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Sep 6

The highs and lows of LSD

“With a remarkable restlessness and slight dizziness, I sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition. In a dreamlike state, I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic colours.”

This is the description of the first LSD trip taken by Albert Hofmann, the inventor of the drug, in 1943.

He initially developed LSD in 1938 on the premise that it may act as a circulatory and respiratory stimulant. Working as a chemist at Sandoz Laboratories (now Novartis) in Basel, Switzerland, Hofmann shelved the compound?- known as LSD-25?- after it had no obvious effects in mice. Five years later, while re-synthesising the drug, he was interrupted by the unusual activity described above.

Realising the symptoms must have occurred from inhalation or absorption of LSD-25, Hofmann took an oral dose of the chemical, estimating that 250 micrograms would be the threshold at which effects would occur. In reality, the threshold is closer to 20 micrograms. After 6 hours of positive and negative experiences, which involved thinking his neighbour was “an insidious witch”, the effects subsided.

“I was aware that LSD, with such properties, would be of use in pharmacology, in neurology, and especially in psychiatry,” Hofmann wrote in his biography.

Over the next 20 years, thousands of papers were published on the drug’s effects, including treatment for alcohol addiction and psychosis. Several positive outcomes were also reported for the treatment of autism, such as an increase in social behaviours manifested by increased eye-to-face contact (Behavioral Neuropsychiatry, vol 1, p 44).

Unfortunately many of the studies lacked proper experimental controls and presented largely descriptive data. The lack of long-term follow-up studies and a realistic placebo have been major limitations of the work to date.

The drug quickly leaked into the general population, which led to an investigation by the US Food and Drug Administration, and in 1970, LSD was classified as a drug of abuse with no medical value. Research into any therapeutic effects stopped.

Today, many researchers believe that LSD poses no risk to health when administered in a controlled environment and that the case for medicinal LSD should be reopened…….

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Stolen from here - http://www.therapeuticsdaily.com/news/article.cfm?contenttype=sentryarticle&contentvalue=1971366&channelID=29

New Scientist - Sep. 04, 2010

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Sep 1

WETHERSPOONS TO OPEN IN A&E

PUB chain Wetherspoons is to open outlets in accident and emergency departments for injured brawlers who want another drink.

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Now made with real blood

The hospital pubs will cater primarily for the weekend crowd of young, bleeding partygoers who have just been in a drunken, violent fight about nothing.

A spokesman said: “These outlets will be designed in a way that is sensitive to the other patients. There won’t be any loud music or fruit machines. Just booze, value for money food and a fag machine.

"They will also have appropriate names like ‘The 16 Stitches’, ‘The Mutiple Contusion’ and ‘The Face and Bottle’."

He added: “There is a long tradition of drunk people having their limbs sawn off going back to the Napoleonic wars. Admittedly they were soldiers and sailors rather than people who had received a shoeing outside a kebab shop that was largely their own fault.”

A&E consultant, Dr Roy Hobbs, said: “There is a fear that drunk, aggressive people will continue to drink and become more aggressive if they are effectively being stretchered into another pub.

"However I’d prefer them to be unconscious through drink rather than three-quarters pissed and trying to bite my face off."

Julian Cook, who gets in a fight with a human or an object most weekends, said: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enjoying a pint and a cajun platter while waiting for your head to be pieced back together.

"And I will of course behave responsibly, as long as none of you fuckers gives me a funny look."

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Stolen from here - http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/health/wetherspoons-to-open-in-a%26e-201009013051/

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Aug 30

Drink, drugs and uneasy hypocrisy

Alcohol should not have a special status among narcotics. We need to toughen up on booze and lighten up on other drugs

File:Cocacola-5cents-1900 edit1.jpg

Have you ever wondered what an advert for cocaine might look like if illegal drugs were legalised? I’m looking at one now. An attractive young woman in an extravagant feathered hat and a low-cut dress with a foaming lace collar, curls tumbling prettily down over her forehead, is holding a bell-shaped tea glass three-quarters full of a brown liquid. Her arm is sheathed in a white elbow-length glove and her pinkie is extended. The marketing slogan is displayed in an oval plaque next to a vase of yellow roses: “Drink Coca-Cola, 5¢.”

Coke hasn’t had cocaine in it for more than a century (the ad is from the 1890s), and the days are long gone when Sir Henry Wellcome, whose legacy endows the Wellcome Trust's bounteous donations to medical research, grew rich by flogging cocaine pills around Britain under the brand name Forced March.

