Are Magic Mushrooms Next On The List Of Legalized Drugs?

Citing the benefits of widespread marijuana reform throughout the United States, a handful of activists are now mounting a campaign to push for the legalization of psychedelic mushrooms.

As reported by The Guardian:

Kevin Saunders, a mayoral candidate for the city of Marina, just south of the San Francisco Bay, has filed a proposal that would exempt adults over the age of 21 from any penalties over possessing, growing, selling or transporting psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms.

If he can get 365,880 voter signatures by the end of April 2018, the California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative will be placed on the statewide ballot.

A profound magic mushroom experience helped Saunders get over a “debilitating five-year heroin addiction” in 2003 when he was 32. “I got to the root of why I made a conscious decision to become a heroin addict; I’ve been clean almost 15 years.”

The study has since been verified by sufferers all over the country who tell their stories on Web forums. The Atlantic reports that one contributor wrote that he has been taking a preventative dose every 60 days for more than four years now, and he’s spent “the vast majority of the last four years completely pain-free.”

Read more at PersonalLiberty

Illegal Opium Trade Thrives Across Arunachal Pradesh

Guwahati: The flourishing illegal opium cultivation in eastern Arunachal Pradesh has become a major area of concern for security agencies, with the state government miserably failing to tackle this menace. The drug mafia, with some help from Naga rebels, continues to call the shots in the frontier state, where people are reluctant to give up the practice of poppy farming in absence of any alternative for their economic survival.

It is significant than that Arunachal Pradesh tops the list of states with illegal poppy cultivation.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in its last report of 2015 claims to have destroyed poppy fields spread over 399 acres in eastern Arunachal Pradesh.

But as per NGOs, the state still has around 10,000 hectares of opium fields and the annual yield of opium is around 100 tonnes, an average of 10 kg a hectare.

For NCB, opium cultivation in eastern Arunachal Pradesh has become an eyesore. Despite the regular destruction of poppy fields by the authorities, a large section of people is still not ready to give up the practice. This is a huge challenge in the fight against drug smuggling.

According to the bureau officials, apart from Lohit and Anjaw districts, which share borders with Myanmar and China, there are reports of poppy cultivation from Changlang, Longding, Upper Siang and Tirap districts too.

Read more at The Asian Age

Use of CBD Oil Has Doubled in the UK in One Year

A trade organization in the United Kingdom that oversees the rapidly expanding cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp market, has published a study that shows the use of CBD oil in the U.K. has doubled in a single year.

The Cannabis Trades Association U.K.’s (CTAUK) figures reveal 250,000 people are now using CBD oil to treat their health conditions. CTAUK added that the number of users is up from 125,000 last year, with approximately 1,000 new users each month.

In October 2016, the U.K. government recognized the medicinal value of CBD, stating the cannabinoid has “restoring, correcting, or modifying” properties. This admission has allowed suppliers to sell CBD by obtaining a medicinal license, which is a lengthy and strict process. Many retailers have been able to circumvent the process by selling CBD products as food supplements.

Most recently, the public debate around medical cannabis in the U.K. has seen a lot of attention, with a bill to legalize going through its first parliamentary reading Oct. 10 unopposed. That same day, a protest incited by a member of parliament and cannabis activist Paul Flynn took place in front of the Parliament building in London.

More of this news at Marijuana.com

First Big Ayahuasca Study Shows Promising Early Results

Ayahuasca is a potent psychedelic that’s recently come into vogue among hipsters backpacking around South America.

The Nature journal Scientific Reports has just published a new piece of research on ayahuasca, making it the largest and most authoritative scientific study on the matter to date. The findings suggest this Amazonian “Shaman’s Brew” might be linked to improved everyday well-being, and potentially offer a treatment for alcoholism and depression.

Researchers from University College London (UCL) and the University of Exeter in the UK sifted through the Global Drug Survey data of over 96,000 people worldwide and found 527 ayahuasca users. This group reported higher general well-being, along with less problematic alcohol and drug use, over the previous 12 months than other respondents in the survey.

