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Last Night Of Mephedrone Party
April 16, 2010 4:45 AM   Subscribe

London hosts "Last Night of Mephedrone" party [FB link] Today a UK-wide ban on the drug Mephedrone, otherwise known as Meow Meow, becomes law, meaning a potential five year prison term for those caught possessing the substance. But several police forces are saying that they will operate a week-long amnesty while others are saying they will target dealers rather than seeking out users. London's biggest meph-heads are gathering tomorrow night to use up their stash in one final blowout, and according to them a "Central London club has offered us their venue for free and is even supplying Philip Starck brushed aluminium tables and Tiffany silver keyfobs from which to do our bumps of Meph". Apparently "one of the biggest DJs on the M-CAT scene is doing a set of specially sped-up meph sounds for at least 16 hours" and they're inviting requests - from "Love Cats" to "Stray Cat Strut".
posted by skylar (66 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
"use up their stash in one final blowout".

That certainly sounds like a sensible way to treat a research chemical about which little is known, but that has been linked to overdoses and deaths. One that is well-known to cause compulsive redosing (Wikipedia)
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:55 AM on April 16, 2010


I don't think you read the last paragraph of the invite: "PS some of you may notice that the night is scheduled to last nearly four months." It's clearly a joke.
posted by gene_machine at 5:09 AM on April 16, 2010


Send it to the black market where it belongs!!!
posted by melt away at 5:14 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's clearly a joke.

Ah, my sarcasm filter is clearly not properly tuned.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:22 AM on April 16, 2010


Huh, I'd never even heard of this stuff. But, clearly if people enjoy it, it should be banned. That's just LOGIC.

People are much better off consuming harmless, non-addictive substances like Alcohol and nicotine.

But really, it's the war on drugs that causes people try these exotic, unknown substances. If something is legal it's then for practical purposes the risk is pretty low, because obviously people are going to consider both health and legal risks.
posted by delmoi at 5:41 AM on April 16, 2010


Huh, I'd never even heard of this stuff.

Nor had I until I read this article last week.
"Readers in the United States probably haven’t even heard of mephedrone (not to be confused with methadone, a medical substitute for heroin), but the legal high is hogging the limelight here in Great Britain – and not for the right reasons.

The drug has been linked to the deaths of at least 25 people in the U.K., according to the Home Office’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

Mephedrone, which costs as little as $10 a gram, has become the fourth most popular street drug in the U.K."
posted by ericb at 5:53 AM on April 16, 2010



*Sigh*

I dunno. With weed being "10 times stronger than it was in the 60's", why the hell are we messing with the chemistry set shit?

I mean, when the UK clamped down on the liberty caps, I thought that was a step in the wrong direction... but really, I couldn't care less about this stuff. Have your party.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 6:02 AM on April 16, 2010


But really, it's the war on drugs that causes people try these exotic, unknown substances.

I fully agree. Mephedrone I find quite scary though. I've heard lots of anecdotal comments from people who are very experienced with a whole range of drugs, who understand the chemistry, who won't go anywhere near mephedrone (or methylone, for that matter). Also first-hand accounts of addiction, of people talking so much that their legs turn blue.....[I'm at work and can't get onto any of the sites that would have useful information, but I imagine the Erowid mephedrone page is pretty good].

It's sadly ironic that legal research chemicals can be a lot more dangerous than the legal drugs for which they're being substituted (I strongly suspect that MDMA is a lot safer than mephedrone, for example).
posted by Infinite Jest at 6:04 AM on April 16, 2010


Are there any statistics on how many people have taken it?
posted by delmoi at 6:05 AM on April 16, 2010


One of the british radio stations I listen to have been talking about this. The first time they announced it on the news, the normally collected woman who reads it was barely able to reign in the amused question-like tone when referring to it as 'meow-meow'. I'll have to second the 'I thought this was a joke' thing though. Meow-meow. Heh.

There was a comedy investigative journalist show, the Brass Eye, who did a piece on Cake (SYTL) that made me wonder if they just had crazy drug names over there. Didn't North Americans stop doing this in the 70's?
posted by LD Feral at 6:06 AM on April 16, 2010



Oh, but to be fair, whenever a paper says "...linked with ___ deaths," that's akin to "...an anonymous insider has alleged."

