Mushroom Drug Bust Like I’ve Never Seen

If you were wondering where I’ve been lately, it’s been quite hectic in life.  I survived Hurricane Irma, but here I am back at it, fighting the good old fight to help others beat drug tests and report on the odd  news that comes with being a reporter in the drug industry.  Today I have a doozy for you, and this is out of the crazy little State of California.

The “Magical” California Mushroom Drug Bust

Mushroom bust

That would be me high until the day that I die.

So, I read this on Fox News, which depending on what side you are on politically, you may either love this story or run from it.  Honestly, can we get past the Presidential election already?

According to the story, the Police in Berkeley, California, took in a massive 677 pounds of mushrooms from a residence.  The value of these magic mushrooms is reportedly $1 million.

So what tipped off the police in this magical raid?

A “bickering” couple.

Domestic violence for the win?

I’m telling you guys, women are the root of all evils.  (Sorry to rant, recent break up will do that to a guy.)

“I’ve been a cop for 17 years, and it’s very rare to see mushrooms in this quantity,” Sgt. Andrew Frankel, spokesman for the Berkeley Police Department, told SFGate.

Apparently the couple were taken into custody after – get this – refusing to leave their residence!

I know if I was sitting on product like that, and was caught red hand, I’d probably go quietly.  It was this refusal to leave that led the police to go inside and find this insane crop of mushrooms which appeared to be a full blown operation.

“In plain view were psilocybin mushrooms in various stages of cultivation as well as storage and distribution materials,” the police department said in a statement. “The Berkeley Police Department takes great pride in ridding the community of dangerous narcotics.”

The couple, 35 and 37 years young, were booked at Alameda County Jail.  The charges were narcotics.  They also had about three thousand in green backs, which seems low considering they had a cool million of product.  Maybe they are great cultivators but horrible sales people?

What I want to know is what the f*ck were they fighting about?



History, Controversy: What Is Peyote?

Drug counselors and anti-drug advocacy sites refer to peyote as an illegal, dangerous drug. It contains a chemical which affects the brain so that one’s behavior is altered: a chemical referred to as “psychoactive.”

Almost all drugs are psychoactive because they affect the brain in some way, but not always the same way. Some make people sleepy; some are stimulants; and numerous drugs deal with pain. What is peyote?

As a Drug

Peyote is a hallucinogen like LSD. This means those who take it see things that are not there and hear sounds no one else detects. Although many people take these sorts of drugs without causing themselves harm in the short-term, regular recreational use can lead to addiction and extended psychotic experiences even when not taking the hallucinogen.

Its roots in history have not limited the spread of peyote to all parts of the country or into contexts completely foreign to the peoples who first used it: nightclubs in New York, for instance, many miles from its original home in the desert.

Key Ingredient

The chemical sought from peyote and abused by consumers is mescaline. This is an amphetamine, known to stimulate the brain and body, and has been isolated by pharmacists for legitimate purposes. Amphetamines are used legally and illegally; legally by individuals with narcolepsy or who work night shifts; illegally by people who want to stay awake to study for exams or who simply crave the rush: the “trip.”

Mescaline is available as powder or in tablet form. Some people consume it as a hot drink or eat it with food, but they report that eating dry, extracted mescaline straight up is not pleasant. As part of the plant, this flavor is masked somewhat.

Results of Consuming Peyote

No one knows for sure how they will react to peyote, especially not the first time. There really could be a situation where one takes it and almost nothing happens or where it affects the brain for life. A reaction could be so strong and the erratic behavior so dangerous that the drug indirectly leads to death by, say, pretending to fly or choosing to drive a car off a cliff to reenact a scene from a favorite movie.

Violence has also been reported even though most people associate hallucinogens with non-violent, euphoric feelings, not with anger or violence. Anything is possible. Although this is an amphetamine, some consumers insist it also dampens pain and was an all-purpose drug in early cultures.

Historical Peyote

Whatever consumers are doing with peyote today has all been done before by First Nations groups living in arid climates where this short flowering cactus grows wild.

For centuries, indigenous peoples have extracted mescaline from peyote to reduce pain. There are also stories of people going on spiritual journeys through peyote induced hallucinations. One author, Carlos Castaneda, is known for writing about this.

There were associated dangers in their cultures too, but studies suggest that side effects from using peyote extracts for a long time are rare. Historians demonstrate that peyote was probably used in religious rituals and to inspire what seemed to be dreams of or conversations with a higher power or to look for guidance from those who had passed into the next life already.

Is Peyote Addictive?

So far, evidence indicates that most people stop taking this drug eventually and any addictive response is psychological, not chemical. Data supports the fear, however, that peyote could cause health issues. When one is using amphetamines, they disrupt a natural rhythm. It isn’t unusual to establish bad sleep patterns which lead to insomnia, depression, or anxiety.