But it’s easy to imagine what it would be like a few years down the road if the arsenal of modern marketing was put, without restrictions, behind selling ecstasy or ketamine. In a report last year calling for a complete ban on alcohol advertising, the British Medical Association pointed out that the booze industry spends £800m a year promoting its products. Sure, Smirnoff competes with Absolut and Heineken competes with Carlsberg, but every penny of that £800m is pro-alcohol propaganda. For comparison, £540m is spent on all government advertising.

We’re at an interesting moment in the eternal ethical struggle over our love of what Nietzsche sneeringly called poison – as in “a little poison now and then: that makes pleasant dreams. And much poison at last for a pleasant death.”

The same sort of thoughtful, learned voices saying Britain’s liberal attitude towards alcohol has gone too far are saying that our illiberal attitude towards other dangerous recreational drugs has gone too far in the other direction. The cynical assumption would be that any hope of a wise synthesis – tighten up on alcohol, loosen up on drugs – is doomed. But there are some interesting signs.

In his article on the catastrophe of drugs prohibition in the British Medical Journal – praised by, among others, the outgoing head of the Royal College of Physicians, Sir Ian Gilmore – Stephen Rolles attempts to jump ahead of the pro- and anti-legalisation parties by imagining what a post-legalisation world might look like.

He sets out five pragmatic, concrete ways drugs use could be legally controlled – by specialist pharmacists, by licensed retailers, by Dutch-style coffee shops “potentially also for smoking opium or poppy tea”. None of his ideas would make it as easy to harm yourself with “drugs” as it is now to harm yourself with alcohol. It’s a weekday noon as I write this, and if I wanted it, a fatal dose of vodka from the off-licence is three minutes’ walk and £30 away.

A few days ago the coalition put out a call for ideas for its new drugs strategy, due at the end of the year. The consultation paper is tainted by “big society” flim-flammery and still encourages the idea that alcohol’s special status vis-à-vis other dangerous drugs is something other than an arbitrary social construct. But with questions like “Which drugs (including alcohol) should prevention programmes focus on?” it does at least put booze in the same context as heroin, acid, cocaine and so on.

This could be a disaster, of course, if the hairy right arm of the coalition wrestled control of drugs policy from its delicate left limb and even tighter drugs laws were combined with a punitive war on teenage drinkers.

It’s curious that the English-speaking country most intimately acquainted with the disastrous results of complete alcohol prohibition – the United States, which criminalised alcohol from 1920 to 1933 – has, despite legalising that particular drug, prosecuted its “war on drugs” – other drugs – with ever-increasing ferocity. The effect on supplier countries of American citizens’ appetite for illegal substances is well known – the recent massacre of 72 people by a Mexican drugs cartel was only the latest horror wreaked indirectly by the war on drugs, which has killed 28,000 in Mexico since 2006. But the insane zeal of the war is hurting the US in all sorts of ways. America now has one in every 100 of its citizens in prison, five times more than Britain. A powerful piece of reporting in last month’s Economist highlighted the case of a doctor who served four years in prison because patients sold on painkillers he had legally and justifiably prescribed to them.

I’ve never taken “hard” drugs. I’ve sometimes wondered whether my dinner guests were expecting me to serve cocaine at some point, but I’ve never been sure when to dish it up – before the cheese, or after? The food books are silent on the matter. I drink alcohol. Once in a while I get drunk. I love wine; I hate coming out of the cinema at 10.30 and seeing the bars getting ready to close. What makes me uneasy is the hypocrisy of a society which offers such extremes of punishment and encouragement towards two sets of variously pleasant and harmful substances, a society which on a plane will give you one mind-altering substance for free and arrest you if you try to ingest another.

The current transition tobacco seems to be making from the category of decent, respectable drug to indecent, disgraceful drug suggests alcohol could eventually make the same journey. I hope not. Turning alcohol into an outlaw would be as primitive an act of moral fetishisation as the outlawing of marijuana or, indeed, the putting of animals on trial in the law courts in medieval times. But that doesn’t mean alcohol should have a special status that prevents its abuse being put in the same context as abuse of other drugs.

It also blinds us to the way that other countries’ controls over alcohol use and abuse could be models not just for tightening up on booze here but for loosening up on drugs.