If I have the flu, I'm smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, I shoot my arm full of heroin, then I pass out from hypertension and smack my head on a coffee table, and bleed out... then the coffee table has been linked to my death.

It's time for the UK to restrict the possession of coffee tables (and heroin).
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 6:07 AM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


The problem is there's so much B.S. that comes out drug warriors it's hard to take anything they say seriously. "Marijuana will drive you crazy! Or to you into a life-long loser!" So while the chemical may be harmful, the people making the claim have zero credibility with the people they are targeting.

Of course, if this is made illegal, it won't be any more appealing then MDMA or whatever.
posted by delmoi at 6:11 AM on April 16, 2010


Ohhh, it's spelled with a ph. I heard a story about this on NPR the other day and I thought the reporter kept calling it meth and I was like, um, they know that name's already taken, right?
posted by sugarfish at 6:12 AM on April 16, 2010


Is this the first ever single-link Facebook post?

I'm always amazed to learn of a drug I'd never heard of before...I used to be so into the whole subculture, and now I'm just....old and a homeowner.
posted by nevercalm at 6:15 AM on April 16, 2010


Are there any statistics on how many people have taken it?

Here's the report from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, recommending that cathinones (the class of drugs including mephedrone) be banned. Not many hard stats at all, the most convincing one, IMO, would be the Mixmag survey which suggested it was the 4th most popular drug (at least in the dance scene) after ecstasy, cannabis and cocaine.

Skimming through that report, it's interesting how little hard evidence there is, though. And yeah, I agree with Bathtub Bobsled about the propaganda that comes out in 'drug linked to [x] deaths'. I'd certainly treat those claims with some scepticism.
posted by Infinite Jest at 6:21 AM on April 16, 2010


But really, it's the war on drugs that causes people try these exotic, unknown substances. If something is legal it's then for practical purposes the risk is pretty low, because obviously people are going to consider both health and legal risks.
posted by delmoi at 8:41 AM on April 16


People try these exotic substances because they are stupid. And I mean that literally. They suspend the normal functioning of their brain. Would they buy a hamburger from a guy selling them in an alley? No. But they would by a chemical that alters their brain chemistry. A drug commercial on tv spends 25% of the advertisement telling you all the horrible things that could happen to you if you take their drug. Everyone knows that using any drug other than pot can result in a fatal overdose, and they do it anyway. Every legit drug carriers the warning not to mix their drug with alcohol and to check with doctors about drug interactions if you are on other medication. And yet street drugs are routinely consumed with unhealthy quantities of alcohol.

As long as the public has to pay to clean up your fucking filthy corpse when you OD, it isn't just about your rights. When your OD lands you in the hospital, our collective money is going to pay for it. And when you shitty addictive behavior ruins the lives of everyone around you because there is no such thing as a "normal" dose of half of these things, that isn't just about you. It affects other people as well, and the government has a legitimate interest in maintaining a civil society in which the people act like people instead of like animals.

If something is legal you can assume all sorts of things, like the product is clean, unadulterated, and is actually what it says it is on the label. You can also assume that people have done studies that show it actually does what it is supposed to without also killing you. You can assume the amount and frequency with which you take it isn't going to kill you, and you can also assume that a doctor is going to be monitoring how that drug affects you. Jesus, you can't even get baby aspirin in a package that isn't well nigh impossible for adults to open.

Banning street drugs isn't the maaaann harshing your buzz. Has anyone ever sued a drug dealer for product liability because their cocaine was cut with borax? Or because their heroin wasn't heroin but was actually detergent? And are those little sandwich bags child proof? Are the needles clean?

Do you really need to get high that badly? Do you really need to alter your state of mind so desperately that you'll buy an unknown chemical from some shitdick in a club and shoot it into your veins? If the answer is yes, then I submit that it is perfectly acceptable for the government to agree with your own assessment that your brain is defective and separate you from the rest of us.

