Monday, February 16, 2004

I don't do psychedelics myself. The way I figure it, I had more than my share in the 60s and besides you don't know what's in that stuff anymore. Nowadays they sell all these designer drugs. As The Guardian reports:

British recreational drug users are turning to a new generation of designer class A drugs from the United States as demand for ecstasy plummets.

In an ironic twist, they are illegal in the UK, but legally obtained here in the motherland of all prohibition.

...Unlike ecstasy, methamphetamine or other synthetic recreational drugs, the new compounds are not made in illicit factories or backroom kitchen laboratories. Instead, "research chemicals", as they are euphemistically known, are synthesised by commercial labs, often based in the US, which openly sell their products on the internet.

...Even in the US, despite some of the most draconian anti-drug laws in the world, the bulk of research chemicals are legal to manufacture, sell, possess and consume.

And unlike most white powder street drugs, you can be certain these are pure, but they are strong and the doses require precise calibration.

Psychedelic stimulants such as 2C-I and 2-CT-2 induce visual hallucinations, energy surges, and euphoria. The most powerful is 5-Meo-DMT, doses of which are smaller than a grain of salt. When smoked, its effects are nearly instantaneous, propelling the user into an alternate reality, described as like "being shot out of the nozzle of an atomic cannon". The experience lasts 10 minutes.

The potential for overdose in great with these drugs and further they are so new, no research exists on their long term effects.

Even their proponents are at pains to point out the unpredictability and danger involved in reckless experimentation. "It is not reasonable to assume that these chemicals are in any way 'safe' to use recreationally," states the FAQ at, the internet's biggest underground drug resource. "When you take a research chemical, you are stepping out into the unknown, and you could be the unfortunate person to discover a new drug's lethal dose."

One should not take a warning from Erowid lightly. You might also want to check with this guy as well before you try these drugs yourself.

Most research chemicals were invented by one man, Californian biochemist Dr Alexander Shulgin, 78. As an expert witness and adviser to the US Drug Enforcement Agency, he held a licence permitting him to study psychoactive drugs. Over decades, he created hundreds of new mind-altering compounds and then tested them on himself and a small coterie of fellow "psychonauts". The recipes for more than 170 of his materials were published in two biochemical cookbooks in the 1990s and now form the backbone of the research chemicals industry.

To me, it doesn't sound worth the risk to get the high, but with several companies competing for a large internet market, the demand clearly exists and further illustrates the futility of the war on drugs. People will go to great lengths to alter their consciousness. You can't stop that drive in human beings and I can't help but think it would be safer to simply make pure LSD available than allow young people to be endangered by these untested designer spin-offs.


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