“Recent research has demonstrated ayahuasca’s potential as a psychiatric medicine, and our current study provides further evidence that it may be a safe and promising treatment.”

Read more at IFL Science

Police: Zombie Drug’ Flakka May Have Hit Winnipeg Streets

A spokesperson for the Winnipeg Police Service says officers are “very aware” of the drug and have made what could be their first seizure of the synthetic stimulant. Testing is pending.

Flakka, which resembles finely ground glass, is chemically similar to “bath salts,” a term used to describe a number of recreational designer drugs (the name derives from instances in which the drugs were sold disguised as true bath salts).

It is most commonly snorted or injected, according to Dr. Marc Myer, medical director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Minnesota.

“It gives an effect that includes euphoria and stimulation that usually lasts for one to two hours,” Myer said. “It can also cause undue side effects like psychosis, homicidal behavior, suicidal behavior, and that makes it difficult to treat these patients.”

Flakka emerged in the southern United States in 2013 and has been making its way into more mainstream drug use, Myer says. Florida has seen a significant surge in the drug’s popularity in recent years.

Flakka emerged in the southern United States in 2013 and has been making its way into more mainstream drug use, Myer says. Florida has seen a significant surge in the drug’s popularity in recent years.

Read more on CBC News

Is Marijuana In Candy A Real Concern This Halloween?

Before you send your kids out for Halloween, warn them about the dangers they could encounter. Wear reflective clothing, carry a flashlight, look both ways before crossing the street and it is never a good idea to go into someone’s house.

The other concern this year is to be on the lookout for people slipping kids marijuana-laced candy. It is always a good idea to remind your kids to have an adult inspect all candy before eating it.

“You probably can’t tell the difference between medicated gummy bears and the regular ones if you put them side by side,” said Encanto Greens owner Bill Brothers.

All the edibles sold at his store are manufactured someone else and sold locally. The packaging does list marijuana on it but it is often small and the box or wrapping looks like a candy wrapper.

“I think there is an opportunity to improve the labeling of medical marijuana, especially in edibles,” said Brothers.

But is there a significant physical danger if your child were to ingest marijuana found in cookies or gummy bears?

Experts warn parents and kids to never accept treats that don’t come in the original wrapping and always wait to get home and inspect the candy or sweets before eating it.

Full article at 10 News

How Coca Leaf Became Colombia’s New Superfood

No other plant in human history has been as demonized as coca.

In 1961, it was placed on the Schedule I list at the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which stated that “The Parties shall so far as possible enforce the uprooting of all coca bushes which grow wild. They shall destroy the coca bushes if illegally cultivated.” The plant has been public enemy number one in the worldwide War on Drugs for decades.

But when the World Health Organization announced last year that the Monsanto-made pesticide, glyphosate, was actually highly carcinogenic, Colombia’s days of kissing America’s ass came to a screeching halt. In an abrupt turnaround, Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos is now challenging the War on Drugs in its entirety; this a reflection of the national psyche of a country that has borne the brunt of failed policies for far too long and is ready for real change.

“We are trying to promote the proper use of this plant, as it has been perverted for centuries, and show how it is actually used as indigenous tradition,” says Ximena Robayo, who runs the restaurant/café/health food store in the heart of the city’s bohemian La Candelaria district.

Besides chewing the leaves of coca, or brewing them into a tea, a wide variety of cooked and baked goods and dishes can be made with coca by grinding the leaves into a flour, called harina. This harina can also be stirred into juices, blended in smoothies, and used to make green drinks of all types.

Read the full article at Q Costa Rica

Maine Lawmakers To Debate Sale Of Marijuana

AUGUSTA (WGME) – Maine voters approved recreational marijuana nearly a year ago, but there is still no market set up in the state.

The marijuana debate has yet to happen in the house or senate, but what we do know is Governor LePage and House Republicans seem to be ready to delay the sale of recreational marijuana in Maine.

Portland Senator Mark Dion says the marijuana legalization implementation committee he serves on worked for eight months on a bill that allows for the safe, regulated, taxed and legal sale of marijuana in Maine, which Maine voters approved.