You know why we have a war on drugs? This is why: everyone who is under the age of 40 who smokes knew that smoking causes fatal lung cancer when they lit up their first cigarette. And yet they did it anyway. Why did they do it? For all the reasons people do other dumb shit. They want attention, they want to be rebellious, they want to be cool, etc. But hey, that's your choice, it should be your right, right?

Wrong. You don't have the right to make your own pizza and sell it on the street to the public without the government crawling up your ass about the cleanliness of the kitchen, the ingredients, etc. We regulate restaurants precisely because we don't trust people not to screw over their customers in the pursuit of a buck and also because we don't trust customers to be able to determine for themselves what is safe or not.

Fundamentally, these drugs aren't safe precisely because of their intended effect. Tylenol is not safe because it reduces your body's ability to feel pain. So it is regulated, not just a little bit, but an incredible amount. Drugs that get you high are dangerous precisely because of that - they make your brain operate abnormally.

And again, it isn't just about what you want. You live in a country with other people. The government has a legitimate interest in ensuring that those other people interact only with sober, non-high people.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:04 AM on April 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Would they buy a hamburger from a guy selling them in an alley? No.

I might if the fact meat was illegal meant I couldn't go into a shop and buy one.
posted by ninebelow at 7:10 AM on April 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


I realise I should be ignoring Pastabagel's insane screed but actually the analogy with dodgy burger vans which he suggests is pretty good. You know it isn't good for you (because fuck know's what's in them) and you certainly wouldn't do it every day but sometimes you have a craving, particularly when you are out for a night on the tiles with your mates.
posted by ninebelow at 7:13 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Everyone knows using any drug other than pot can result in a fatal overdose"

Ha. Ha ha ha ha hahahahahhahahaha. Ha!
posted by item at 7:17 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Everyone knows that using any drug other than pot can result in a fatal overdose, and they do it anyway.

LSD included? [Citation needed]

The government has a legitimate interest in ensuring that those other people interact only with sober, non-high people.

Right. Presumably MDMA is illegal because the government is worried that users will, I don't know, hug strangers or something?

buy an unknown chemical from some shitdick in a club and shoot it into your veins?

Very little illicit drug use is IV. Most drugs are snorted or smoked or taken orally.

If something is legal you can assume all sorts of things, like the product is clean, unadulterated, and is actually what it says it is on the label.

Sounds like a pretty good argument for legalising recreational drugs, to me.
posted by Infinite Jest at 7:21 AM on April 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


I'd buy a Sainsburys Finest range of drugs if they could show me pictures of the happy pickers and processors in Columbia who made the product. I wouldn't mind paying a little extra if it was guaranteed fair trade too.

Also, does life insurance cover cleaning up my OD corpse if I have it?
posted by Molesome at 7:25 AM on April 16, 2010


But really, it's the war on drugs that causes people try these exotic, unknown substances.

The experimental users of the 1940s and on would disagree. For some, it's the chance for a new experience.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:30 AM on April 16, 2010


I am not now or have I ever been associated with Mephedrone. Just in case the question came up.
posted by mephron at 7:31 AM on April 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


"A survey conducted in late 2009 by the National Addiction Centre (UK) found that one in three readers of Mixmag had used mephedrone in the last month ..."
is my favorite sentence in the Wikipedia article.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:34 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel: This is an odd thread for that rant, since one of the advantages of quasilegal research chemicals is their short distribution chain and inexpensiveness make for a pure product.
posted by Ictus at 7:44 AM on April 16, 2010


There's a shop called "Plants and Cacti Limited" near my gym that sprung up about a year ago. The amount of business they were getting was stunning; I always wondered why all kinds of thug-looking guys were going in there and coming out all excited; I assumed it was either a covert grow op or they were selling peyote or something.

Today, I see a sign: "NO MORE PLANT FOOD AS OF TODAY PLEASE STOP ASKING"

I even knew about mephedrone and have friends that do it but just never put two and two together.
posted by loveyourfellowman at 7:44 AM on April 16, 2010


I thought meph-heads were just meth-heads with south London accents.
posted by HumanComplex at 7:48 AM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I might if the fact meat was illegal meant I couldn't go into a shop and buy one.
posted by ninebelow at 10:10 AM on April 16


That has nothing to do with it. Even if the meat was illegal meat, you'd be willing to bypass all the standards of health and cleanliness just to get it? You'd be willing to risk that this particular piece of illegal meat might be riddled with bacteria or parasites, just to get it? Would you even know how or what to check? Do that seem rational to you?

