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it started in a vestibule, it ended in having to start a wiki to keep track of everything Craig Finn says

The Hold Steady is a band that tends to write songs that are stories about drugs and sex and Jesus. There is a wiki that keeps track of all of their reused characters, locations, and self references, among other things.. Because of their songwriting style, the NPR annotated versions of "The Swish" and "The Cattle and the Creeping Things" as well as their TVTropes entry are also worth a look. You can listen to their latest album on the Guardian website.
posted by NoraReed on Feb 4, 2011 - 59 comments

Weed-Mart

Two years ago, Mann says, he had never seen a pot plant. Today, he envisions weGrow becoming the "Wal-Mart of Weed", a vertically integrated chain of big-box stores perfectly positioned to cash in on California's booming marijuana industry as it moves from the shadows to the mainstream. In this "green rush" for semi-legal weed, Mann and his partner Derek Peterson, a 36-year-old investment banker, seek to be the modern equivalents of Levi Strauss and Samuel Brannan—the Gold Rush entrepreneurs who made a killing not from mining, but from selling pans, pickaxes, and victuals to the forty-niners.
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 27, 2011 - 43 comments

Calgon, blow me away!

Bath salts are said to improve cleaning, improve the experience of bathing, serve as a vehicle for cosmetic agents, and some even claim medical benefits. But now bath salts are becoming the next big drug menace.
posted by twoleftfeet on Jan 24, 2011 - 95 comments

Bryan Lewis Saunders

'On March 30th 1995, I started doing at least one Self-Portrait everyday for the rest of my life. At present I have over 7,900 of them. [...] After experiencing drastic changes in my environment, I looked for other experiences that might profoundly affect my perception of the self. So I devised another experiment where everyday I took a different drug and drew myself under the influence.'
posted by shakespeherian on Jan 19, 2011 - 47 comments

The Hidden Victims

Rafaela Persson photographed female drug addicts and their children in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jan 18, 2011 - 9 comments

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Video footage of an experimental LSD session from the 1950s, which concludes with a short discussion with philosopher Gerald Heard.
posted by gman on Jan 16, 2011 - 138 comments

Tuck your children in and beatbox them to sleep.

Parenting tips from a teen who grew up going to festivals with her offbeat mama
posted by Knigel on Dec 29, 2010 - 67 comments

A Model for the Rest of Us

The AP reports that the drug policy in Portugal is paying off.
posted by gman on Dec 27, 2010 - 39 comments

Feed your head

High Society Mini-site to accompany an exhibition at the Wellcome Collection on the history and culture of mind-altering drugs. Includes image galleries, essays and a quiz.
posted by Abiezer on Dec 23, 2010 - 2 comments

Placebos Without Deception

Meet the Ethical Placebo: "A provocative new study called 'Placebos Without Deception,' published on PLoS One today, threatens to make humble sugar pills something they’ve rarely had a chance to be in the history of medicine: a respectable, ethically sound treatment for disease that has been vetted in controlled trials." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 23, 2010 - 76 comments

The Kids In Bristol Are Sharp As A Pistol

Our Meth House. Jenn Friberg and Rob Quigley bought a home in Bristol, PA. What they didn't know is that it been used as a meth house. Too bad they didn't read How to avoid buying a meth house first.
posted by fixedgear on Dec 2, 2010 - 32 comments

Pharmacologic Waterboarding

The Defense Department forced all "war on terror" detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison to take a high dosage of a controversial antimalarial drug, mefloquine, an act that an Army public health physician called "pharmacologic waterboarding". The US military administered the drug despite Pentagon knowledge that mefloquine caused severe neuropsychiatric side effects, including suicidal thoughts, hallucinations and anxiety. The drug was used on the prisoners whether they had malaria or not. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 2, 2010 - 73 comments

Rio's Drug War

The Boston Globe displays some pretty spectacular pictures of the drug war in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There's not a whole ton of context available within the article, but the pictures speak for themselves.
posted by TomMelee on Nov 30, 2010 - 64 comments

White Lines

Cocaine - how it's made, how it moves, and who might be cutting it with a deadly cattle-deworming drug, a follow up to the mystery of the tainted cocaine.
posted by Artw on Nov 6, 2010 - 41 comments

Not Fit for Human Consumption

Mr. Llewellyn [ . . . ] boasts that his safety testing method is foolproof: He and several colleagues sit in a room and take a new product "almost to overdose levels" to see what happens. "We'll all sit with a pen and a pad, some good music on, and one person who's straight who's watching everything," he says. [more inside]
posted by Obscure Reference on Oct 31, 2010 - 57 comments

Don't spend it all at once

US Charity offers UK drug addicts £200 to be sterilised, according to a BBC report to be shown this evening, Project Prevention, which pays $300 in the US, "seeks to reduce the burden of this social problem on taxpayers, trim down social worker caseloads, and alleviate from our clients the burden of having children that will potentially be taken away."
posted by DangerIsMyMiddleName on Oct 17, 2010 - 212 comments

A very Victorian attitude

Andrew Fraser was a successful Victorian barrister until he was jailed for drug trafficking. The investigation against him was led by Detective Sergeant Malcolm Rosenes, but before Fraser entered prison Rosenes was charged with drug trafficking and conspiracy, for which he himself was later imprisoned. In an unlikely twist, Rosenes later approached Fraser to write an account of police corruption in Victoria. The book has been withdrawn from sale in Victoria, allegedly because it identifies informers and a "protected witness", but the publishers say that the material is old news that is publicly available (pdf), while Fraser suggests that the government wishes to avoid any embarrassment immediately before a State election.
posted by Joe in Australia on Oct 15, 2010 - 11 comments

Been There. Done What?!

