far we humans will go to alter our consciousness, providing further proof that addiction will never be "defeated" within our species--drug war or no.  Suddenly, 'Just Say No' doesn't sound so extreme.