You know it isn't good for you (because fuck know's what's in them) and you certainly wouldn't do it every day but sometimes you have a craving

And that's precisely why the government regulates the selling of all food. Because sometimes you have a craving. Likewise, the government doesn't ban all drugs because the government understands that sometimes the pain or sickness interferes with your life and the drug if delivered in a safe way can mitigate that. There is no safe way to deliver heroin, cocaine, meth, etc.

And even if they were completely legal like vicodin or oxycontin, it would still be completely illegal to buy them from some guy at a club.

LSD included? [Citation needed]

Erowid says yes.

And here is toxicological study from 1974.
There are probably more, but frankly I couldn't be bothered to click beyond the first page of a google search of "LSD overdose."

Erowid clearly identifies some very negative effects, including paranoia, psychotic episodes, severe depression, possible death, liver damage, neurotoxicity, etc.

The reason I'm citing Erowid is not because I think it is unbiased and accurate. I'm citing it precisely because I think it is inaccurate, and biased in favor of recreational drug use. So if this biased source acknowledges these serious risks, the truth is likely to be even more persuasive against them. Also note that many pf the "positive" effects are in fact, entirely subjective. And I like how "change in body temperature regulation", "hyperthermia", and "moderately increased heart rate and blood pressure (increases with dose)" are considered neutral, when in fact they are listed as side effects (i.e. negative) for prescription and OTC drugs.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:49 AM on April 16, 2010


You know, Pastabagel, that sure is a enormous nanny-statish rant for a guy who is furious his tax dollars might someday be used to pay for a poor person's annual check-up.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:49 AM on April 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


With weed being "10 times stronger than it was in the 60's", why the hell are we messing with the chemistry set shit?

Weed in the 90s was reputedly "10 times stronger!" than it was in the 60s too. I can only assume the same was said to be true in the 70s and 80s. All of this leads me to believe that the 60s was a truly tragic era of crappy weed.
posted by rusty at 8:01 AM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Would they buy a hamburger from a guy selling them in an alley?

No, but I bought barbecue from someone's trunk once.
posted by malocchio at 8:02 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is no safe way to deliver heroin, cocaine, meth, etc.

Whew do I disagree with this. Diacetylmorphine, aka Heroin, has its uses in legitimate medicine and is used for severe pain, at least in the United Kingdom. Cocaine is still also used in medicine. And hey, so is methamphetamine! It's under the brand name Desoxyn and its out there.

Safe, dose-regulated preparations of these drugs are available. The government in its infinite wisdom rather have addicts who are going to use regardless get their drugs from shady sources with unknown potency. A great number of overdoses come from regular users who get something more potent than the last batch, do the same amount as the old batch, and end up dead because of the strength.

Mephedrone should be regulated, but pushing it to the black market is just going to lead more and more people to have problems. It shouldn't be masquerading as plant food, it should be sold as what it is. In ten or twenty years when this stuff is still a hit, it will be on the black market. And probably cut to hell, half or less of its potency sold from store fronts today. When some meph-head who is used to taking the watered down stuff gets pure mephedrone, they will probably overdose. JUST like with the illegal (hard) drugs we have today.
posted by deacon_blues at 8:05 AM on April 16, 2010


Even if the meat was illegal meat, you'd be willing to bypass all the standards of health and cleanliness just to get it? You'd be willing to risk that this particular piece of illegal meat might be riddled with bacteria or parasites, just to get it?

Are you kidding? Illegal meat is always the tastiest kind.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 8:07 AM on April 16, 2010


For those not in the UK, the whole mephedrone story has been on the front covers of the tabloid newspapers for a few months. The cheaper newspapers have been responsible for promoting mephedrone and publicising the "meow meow" name, ramping up hype and interest in the substance for no other reason than selling papers in a period that was relatively lacking in hot news stories.