Jillian Lauren recently wrote a book about her experiences as a harem girl in Brunei. LA Weekly also went in-depth into her story. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Aug 25, 2010 - 88 comments

I'd just been eaten by a giant rainbow-colored moth

Chantix (aka Champix) is a drug developed to help people quit smoking. It works by binding nicotine receptors in the brain. It has side effects -- nausea, gas, suicidal ideation, and strange dreams. "Strange dreams"? Yep, it's right there in the official side-effects from Pfizer (17.13). Here's a strange dream. Here's another. Here's some more. [more inside]
posted by CCBC on Aug 16, 2010 - 62 comments

the other drug war, in that other place

While most of the attention in the war on drugs has been focused on Mexico of late, the opium trade in Afghanistan is still alive. Though perhaps not as well this year, as Tajikistan reports far less opium crossing the border, attributed to more use within Afghanistan as well as an unexplained poppy blight. With yields dropping and prices rising, US-backed efforts to encourage farmers to grow alternate crops (previously) may be derailed, despite a trade agreement with Pakistan which promises to open the country's borders to more trade in legitimate consumer goods with India. Meanwhile, people are looking into ways to turn the poppy fields into biofuels.
posted by jackflaps on Aug 11, 2010 - 21 comments

...And it was called Proposition 19

This November, California citizens will decide whether or not to legalize the possession, buying and selling of, and recreational use of marijuana. Early polls concerning proposition 19, also known as the "Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010", reveal a slight majority for legalization, as well as an interesting case of status quo bias. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by Taft on Jul 29, 2010 - 101 comments

Makes Disturbances Melt Away?

In a pilot Phase II study of PTSD sufferers with a median of 19 years since diagnosis, MDMA-assisted therapy resulted in 10 out of 12 patients no longer meeting the diagnostic criteria. [more inside]
posted by daksya on Jul 24, 2010 - 88 comments

How big is the global drug economy?

Is laundering Mexican drug cartel money too big too fail? Wachovia/Wells Fargo are discovered to be laundering many many billions of dollars. As in $380,000,000,000. Charles Bowden, in a recent interview with Amy Goodman, discusses the everyday reality of what life is like in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, and his most recent non-fiction account of the "Global Economy's New Killing Fields", in the just published book Murder City. Meanwhile, the drug violence now involves car bombs in Ciudad Juarez, the city across the border with El Paso. Guns go out of America, and drugs come in. [more inside]
posted by tarantula on Jul 20, 2010 - 48 comments

Too much cofffee man

What Caffeine Actually Does to Your Brain
posted by Artw on Jul 13, 2010 - 136 comments

Murders in Mexico

Statistical Analysis and Visualization of the Drug War in Mexico
posted by daksya on Jul 7, 2010 - 22 comments

High diving

Homemade submarines up the drug smuggling ante - CNN recaps a Vice story from 2009 where reporters toured a narco-sub seizure facility in Colombia [full video - 27:48]. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Jun 30, 2010 - 18 comments

The Legend of Black Superman

Billy Ray Bates, in his words, was "an average player who can do fantastic things. After flaming out in the NBA, he became a legend in Phillippine Basketball Association. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jun 21, 2010 - 11 comments

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?

In 20 Years ... Upload a photo of yourself and the site produces a predictive illustration of what you'll look like in 20 or 30 years. And as an added bonus, you can toggle whether you're a drug addict or not. [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Jun 21, 2010 - 115 comments

Mickey and Goofy sell speed in Africa.

Mickey and Goofy sell speed in Africa.
posted by pollex on Jun 20, 2010 - 33 comments

The Authors Forgot About Rock and Roll

An article in the June issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society of the Biological Sciences finds that "differences in reproductive strategies are driving individuals' different views on recreational drugs": namely, that views on sexual promiscuity are more closely related to views on recreational drug use than religion, political affiliation or other predictors. The study suggests attitudes against recreational drug use are an evolutionary attempt to promote reproductive stability.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jun 16, 2010 - 21 comments

The soldiers and police were going from house to house in search of Coke

73 dead in Kingston, Jamaica after four days of fighting resulting from the search for alleged drug dealer Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. He remains at large. [more inside]
posted by Jawn on May 27, 2010 - 62 comments