But House Republican Leader Ken Fredette says the bill passed out of committee is far from ready. That’s why he is presenting a governor’s bill to delay the regulated sale of marijuana in Maine.

“There needs to be rulemaking done as part of passing this bill,” Fredette said. “And that rulemaking, in my opinion, is not going to be done anywhere near Feb. 1, 2018.”

The Republican chair of the Marijuana Legalization Committee says there is no need for a delay.

Read more at WGME

Warn Experts: E-Cigarettes Being Adapted To Smoke Illegal Drugs!

Electronic cigarettes are being used to vape illegal substances like cannabis, crack cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin as part of a disturbing new drugs culture.

A study by public health experts has revealed alarming numbers of e-cigarette users are modifying their vaping devices so they can inhale vapor from banned drugs.

The research found 39 percent of people with electronic vaping devices admit to using them to take illegal drugs or former ‘legal highs’ such as mephedrone.

The researchers who led the study warned too little is known about the risks of taking drugs in this way and that it could easily lead to overdoses among other problems.

Read the full article in Daily Mail UK

Los Angeles County Issues Its First Cannabis License

Yvonne Delarosa Green was awarded the first cannabis business license for Los Angeles County for her dispensary 99 High Tide Collective in Malibu. The city and county of Los Angeles are expected to become the capital of cannabis once the state of California’s regulated adult-use market is up and running.

There is a great deal of confusion over the cannabis licenses in the city versus the county. Los Angeles, the city, hasn’t issued any licenses, and it is rumored that existing dispensaries will have to close until they receive the new 2018 license under the new regulations.

Keith Knox, chief deputy treasurer and tax collector for the county, confirmed that Los Angeles County administers some functions like business permits for three cities and Malibu is one of those three. However, Los Angeles County is banning marijuana for now, which makes the licensing in Malibu even more unique.

The mayor’s office in Malibu said in a statement:

“The City of Malibu’s Municipal Code allows for two medical marijuana dispensaries to operate within City limits. Two medical marijuana dispensaries have been in operation in the City for several years. Los Angeles County issues business licenses on behalf of the City of Malibu, and approved a business license for one of the two existing medical marijuana dispensaries today.”

Read the full article at Forbes

Home Brewed Death Tea

Poppy seed tea has potentially lethal consequences according to a new paper published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. Researchers at Sam Houston State University decided to look into home-brewed poppy seed tea and its lethality.

Deaths attributable to opioids have quadrupled since 1999 and account for the six out of every ten overdose deaths. Whereas heroin and opiate-containing medications have been the primary source of addictions and deaths, it seems that brewing tea from unwashed poppy seeds can also kill.

The opium poppy plant (Papaver somniferum) has been cultivated for centuries as a source of opium. Poppy seeds produced from the poppy plant produce a milky sap containing opiates. Poppy seed tea is made by washing or soaking the seeds in water. Opium is contained within the seed capsule and also contains a variable mixture of alkaloids, including roughly ten percent morphine, 6 percent noscapine, one percent papaverine, 0.5 percent codeine and 0.2 percent thebaine.

How lethal ingestion of opiates can depend on individual tolerance which develops rapidly with long-term use. As the authors of the study point out, “The level of information that is shared online contributes to the facilitation of drug abuse practices such as extracting opium alkaloids by brewing poppy seed tea,” and they add, “However, this practice can have fatal consequences.”

Professor Madeleine Swortwood, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Forensic Science at Sam Houston State University, was contacted by the parent of a young man who died after drinking home-brewed PST.

Read more at American Council on Science and Health

Opium Tincture Market Plan, Supply and Revenue to 2020

A tincture is an alcoholic extract of plant or animal material or solution of such low volatility substance. Tincture of opium which is also known as laudanum is an alcoholic herbal preparation containing approximately 10% powdered opium by weight.

Opium is a highly narcotic drug acquired as dried latex that contains approximately 12% of the analgesic alkaloid morphine. Opium is processed chemically to produce heroin and other synthetic opioids for medicinal use and other uses. Opium tincture is reddish brown in color and bitter in taste.