In Toronto last year, I had an encounter with the province of Ontario’s government alcohol monopoly, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Having availed myself of the city’s late-opening bars, I had no idea there was a government monopoly until I had to grab a last-minute bottle of wine to take to a friend’s dinner. It took half an hour to find the nearest LCBO shop. A security guard was barring entry to a prosperous drunk; the queues were enormous; the choice limited. It was clean and bright, but there was an atmosphere of anxiety and desperation. As a model for tightening up on alcohol, it would take some getting used to. But as a model for loosening up on other drugs, it’s a place to start thinking.

xxx

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Stolen from here - http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/aug/28/drugs-drink-hypocrisy

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Aug 24

JUNKIES TO BE RENAMED ‘HEROIN BUFFS’

DRUG abusers are to be renamed ‘heroin buffs’ in recognition of their in-depth knowledge and appreciation of the world’s finest narcotics.

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Exam time at the University of Heroin

The UK Drug Policy Commission said terms like ‘junkie’ and ‘addict’ stigmatise decent, productive members of society who live ankle deep in vomit and would stab you right in the head for 50 pence.

Deputy director, Julian Cook, said: “In the same way that Dan Snow is a history buff or Rick Stein is really into haddock, can we not also apply the mantel of buff to someone who has taken the time and effort to develop a connoisseur’s palate for opium derivatives?

"We should acknowledge the intellectual commitment and passion of those have decided to live in a cesspit, eat nothing but their their own scabs and inject themselves eight times a day with a needle they found stuck up a dead rat."

He added: “I recently met an expert who could not only distinguish between Afghan and Burmese heroin, but could tell you when it was harvested, who mixed it with Vim and how many heads the local warlord had hacked off that year.

"But where’s his six-part series on BBC4?"

Stephen Malley, a crack aficionado from Hatfield  said: “I’ve been building up my collection of antique pipes for 20 years. This one was hand made in 1867 by Martin Van Hegelen, one of the finest glass blowers in Rotterdam. It’s really quite exquisite and gets me totally fucking mental bastard off my tits.

"By the way, if I throw up blood on you, please do forgive but I’m researching an article on some fucked-up Cambodian shit for the London Review of Smack.”

Wayne Hayes, who lives in Stephen Malley’s bath, added: “I am hoping to complete my Master of Heroin exams later this year and then take up a fellowship at the Doherty Institute in Kandahar.

"Or I might just keep filling this bath with piss."

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Stolen from here - http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/junkies-to-be-renamed-%27heroin-buffs%27-201008243031/

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Aug 23

POLITICIANS TAKE DRUGS TOO

A Deck of cards from the Nice People Take Drugs folks…….

Arnold SchwarzeneggerBarack ObamaDavid CameronBill ClintonJens StoltenbergClarence ThomasBrian CowenDonald TuskSarah PalinJacqui SmithJulia GillardNewt GingrichAl GoreBoris JohnsonVincent Van QuickenborneGianfranco FiniPatricia HewittMalcolm TurnbullOliver LetwinJohn KerryVernon CoakerLincoln ChafeeHoward DeanHazel BlearsNick MinchinDavid PriorTim YeoMichael R BloombergRosa MerilainenTony McNultyAlistair DarlingEmilio ColumboTim GroserDavid A PatersonDavid WillettsEva-Lena JanssonDick LammAndré BoisclairPier Ferdinando CasiniDaniel Cohn-BenoitJohn EdwardsArchie NormanRuth KellyCharles ClarkeGrigoris PsarianosSusan MolinariYvette CooperTony AbbottFrancis MaudeCaroline FlintFredrick Federley

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More info here > http://www.release.org.uk/nicepeopletakedrugs/deck-of-cards/

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Nice People Take Drugs

Nice People Take Drugs Bus Ad

To reduce the hypocrisy in the way we manage drugs in society - there needs to be much greater honesty about drug use and those who use them. The stigma attached to drug use has made it almost impossible to have any form of sensible discussion. Drugs are part of society and there are much more effective ways to ensure they cause as little harm as possible.

But in order to do this, we need your help. Please donate what you can today.

Please DONATE today

To be kept informed about the Nice People Take Drugs campaign, and to find out what action you can take to support it, please check out their website and support if you can!!

> http://www.release.org.uk/nice-people-take-drugs

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Aug 20

FACT mix 177: Solar Bears


This Friday’s FACT mix comes from Dublin-based duo Solar Bears.

Recently signed to Planet Mu, we’ve been listening to this duo’s music non-stop of late – their Inner Sunshine EP, recently released with a remix by Lone, is more than healthy but it’s in their debut album, the forthcoming She Was Coloured In where the real Solar Bears treats lie. Inspired by the likes of Broadcast and Tangerine Dream, it’s an album of gentle synth-pop, swelling ambience and archaic Kosmische and prog that sits nicely next to recent work by Ratatat and Oriol, as well as Boards of Canada and Pivot.

