Surrendering to the Spirit Vine. Artist Alex Grey (previously) describes his experience with "the champagne of ayahuascas."
'There are two Americas - separate, unequal, and no longer even acknowledging each other except on the barest cultural terms. In the one nation, new millionaires are minted every day. In the other, human beings no longer necessary to our economy, to our society, are being devalued and destroyed' David Simon on The Escalating Breakdown Of Urban Society Across The US
Binaural Beats have been mentioned before, but that was when they were innocent, before someone thought of the children.
A SWAT team in Maryland raids a city's mayor's house and kills his dogs. Oh, and the warrant was wrong.
Is Afghanistan a Narco-State? "Drug-related corruption pervades the government in Afghanistan, a former U.S. counternarcotics official says."
The Coffee Junkie’s Guide to Caffeine Addiction. Caffeine's a hell of a drug. In fact, it's the world's most popular psychoactive drug. And more and more of us are getting hooked on the stuff. [more inside]
Christiane F was a 1981 German film that portrayed the life of young heroin addicts growing up in 1970's Berlin. Notable for the collaboration of David Bowie, the film became well known for its realistic portrayal of drug use. [more inside]
Amy Winehouse has Emphysema. The 24 year old artist, whose career has netted multiple awards but has often been overshadowed by her drug use, now faces a lung condition that can be slowed but never reversed, with effects ranging from shortness of breath to cyanosis and heart faliure.
Reefer Man - Heroin - Cokane In My Brain - Sister Morphine - Purple Haze - Don't Bogart Me - The Pusher. [more inside]
Jacqui Smith to reclassify cannabis - despite pressure from the UK Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, the Home Secretary has announced the reversal of Tony Blair's 2004 decision to downgrade cannabis. Critics see the move as pandering to tabloid scaremongering
A southern California family is standing by the wife and mother who lived under a false name and with a colossal secret: Susan M. LeFevre escaped from a Plymouth prison 32 years ago.
Albert Hofmann, the inventor/discoverer of LSD, has died at the age of 102. Wiki. The Albert Hofmann Foundation. Erowid entry on LSD. Hofmann's often-cited essay, "LSD, My Problem Child." Late in his life, he questioned his own invention. A conversation with Dr. Hoffman. [more inside]
Thirty-six years after the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse recommended that "simple possession" of pot be decriminalised, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has introduced a bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), to remove federal criminal penalties for possession of up to 100 grams (about three-and-a-half ounces) of marijuana and the not-for-profit transfer of up to one ounce (28.3 grams). Drug reform advocates
lit up hailed the legislation as "an important step toward bringing federal law into line with scientific fact, practical reality and public opinion." Is America, at long last, having a collective moment of sanity?
Carlos Castaneda And The Shaman. A BBC documentary on the anthropologist, best-selling author, con-artist, drug guru and cult leader: Carlos Castaneda. (google video, 1 hour)
James Brown was known as the hardest working man in show business. Most people concentrate on his musical legacy while others see him as a central figure in the civil rights movement. And while there are many who view Mr. Brown as a "moral conscience for black people" those inside his his private world seem to have viewed him as a drug fueled maniac who grew up in a whore house and had little regard for women. via
American Drug War - The Last White Hope (in case you missed it on Showtime) Includes footage of and interviews with gang members, narcs, prisoners (like Tommy Chong), and other folks on the front lines of the drug war including Freeway Ricky Ross (infamous for starting the crack epidemic) and DEA Agent Celerino Castillo who both wound up working for the CIA. [more inside]
He laughs and leaves. I sit alone in the room, staring at the walls, just about every inch of which is covered with more memorabilia: a photo of him with Lennon, a photo of the Beatles circa 1965, a photo of Muddy Waters.... After maybe five minutes, Richards wanders back into the room, laughing. “Sorry, mate,” he says. “I got lost. I don’t come here often!”]... Why do you think some people live and some die..? ...there’s that line between recklessness and stupidity, and you— "No, you bring up a good point...."
"I found these in a red photo album marked "Darlene" at a swap meet in Huntington Beach, California." The Cocaine Photos. Images from a more innocent time.
ALLDEAD by Christopher Keeley. Photos of and commentary about the many friends he has made and lost during his years in the intervention business. (Some NSFW artsy nudity.) [more inside]
"I'm not a politician, I'm an artist. Depravity is part of the job description," says self-styled dandy, former drug addict, and controversial British author Sebastian Horsely, who was denied entrance to the US by customs officials at Newark Airport on the grounds of "moral turpitude," a wide net that encompasses everything from fornication to being a "nuisance." Shades of Oscar Wilde.
Federal Court rules Drug-Free Workplace Laws are unconstitutional. A federal appeals court ruled Thursday a city can't require all job applicants to be tested for narcotics and must instead show why drug use in a particular job would be dangerous. Decision here (warning PDF)
I honestly do not remember a time in my life when I didn't have headaches Wilco's Jeff Tweedy discusses his lifelong battle with migraines, panic attacks, depression, drug addiction, and the influences of all on his music.
The lavishly-furnished custom Boeing 727 figures in the current tempest over his relationship with female lobbyist Vicki Iseman who provided and flew with McCain on the plane. Lots of colorful background in this investigative report by Daniel Hopsicker, the best muckraker since Gary Webb [more inside]
A new peer-reviewed meta-analysis of clinical data demonstrates that four widely-prescribed SSRI anti-depressants, including Prozac and Effexor, are not more effective than placebos. Summary from the Guardian. [more inside]
A BBC Horizon documentary, asks "Is alcohol worse than ecstasy?" (iPlayer link valid for UK users until 11 Feb). Here comes the science... [more inside]
Meet Peter Wayne. Prolific literary writer, book reviewer, architectural correspondent, church organist, chronic recidivist, drug addict, released, homeless, back in prison
"Researchers found that failing to publish negative findings inflated the reported effectiveness of all 12 of the antidepressants studied." See also: Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect between the Advertisements and the Scientific Literature. [more inside]
A Thailand teen who has had an online presence for ten years... is now doing three yearsin a Thai prison...and with the help of his former teacher is able to tell us about it.