This intense tabloid attention has led to the quickest parliamentary legislation action that has ever come to my attention. Even though it can take months or years of debate for certain laws to be passed, this mephedrone ban happened super-quick. It was like there was a direct line from the Daily Mail newspaper to the Home Secretary.

Of course, people were doing mephedrone before the papers started printing the stories, but only a relatively small number of people, and - in my circles at least - it was only the most adventurous drug monsters who even knew about it. The very banning of the drug brought even more attention to the story and suddenly there were Google Ads all over the place telling people where to buy the mephedrone (sometimes called "plant food".) According to the press, which in its circle-jerk of glee reported these happenings, there were apparently websites advertised on Google from which you could get mephedrone biked over to your house in a few hours.

Over the past few weeks people will have been stockpiling the substance and inevitably there will now be a black market for it. It is probably a very dangerous substance but it's certainly no safer now that the payments will be happening in cash with no tax going to the government, no record of who is selling it and of course no research (there has been plenty of coverage about members of the government's own scientific council resigning because many felt they were not properly consulted before the ban).

Why did people choose to take mephedrone? Mainly because ecstasy / MDMA has become very hard to get hold of during the past couple of years, as a result of worldwide efforts to clamp down on the substances from which MDMA is made. So people started accepting whatever was offered as an alternative. In that regard, yes, people are stupid. But the government is stupid if it doesn't think that it and the newspapers also have a responsibility to get involved in harm reduction rather than just giving the stuff publicity.

A few weeks ago I saw this story in the Sun that might amuse or horrify you in equal measure. Although ostensibly it's meant to be an anti-drugs story, when you read between the lines you notice that the source is themselves someone who sells these legal research chemicals. So basically The Sun, the huge tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, is publicising a guy who has made his living selling these designer drugs...and the whole piece is like an ad for a substance no-one would have cared about otherwise. They talk about naphyrone, or NRG-1, making people "feel like God for about 12 hours", saying it is "13 times more potent than cocaine" (why not 14 times?) and can give one person "about 80 hours of the ultimate legal high".

The dark side of this story is that it's pretty certain that the next drug that comes along will be even worse and the tabloids will go just as crazy without any due process or thinking into how harm can be reduced.
posted by skylar at 8:09 AM on April 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Even if the meat was illegal meat, you'd be willing to bypass all the standards of health and cleanliness just to get it?

Yeah. Obviously I would prefer it if it was legal and certified and tested but it wouldn't be the end of the world if it wasn't. I am well aware that illegal means riskier (which is a good argument for keeping things legal) but all that means is that I have to carry out my own personal risk assessment like an adult.

(It's not even a hypothetical analogy: there is probably somebody buying illegal bushmeat in London right now.)
posted by ninebelow at 8:13 AM on April 16, 2010


Would they buy a hamburger from a guy selling them in an alley?

I would. I would buy friend chicken from an apartment in housing projects and I would buy tacos from a small push cart. Part of the joy in my life is eating at small, out of the way, quasi/non-legal eating places. Experimenting and taking risks has been resulting in excellent meals that most people are unwilling to experience.

Well, enjoy Wendy's, I'm off for some mystery torta.
posted by fuq at 8:13 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would buy friend chicken

I prefer enemy chicken. The hostility releases hormones that make it extra juicy.
posted by jonmc at 8:20 AM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Also, I would never do this drug. Mainly because the idea of asking a dealer if he has any 'meow meow' would make me feel like an idiot.
posted by jonmc at 8:21 AM on April 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


From the Wiki: "Because of its similarity to cathinone, John Mann, professor of chemistry at Queen's University Belfast, has posited that mephedrone is likely to cause impotence with long term use."

Why on earth would we wish to ban it, then? It's birth control for the chavs.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:24 AM on April 16, 2010


They talk about naphyrone, or NRG-1, making people "feel like God for about 12 hours", saying it is "13 times more potent than cocaine" (why not 14 times?) and can give one person "about 80 hours of the ultimate legal high".