Opium tincture contains morphine and codeine and it is primarily used as an analgesic and cough suppressant. Opium tincture enhances the tone in the long segments of the longitudinal muscle and inhibits propulsive contraction of circular and longitudinal muscles.

Opium tincture remains in the British Pharmacoepia, where it is referred to as Tincture of Opium, B.P., Laudanum, Thebaic Tincture, or Tinctura Thebaica.
Major methods of preparation of opium include processing it into regular opium tincture (tinctura opii).

Read the full article at Miltech

Why Is Weed Getting More Potent?

The feds began monitoring the potency of the nation’s pot supply in the ‘70s by drawing samples from stashes seized by law enforcement, and boy was it schwag. The percentage of THC—the main psychoactive component in cannabis—averaged from less than 1% in 1975 to just under 3% a decade later, according to the data.

These notoriously low levels reflected the times, as the weed subculture in America was just starting to take root and could help explain why some of the most memorable old school brands have names like Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, Afghani, Thai stick, and Jamaican sensi; they were all originally cultivated outside of the country.

Now, as some critics have pointed out, it’s impossible to empirically confirm how strong domestically grown pot was back in the day due to inferior testing and sampling methods, however, there does seem to be enough prevailing research, firsthand testimony, and common sense to show that the illicit reefer from decades ago wasn’t nearly as powerful as today’s.

A recent federal study found that “the potency of illicit cannabis plant material has consistently risen over time since 1995 from approximately 4% in 1995 to approximately 12% in 2014.” This marked increase represents a shift when smokers began to pivot from dirt to mid-grade and hydro. In one standout bust from 2009, the DEA nabbed some sticky-icky that scored an impressive 33.12%, the highest concentration of THC the agency has ever seen in a domestic sample of weed.

Continue Reading at Gizmodo

CDC Launches Campaign To Fight Opioid Crisis In US

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a national campaign to help fight the prescription opioid crisis in this country.

The campaign will use online advertising, billboards, newspapers and radio/TV ads to increase awareness about the risks of opioids.

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is committed to using evidence-based methods to communicate targeted messages about the opioid crisis and prevent addiction and misuse in every way we can,” said HHS Secretary Tom Price, M.D.

He added, “Prevention is a key piece of the five-point strategy HHS unveiled under the Trump Administration for combating this crisis, which has left no corner of America untouched.”

WSB Radio

WING Officials Report Increase In Heroin Usage

GERING — Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Mark Overman refers to Colorado as the area’s “canary in the coal mine” because law enforcement and drug problems experienced in northern Colorado soon spread to the Nebraska Panhandle.

Use of the powerful painkillers, both prescription and non-prescription, has been rapidly increasing in both the U.S. and Canada since about 2010. By 2015, overdose deaths from opioids surpassed deaths from both car accidents and guns.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, overdose deaths, especially from prescription opioids and heroin, have reached epidemic levels.

Nebraska State Patrol Sgt. Brian Eads serves as the WING Drug Task Force commander. He said the area has been dealing with opioids, particularly prescription drugs, for some time. But now heroin is starting to make more of an appearance in even smaller towns in the Panhandle.

Much of the heroin they’re seeing is cut with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid painkiller that has a rapid onset and short duration of action. It’s 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Eads said DEA statistics show a large majority of seized heroin has been cut with fentanyl, which is considerably stronger than the heroin itself.

Read more at Starherald

Opioid Addiction: Humanizing A Crisis

Serious, chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, represent just a few of the staple diagnoses in developed countries, but few are as stigmatized as addiction. The opioid epidemic is at the forefront of public health issues capturing national attention in the United States, affecting communities from Hollywood to small town USA.

The term opiate is a classification for a drug that contains the highly addictive drug opium, a narcotic derived from the Papaver somniferum poppy plant. Opioids are appealing because the user feels a great sense of euphoria, followed by both decreased pain and increased drowsiness.

Adding to the complexity of this epidemic is the availability of similar, and often illicit, drugs that produce the same euphoric feelings of prescription pain medications. The abuse of, and addiction to, illicit versions of opiates, such as heroin, is growing as regulations and costs make it more difficult to obtain legally prescribed opiates.