Compiled by the group’s Rian Trench, Solar Bears’ FACT mix features Harmonia ’76, Lone, Kate Bush, Fuck Buttons and more and is sounding pretty perfect to our ears this morning. Watch out for a full FACT interview with the pair in the not-too-distant future.


Download: FACT mix 177 – Solar Bears

(Available for three weeks)


Tracklist:

Twin Sister – Ginger
Solar Bears – Kill On
George Delerue – Theme de Camille
Fuck Buttons – Space Mountain
Beaver and Krause – As I Hear It
Lone – The Twilight Switch
Harmonia ’76 – When Shade was Born
Cornelius – Drop
Stanley Myers – Cavatina
Joy Division – Decades
Julee Cruise – The World Spins
Kate Bush – Cloudbusting
Bibio – Segee and the Indian
Paul Giovanni – Willow’s Song

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Stolen from here - http://www.factmag.com/2010/08/20/fact-mix-177-solar-bears/

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HE’S NOT REALLY GOING TO USE THAT MONEY FOR A BUS, IS HE? ASKS SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT

THE Scottish government has conceded that the dishevelled young man it gave 50 pence to last year was probably going to spend it on alcohol or drugs.

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The gentleman will celebrate the first anniversary of the bus fare by taking a lot of drugs

Ministers said the man had seemed genuine in his appeal for bus fare and that the situation was given added urgency as he had to get home in time for his daughter’s birthday party.

Justice minister Kenny MacAskill said: “I saw no reason to doubt his story. He had obviously not had much sleep, I assume because he had missed his last bus the day before and then been up all night with worry after his wallet was eaten by that dog.

"His fatigue had also clearly caused him to fall into a hedge because there were scratch marks all over his forearms.

"And in a desperate bid to get some sleep - and be nice and fresh for the party - he had obviously found it necessary to drink at least two pints of whisky.

"It was also very apparent that he had been unable to find a suitable place to urinate during the night and had eventually been forced to use his own underpants."

He added: “However, it has now been a year and despite giving him my name and address, I have still not received my cheque for 50 pence.

"I am now beginning to suspect that there was no bus. And I’m also beginning to wonder if this gentleman even has a daughter."

MacAskill admitted his legal options were limited and that the money was ‘probably gone for good’ but stressed the next time he was asked for bus fare by a tired, drunk, urine-soaked man he would be sure to take their name and address as well.

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Stolen from here - http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/international/he%27s-not-really-going-to-use-that-money-for-a-bus%2c-is-he?-asks-scottish-government-201008203020/

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Aug 17

LEGALISE DRUGS, SAYS SOME CRAZY PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS

THE campaign to legalise drugs was today backed by someone whose only qualification is to know exactly what he is talking about.

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This is probably his business card

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, the outgoing president of the Royal College of Physicians, admitted he did not expect his views to be taken seriously because all he had done was spend 30 years becoming a word class consultant and public health expert, before sitting down and thinking about the issue of drug misuse for absolutely ages.

He said: “I haven’t done anything particularly onerous such as waiting my turn to be handed a safe parliamentary seat before confronting the incredibly demanding task of doing whatever the Daily Mail tells me to.

"My comments are nothing more than the sort of off-the-top-of-the-head ramblings one consistently hears from hippy dippy chief constables, members of the government’s scientific advisory panel on getting off your tits and silly little people like Sir Nicholas Green QC, the chief druid at the UK Bar Council."

Professor Gilmore added: “The only people now opposing the legalisation of drugs - and thank goodness - are MPs, your grandmother and Peter Hitchens, that religious chap who is perilously close to being too insane for the Mail on Sunday.”

Senior Tory backbencher Denys Finch-Hatton, said: “I do find it disturbing when dangerously under-qualified people get involved in subjects on which the Daily Mail has already made its position perfectly clear.

"Take this quote from Professor Gilmore - ‘Everyone who has looked at this in a serious and sustained way concludes that the present policy of prohibition is not a success’.

"Not only is that pseudo-scientific gobble-di-gook, but if you re-arrange some of the letters and add some new ones it spells ‘I want to kill the Princess Royal and then make nasty love to your inside-out brain on a sponge made from raspberry death yoghurt’."

He added: “I’m sorry, you’ll have to excuse me, I’ve had about 12 gin and tonics and a bottle of Muscadet.”

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Stolen from here - http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/health/legalise-drugs%2c-says-some-crazy-president-of-the-royal-college-of-physicians-201008173007/

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Aug 16

To repeat what others have said, requires education; to challenge it, requires brains. - Mary Pettibone Poole

Always do your research!

http://en.wikipedia.org
http://www.erowid.org/

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