It's a triple reuptake inhibitor. Might be a decent anti-depressant in a few years time then, I suppose. Funny how these things work out.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:27 AM on April 16, 2010


LSD included? [Citation needed]

Erowid says yes.


From the linked article: Police are still waiting on toxicology reports to see if the drug really was LSD, and if Discerni had any other medications in her or medical conditions that could have caused her death.
posted by sanko at 8:58 AM on April 16, 2010


I guess Pastabagel would just fast if he was travelling in a third-world country.
posted by Dr. Send at 9:09 AM on April 16, 2010


Pastabagel: "As long as the public has to pay to clean up your fucking filthy corpse when you OD, it isn't just about your rights. When your OD lands you in the hospital, our collective money is going to pay for it. And when you shitty addictive behavior ruins the lives of everyone around you because there is no such thing as a "normal" dose of half of these things, that isn't just about you. It affects other people as well, and the government has a legitimate interest in maintaining a civil society in which the people act like people instead of like animals."

Back when we were arguing over health-care reform and the public option, I posited that one of the risks of such a system was that it would be intrinsically corrosive to individual rights, because people could easily make the argument — when the public picks up the tab for whatever stupid stuff you do to yourself — that it wasn't just your business anymore, and that this line of argument could be extended from everything from seatbelts to paragliding to drugs and fatty foods.

I got a lot of poo-poohing for that, but I'm glad you proved my point so adequately.

My preferred solution to the problem is that we simply decide that certain things make you ineligible for taxpayer-funded healthcare. If you don't wear a seatbelt, do unreasonably-risky sports, smoke, or do drugs, that's totally your right, but the public's liability is limited to giving you a vial of morphine and a bed to die on. (This platform doesn't seem to be likely to win me many votes, though.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:10 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


because the idea of asking a dealer if he has any 'meow meow' would make me feel like an idiot.

Would you ask Miou-Miou for meow meow?
posted by octobersurprise at 9:16 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


The above argument from Pastabagel would apply to people who ride horses as horseriding kills at least as many people as ecstasy every year.
posted by skylar at 9:17 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Has Pastabagel been dosed with Faze?
posted by klangklangston at 9:18 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: It's cool to be a drug addict and eat food cooked in unregulated kitchens with unknown ingredients!
What could go wrong?
Maybe we could defend the virtues of huffing next?
posted by a3matrix at 9:37 AM on April 16, 2010


Just skimming the thread so I'm not sure if anyone else has said this yet, and while I'm not suggesting mephedrone is harmless & blameless, it is certainly worth noting that the oft-reported "25+ deaths" figure is based solely on speculative reports mostly involving cases of polydrug use or underlying health probelms - "So far there is no conclusive scientific proof that mephedrone has been responsible for any deaths in the UK".
posted by anagrama at 9:51 AM on April 16, 2010


You know, I really have to agree with Pastabagel's main sentiment. I've never been able to understand how someone could just trust that the mysterious substance some random person hands them is not going to do something horrible to them. Especially after learning about the incident in California in the 1980's:

In 1982, a California chemist working on an analog of the narcotic Demerol® took a shortcut that backfired. He probably didn't even know it and users certainly didn't know about it until they shot up -- and short-circuited their nervous systems in the process...

They thought they were shooting "China white," one of the most sought-after forms of heroin on the street. What they were getting instead was a brain-damaging drug called MPTP.

Those unlucky enough to buy and use it developed Parkinson's disease -- a nervous system disorder that can paralyze its victims. In several cases, users were found dead or paralyzed with needles still stuck in their arms.

And while MPTP -- and its analog, PEPAP -- has pretty much vanished from street trade in recent years, uncounted users tried it -- and swore by it -- when it was around.
(From:this site, which people will probably say is anti-drug propaganda, but it's what a google turned up.

I actually learned about this incident in depth for a neuropsych class because the fact that this street drug accident effectively instantly turned parts of their brains to mush was important to the understanding of the function of the brain. But then and there I decided I wasn't going to be taking any mysterious powders or pills, ever. Too much risk, not enough reward.
posted by threeturtles at 9:52 AM on April 16, 2010


You know no-one called it "Meow Meow" until the newspapers turned up, right?