It makes sense, then, that the United States consumes 80% of the global opioid supply. Individuals hit hardest by this epidemic are between the ages of 25 to 54, with higher overdose rates seen in non-Hispanic whites and Native Americans or Alaskan Natives. Men die from overdoses at higher rates than women, but that gap is said to be closing.

Continue Reading at Crixeo

Big Weed Will Capitalize On Cannabis At Any Cost To Society

Cigarettes are good for your health. There’s no such thing as global warming, so keep on burning coal. Benzodiazepines like Valium are a godsend — “mother’s little helper.” “Anything’s possible when you learn to handle Smirnoff.” These are some of the vintage ads and canards that we look back upon today with wonder.

What’s stupid is our collective amnesia about what happens in a democracy when a forbidden fruit hits the market: namely, capitalism at its worst. The response of capitalism to legalized cannabis will be to capitalize, as is its nature. To imagine that there will be no Big Weed akin to Big Tobacco is stupid. Consolidation is assured, and Big Weed will be run by executives from the other Big Bad Wolves.

The health benefits of “medical marijuana” will one day be equated with the disservice done by a generation of doctors who overprescribed opiates and benzos, the previous generation of doctors being suckered into smoking and recommending Camel cigarettes as good for you.

Read more at The Star

Scientists Want to Synthesize Salvia’s Hallucinogenic Molecule

You’re probably familiar with Salvia divinorum, the hallucinogenic plant used for religious purposes in some indigenous cultures, and for watching celebrities giggle in some decaying cultures.

A team of scientists is now reporting that they’ve found an easier way create a slightly-altered version of the chemical responsible for salvia’s hallucinogenic effects, Salvinorin A. They’re not doing it so that you can continue having wild trips with your high school friends, though. Instead, these researchers are looking for a painkiller with opiate-like effects, but with a lower potential to abuse.

“Drug overdose has become the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, driven largely by abuse of opioids,” the authors report in their paper published recently on the new preprint server, ChemRxiv. “To counter this epidemic, replacement of abused opioids with alternate pain therapeutics has emerged as an increasingly sensible goal.”

The authors write that Salvinorin A is unstable, making it difficult to alter. Others have been able to produce the chemical in the lab and change its structure somewhat, but some complexities have limited the options available to alter the molecule and change the effects it might have on the nervous system.

The final molecule, called 20-nor-Salvinorin A, differs just slightly from Salvinorin A. One single piece of the large molecule, a dangling carbon atom with three hydrogen atoms attached, is replaced by a hydrogen atom.

Continue Reading at Gizmodo

Why Michigan’s Marijuana Regulators Want to Shut the Pot Industry Down

Michigan’s medical marijuana industry has had a licensing authority—in this case, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board—for less than three months. It took two meetings before the licensing board, in charge of overseeing and regulating the state’s cannabis landscape, suggested shutting it all down.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan since 2008. Under state law, a caregiver is allowed to cultivate up to 72 marijuana plants—no more than 12 plants for no more than six patients.

Retail outlets offering cannabis in Michigan are technically illegal—and will be until the state starts issuing licenses, a development expected to come as soon as later this year—yet dispensaries have been operating with varying levels of transparency in select cities for years.

In Detroit, there are more than 70 dispensaries offering marijuana for sale that has completed or at least started the city licensing process, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“Every dispensary out there is open in violation of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act,” Bailey said during a recent board meeting, according to the Detroit Free Press. “It’s a felony for every sale that occurs from a dispensary.”

Continue Reading at High Times

Californians Might Vote on ‘Magic Mushroom’ Legalization in 2018

Californians might vote on whether to decriminalize the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms as early as 2018, under a newly proposed ballot measure.

The measure — which was filed on Friday (Aug. 25) with the state Attorney General’s office — would exempt people ages 21 and over from criminal penalties for using, possessing, selling, transporting or cultivating psilocybin, a hallucinogenic compound found in certain mushroom species.

The measure is not currently on the ballot — supporters need to get at least 365,880 signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot, according to the Sacramento Bee, a newspaper in Northern California.

Continue reading at LiveScience