The Wire is dissent; it argues that our systems are no longer viable for the greater good of the most, that America is no longer operating as a utilitarian and democratic experiment. An already-quite-good discussion about The Wire, originating in Mark Bowden's Atlantic article ('The Angriest Man in Television') and continuing through Mark Bowden's post on the show's nihilistic bleakness gets even more interesting on Matt Yglesias's blog, where the creator of the show stops by to give his opinion on what it's all supposed to mean.
Historically, drug laws have been a reactive response to a moral panic. Increasingly though, some governments are now seeking a more rational basis for drug policy. For the first time ever, all interested parties have been invited to get involved in the creation of the UK's next ten year drug strategy though many senior government advisors have been openly critical of some of the premises. [more inside]
I took my video camera to a Foster Care Alumni meeting and asked seven foster kids to tell me about there experiences in Child Protective Services while wards of the state: Tristen, Andrew, Kyle, Aisha, Elnita, Ashley, Joshua. [more inside]
Prior to his critically acclaimed program The Wire, creator Edward Burns wrote the HBO miniseries The Corner, which also focused on the drug trade in Baltimore. Charles S. Dutton, an African-American Baltimore native and former convict probably best known to most as TV's "Roc," was chosen to direct the miniseries. Who Gets To Tell a Black Story?, part of a Pulitzer-prize winning NYT series on race in America, examines Dutton's take on how to make a TV program which portrays a mostly African-American cast of characters, the struggles and differing perspectives of Dutton and Burns, and how race is portrayed in Hollywood. [more inside]
Stop Snitchin' may be the hidden link between hip hop and the 1980s alternative rock group, House of Freaks. According to the New York Post, journalist Ethan Brown has accomplished "making the Stop Snitching movement seem reasonable" in his new book Snitch: Informants, Cooperators, and the Corruption of Justice. Brown argues that harsh mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses have created a "cottage industry of cooperators" and informants who fabricate evidence, because Provision 5K1.1 of federal sentencing guidelines gives leniency in exchange for "substantial assistance to authorities." According to Brown, two of these criminal cooperators included Ray Dandridge and Ricky Gray, the perpetrators of the Richmond spree murders that ended the life of Brian Harvey of House of Freaks, his wife, and his two children. On the other hand, Mark Kleiman argues that the Stop Snitchin' movement has driven homicide clearance rates so low that, in some cities, "you have a better than even chance of literally getting away with murder." [more inside]
Hooked! Trapped! Teenage Booby Trap! Users Are Losers! Vintage anti-drug comics scanned and posted by Ethan Persoff. Plus dozens of other "Comics with Problems"-- like "Rex Morgan, MD Talks About Your Unborn Child" and "Capt Veedee-O and Ms. Wanda Lust in VD Claptrap."
Meet St. George Absinthe Verte, "the first American-made absinthe on the market in almost a century." Since Absinthe was legalized earlier this year, various brewers have moved into the market--but is is really the same thujone-enhanced drink that drove many-an-artist to madness?
Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue was an animated drug prevention television special starring many popular cartoon characters from American Saturday morning television. Airing in 1990 and financed by McDonald's, it was simulcast on all three major American television networks. The VHS home video edition of the special also opened with an introduction from then-President George Bush Snr and Barbara Bush. And thanks to the wonders of the interwebs, you can watch the whole thing here. And you really should. After all, where else are you going to get to hear cartoon characters like Garfield and Winnie the Pooh talking about smoking crack and shooting juice? [more inside]
"we upheld against proportionality attack a sentence of 40 years' imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute nine ounces of marijuana" - Justice Kennedy
DrugPolicyCases.com - Yakov Spektor, a New York-based attorney, combed through two decades of US Supreme Court opinions "to discern certain trends in the Court's treatment of various issues" related to the War on Drugs. The collection of opinions are organized by case, author and topic.
Raven and Jason live together in Vancouver's downtown East Side. A touching short documentary about life on the edge.
Richard Paey Speaks - An interview with the paraplegic man sentenced to 25 years in prison for treating his own pain, but now out after a full pardon by the Florida Governor. [more inside]
Please enjoy vintage video propaganda:
Don't Be A Sucker
The Enemy Agent & You
Your Job in Germany
So They Tell Me and
Don't Be A Sucker
The Enemy Agent & You
Your Job in Germany
So They Tell Me and
The US Sentencing Commission has recommended that Federal sentencing guidelines be reduced for crimes involving crack cocaine -- and is now deliberating making the new guidelines retroactive for prisoners already incarcerated. [WaPo] If taken into effect, about 3,800 inmates could be released by this time next year. [more inside]
The poppy is bitterly ironic this Remembrance Day. Borrowed from John McRae's classic In Flanders' Fields, the poppy has shifted from a symbolic meaning to the central subject of an ongoing conflict. As international intervention in Afghanistan continues, opium production has reached record-breaking heights, with this single country now producing 90% of the world's total supply (utterly dwarfing global licit supply). Meanwhile, the world suffers a global opiate shortage(pdf), Canada's heroin maintenance project is threatened by politics, and the National Review of Medicine suggests that prescription opiates are far more dangerous than the "usual suspects".
Here's an odd unforeseen consequence of the Columbian drug trade: fishermen along Nicaragua's Mosquito Coast have been been getting rich off of "white lobster"—cocaine dumped overboard by Columbian drug traffickers that, through a fortuitous arrangement of sea currents, washes ashore. [more inside]