According to Private Eye (who can normally be trusted in articles that involve kicking newspapers) there's no record of anyone calling the stuff "Meow-Meow" until a couple of days before the publicity started, when someone stuck it at the top of the Wiki article.

In the week before, anon edits had also claimed it was known as "Mugabe" and "The Chinese".

When I'm dictator (a phrase I use all to bloody often) any newspaper that uses Wiki or Facebook as a source gets burnt to the ground. And has their wiki page changed to say they brew 150 proof moonshine in the basement...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 9:59 AM on April 16, 2010


Even if the meat was illegal meat, you'd be willing to bypass all the standards of health and cleanliness just to get it? You'd be willing to risk that this particular piece of illegal meat might be riddled with bacteria or parasites, just to get it?

Because the food in grocery stores is never ever riddled with parasites or bacteria and is always 100% safe. So are all the approved and "legal" drugs.
posted by Orb at 10:12 AM on April 16, 2010


Do you really need to get high that badly? Do you really need to alter your state of mind so desperately that you'll buy an unknown chemical from some shitdick in a club and shoot it into your veins? If the answer is yes, then I submit that it is perfectly acceptable for the government to agree with your own assessment that your brain is defective and separate you from the rest of us.

Y'know, I feel exactly the same way about people who engage in high risk sporting activity like mountain climbing, snow boarding, mountain biking, etc. etc. etc.

I eagerly await the criminalization of these lunatic recreational activities and the subsequent imprisonment of the mental defectives who engage in said activity.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:50 AM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


People try these exotic substances because they are stupid.

You know, I don't disagree with some of your points in a basic way Pastabagel, but I'm really tired of this frustrating argument which lacks any sort of nuance, and is actually not relevant.

Life is dangerous. Drugs are one of the things in life that are dangerous. So is driving, and sky-diving, and etc.

If the argument that you bring up about public health were legitimate, then we'd have strong incentive here in the United States to stop driving so goddamn much and invest more in public transportation, one would think. We'd also have strong incentive to work harder to avoid people eating and smoking and drinking themselves to death. Etc.

Fundamentally, from the point of view of what is valid for humans to engage in, I've never really understand this prohibitionist view of drugs. Yes they are dangerous. Perhaps they should be regulated. They should most definitely be studied and understood so we have some grasp of what is a relatively safe amount of substance for the average person to use because people are going to use drugs. Erowid may be biased but hell, good thing there's something around for people to use.

But criminalizing drugs seems to cause far more problems globally than making them legal.

Humans will use drugs. You cannot stop humans from using drugs. You can call them stupid and gnash your teeth and call for criminalization but people will still die and do stupid things and now you've created an unregulated black market and a huge international problem. How is this so hard to understand?
posted by dubitable at 10:52 AM on April 16, 2010


Also, I would never do this drug. Mainly because the idea of asking a dealer if he has any 'meow meow' would make me feel like an idiot.

"I'll give you 30 quid for one clarky-cat."
posted by dubitable at 10:56 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


And that's precisely why the government regulates the selling of all food. Because sometimes you have a craving. Likewise, the government doesn't ban all drugs because the government understands that sometimes the pain or sickness interferes with your life and the drug if delivered in a safe way can mitigate that. There is no safe way to deliver heroin, cocaine, meth, etc.

This is so wrong. Of course there's a safe way and a non-safe way to deliver heroin, cocaine, meth, etc. Two factors immediately come to mind: what is it cut with? and, how much should you take?

If these substances are on the black market, you have no idea what the answers are. Presumably, if they were legal, you could at least manage these things safely.

Of course this doesn't mitigate the addictive qualities of these substances (similarly to many legally available substances, such as, say, oxycodone), but at least you throw out a host of other safety issues, and presumably you can interact with addicts in a way so as to funnel a bunch of other resources their way such as social services, addiction clinic services, etc. etc. So, furthermoe, there are benefits to making these drugs legal that are actually positive gains for public health and crime-prevention.
posted by dubitable at 11:04 AM on April 16, 2010


In the week before, anon edits had also claimed it was known as "Mugabe" and "The Chinese".