Marijuana Panic

Plummeting Marijuana prices cause panic in CA. In 1983, the Reagan administration launched a massive air and ground campaign to eradicate pot and lock up growers in northern California. Charley Custer, a writer and community activist, had just arrived to Humboldt County from Chicago. With the Reagan crackdown, Custer recalls, wholesale prices shot up — to as high as $5,000 a pound. That sudden and ironic windfall for those growers willing to risk prison time transformed the community.... Prices are now much less than $2,000 a pound, according to interviews with more than a dozen growers and dealers. Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman says some growers can't get rid of their processed pot at any price.
posted by caddis on May 17, 2010 - 106 comments

Penny Arcade on Drugs

Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade discuss the impact of drugs (both prescribed and recreational) on their lives.
posted by PenDevil on May 1, 2010 - 64 comments

Last Night Of Mephedrone Party

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 on Apr 16, 2010 - 66 comments

Destination Subconscious: Cary Grant and LSD

Cary Grant was the first mainstream celebrity to espouse the virtues of psychedelic drugs. (previously)
posted by gman on Mar 23, 2010 - 49 comments

We live in a brilliant city!

Streets of Plenty is a documentary set in Vancouver's DTES of Corey Ogilvie's 31 day homelessness experiment whose thesis wasn't resolved until the 26th (and last) day. [more inside]
posted by sleslie on Mar 21, 2010 - 24 comments

Dosin' the 'tocin

It may increase schadenfreude. It's an assistant to abortifacients and it's produced by stimulating the nipples. Got a clogged lizard? Your mom used it to turn off your brain for your own good. In women, it peaks at orgasm, but in men, it might be elevated throughout sex without peaking. And what do you mean "social" monogamy!? Is it the love 'em and leave 'em hormone?? Well, it's NOT Vasopressin For Her, contrary to what some people think. Is it an impedance to feminism? Could it be the key to treating Autism? Ism... ism... jism? YEP. It's in the jism! Its synthesis was the end of A Trail of Sulfa Research, and its master was awarded the Nobel Prize. (Chemistry, not Peace.) You can scent your loveletters with it, but sorry, peaches... you can't huff a good cuddle, but you might like to huff while you cuddle. Previously.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Mar 14, 2010 - 48 comments

And they say there's nothing good on TV...

[NSFW]Concrete TV -- bringing you an audiovisual mashup of pornography, drugs, violence, rock'n'roll, the 1980's, and humor** -- via NYC Public Access Channel 67, Friday nights at 1:30 AM.
posted by not_on_display on Mar 5, 2010 - 22 comments

30 Minutes or Less

Heroin can now be delivered to your house like a pizza. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Feb 21, 2010 - 81 comments

The master of Spin Boldak: Undercover with Afghanistan's drug-trafficking border police

The master of Spin Boldak: Undercover with Afghanistan's drug-trafficking border police.
posted by chunking express on Feb 20, 2010 - 1 comment

In those years around the sea-town corner

Swansea Love Story [Flash video, six parts, occasional NSFW, shows drug use], a documentary in VBS’ Rule Britannia series, follows young heroin users in the South Wales city, looking at their family life, daily routines and some of the changes in the community around them. Interview with film-maker Andy Capper; something on director Leo Leigh; brief write-up here, slightly longer review here.
posted by Abiezer on Feb 18, 2010 - 7 comments

World Government Data

Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 25, 2010 - 13 comments

In this city, we know how to get down

A rather silly music video
posted by tehloki on Jan 13, 2010 - 35 comments

Avon Barksdale Lives Among Us

Nathan Avon "Bodie" Barksdale is a real life Baltimore gangster upon whom the character from "The Wire" was based. Now, Nathan Barksdale has a chance to tell his side of the story in this upcoming documentary. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 13, 2010 - 31 comments

Obama Told Me I Was Doing The Right Thing

A medical marijuana provider in California is mounting a novel defense after his marijuana farm was raided by Federal agents. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Dec 31, 2009 - 69 comments

As If It Weren't Obvious Already

Saving Mexico "To weaken the cartels, some argue the U.S. should legalize marijuana, let cocaine pass through the Caribbean and take the profit motive out of the drug trade."
posted by kliuless on Dec 28, 2009 - 108 comments

The number of foreign women detained as drug mules in Brazil has soared.

"I knew I could be arrested, even die, because with these things you expect everything. But at that moment I was so desperate about the money, and to do something for my life." [more inside]
posted by jonesor on Dec 21, 2009 - 18 comments

Single Link Wire-Filter

You’re going to hire people to guard your sh*t, but you’re not going to give them health care. Vice has a long spoiler- and profanity-laden interview with The Wire creator David Simon, running the gamut from backstage Wire details to the media's obsession with "the Dickensian aspect" to his next series (set in New Orleans) to Joe Lieberman to this fight he almost got in at a concert one time. Via /Film.
posted by gerryblog on Dec 17, 2009 - 41 comments

Painkillers kill

Prescription painkillers kill more people than heroin, AIDS or H1N1.
posted by binturong on Dec 7, 2009 - 64 comments

I Can Quit Anytime I Want!

Internet Vices: various Web 2.0 sites and services, recast as drugs and alcohol. [more inside]
posted by ShawnStruck on Nov 20, 2009 - 29 comments

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