I believe it was last Thursday, to be exact.
posted by barrett caulk at 11:22 AM on April 16, 2010


unknown ingredients!

You are referring to the 'secret recipe' of course. I don't trust the government with my income, my children, or my recipes!

WANT SOME MORE SLAW?!
posted by fuq at 11:24 AM on April 16, 2010


the government has a legitimate interest in maintaining a civil society in which the people act like people instead of like animals.

The idea that the "government" is supposed to protect us from ourselves strikes me as mostly patronizing, sanctimonious claptrap; especially since it ignores the very pressing reality that much of what governments have historically done is protect the interests of the rich and powerful.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 11:54 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


sodium lights the horizon, I'd seen references to meow-meow by that name months ago, long before the tabloids got into their latest moral panic.
posted by reynir at 3:07 PM on April 16, 2010


Tylenol is not safe because it reduces your body's ability to feel pain. So it is regulated, not just a little bit, but an incredible amount.

Nope, the reason Tylenol is not safe is that it can fuck up your liver. The way it fucks up your liver is unrelated to the way in which it relieves pain. Tylenol is not regulated "an incredible amount". It is available over-the-counter, at least in the US, which I believe counts as "a little bit". (I am of the opinion that acetaminophen is insufficiently regulated, but I digress.)

There is no safe way to deliver heroin, cocaine, meth, etc.

Sure there is! It's called Desoxyn and it comes in 5 and 10 mg tablets. Or it's called diamorphone over in the UK, where it is available by prescription to treat pain. Or it's called, uh, well, cocaine is actually still just called cocaine. We keep some in the narc vault to whip up the occasional batch of topical anesthesia for use in surgery. They are manufactured under controlled conditions, distributed in clearly labeled packaging, and administered in known quantities. That is how you deliver them safely.
posted by little e at 6:27 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel: Everyone knows that using any drug other than pot can result in a fatal overdose, and they do it anyway.

You could conceivably argue the case against LSD, if you ignore the fact that the only reason anyone ever approaches overdose conditions is because it's illegal and thus unregulated and used under clandestine conditions. You cannot argue the case against psilocybin, however, not with any kind of credibility. Even the textbooks list the treatment for accidental ingestion as 'explain to the patient that the effects are temporary.'

Have you really considered your argument or are you just echoing what you've been told? Everyone's vulnerable to that, even if you think you know better.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:24 PM on April 16, 2010


Why not assume PB is trolling, and not respond?
posted by five fresh fish at 12:25 AM on April 17, 2010


Pastabagel, thanks for responding, but your Erowid link went to the MDMA page. They do cite two reported deaths from LSD though, so I stand corrected.

You know, I really have to agree with Pastabagel's main sentiment. I've never been able to understand how someone could just trust that the mysterious substance some random person hands them is not going to do something horrible to them

Well, there are ways to counter this. There are testing kits for pills that will tell you roughly what's in them - so you know if you're getting MDMA, or something completely different. And, as I said above, I'd see incidents like the one you cite as a good argument for legalisation: there were never any problems with adulterated MDMA pills when it was legal. Sure, drug use can be risky, like many other things, but prohibition doesn't make it any safer.

Metafilter: It's cool to be a drug addict and eat food cooked in unregulated kitchens with unknown ingredients!


I don't think anyone here has defended being a drug addict, and anyway, most drug users aren't.

In the week before, anon edits had also claimed it was known as "Mugabe" and "The Chinese".


Heh, I know mugabe from another forum.
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:39 AM on April 17, 2010


The government's determination to control its drugs advisors left me no choice but to resign: The seven resignations from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs are symptomatic of scientific advisers' anger at being forced to toe an official line
posted by homunculus at 9:35 AM on April 20, 2010


New drug set to replace banned mephedrone as a 'legal high': MDAI, a synthetic chemical developed as an antidepressant, is already being advertised across the web as a 'miaow' replacement
posted by homunculus at 9:37 AM on April 20, 2010


There'd be a whole lot less demand for these dangerous drugs if pot were legalized.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:00 AM on April 20, 2010


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