Poor eating habits are also likely as, during a “high,” consumers forget to eat. Experience has shown that going through the opposite of euphoria could lead to self-harm or acts of outward violence. A long history of peyote use and abuse in the desert regions demonstrates the unpredictable power of this short, spiny plant.

Ayahuasca – Traditional And Medicinal Uses

The drink Ayahuasca has been used by tribes in the Amazon region for centuries, usually as part of their religious ceremonies and activities involving the tribe’s shaman. The name comes from the vine which forms the principal ingredient of the brew, although its scientific name is Banisteriopsis caapi. Secondary ingredients added to Ayahuasca include Chacruna or Chagropanga, plants native to the Amazon basin which also contain a psychedelic substance called DMT.

Ayahuasca induces hallucinations and an altered state of consciousness in those who drink it, lasting up to eight hours. It also has some unpleasant side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Traditional Uses of Ayahuasca

Historically, Ayahuasca has been used by the religious leaders or shaman of tribes in the Amazon region. Those taking part in the traditional ceremonies of these tribes take Ayahuasca in order to commune with nature or to diagnose physical or spiritual illnesses in a fellow tribe member; the idea being that the hallucinations and visions help the shaman to understand a greater truth about an individual.

Image: AU

Ayahuasca in Western Medicine

In recent years, some people have begun to advocate the use of Ayahuasca as an alternative remedy for depression and other mental illnesses. Scientific studies have even been carried out to understand if the effects of drinking Ayahuasca can be beneficial to those suffering from depression or anxiety. There are two schools of thought about why Ayahuasca might help those with these conditions feel better; one is spiritual and one is more scientific.

The spiritual explanation goes back to the very reason that Amazonian shaman first started using Ayahuasca in the first place; that the effects of the drink help the individual to understand deeper truths about themselves and their condition, which will allow them to then work upon their issues properly once the effects of the ayahuasca have worn off.

The scientific studies have focused more on the effects of the psychedelic ingredient of the drink, DMT, which occurs naturally in the body. There is some evidence that DMT levels can be linked to the chemical imbalance in the brain which causes depression and anxiety, and therefore that drinking ayahuasca can work to restore or balance those levels. However, it is still early days for the scientific studies, and as yet there is no evidence that this theory is correct.

Dangers of Taking Ayahuasca

As with any substance which induces hallucinations, Ayahuasca should be taken with caution. Although it is not harmful if prepared properly, if you are planning on taking it you should do so in a safe place and make sure that there is someone to keep an eye on you and to ensure that you do not harm yourself while under the influence of DMT.

Some people may have extreme physical reactions to the drink; if this happens you should seek medical attention urgently. There have been some reported cases of tourists becoming seriously ill after taking Ayahuasca while traveling in the Amazon, usually because the mixture they prepare there is very strong.

Whether you are seeking to use Ayahuasca for recreational or medicinal purposes, it is important to understand the risks involved with this drink and with any psychedelic substance. Take the proper precautions and you should be able to take Ayahuasca safely, but always make sure you have someone with you who will take care of you in the event that something does go wrong.

Know The Facts About Ecstasy (A.K.A. MDMA/Molly)

Ecstasy is an illegal drug which first became popular in the 1980s, particularly among people who went to dance music clubs. The drug helped clubbers to stay awake for several hours as well as inducing a general feeling of happiness, euphoria and love for other people around you, even strangers.

The drug, which is also known by street names such as Molly, has the chemical name MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine). While it has many pleasant effects for the user, there are also risks associated with taking ecstasy — both physiologically and legally.

How Ecstasy Works

The pleasant feelings that users enjoy when they take ecstasy pills comes from the chemical serotonin. Ecstasy affects the brain by manipulating the neurons that interact with serotonin naturally; these neurons play key roles in regulating mood, which is why ecstasy makes users feel so happy and euphoric.

Image: UPenn

Physical Effects of Ecstasy

While ecstasy produces feelings of warmth and happiness in the user, there are also more unpleasant side effects to taking the drug. Short-term problems can include panic attacks, feelings of confusion and even paranoia. When the effects of the drug wear off, users can often end up feeling depressed.

If you take ecstasy, you should ensure that you keep yourself well hydrated, as the drug increases your body temperature. However, some users have been known to drink too much which can lead to problems in itself with the body’s natural salt balance.

Long-term Effects of MDMA

There are also more serious side effects to using ecstasy. The drug has been linked to liver, kidney and even heart problems; people with pre-existing heart conditions or high blood pressure have been known to have dangerous reactions to using ecstasy. Users should be aware that ecstasy has been a contributing factor in the deaths of hundreds of people since it first started becoming popular.

People using ecstasy can also be outing themselves in danger because of the unscrupulous nature of drug dealers. The tablets they sell may not be pure MDMA, or they may not even be MDMA at all. Sometimes the active ingredient of ecstasy can be mixed with other chemicals, some of which can be damaging to human health.

Is Ecstasy Addictive?

While you can’t become addicted to ecstasy in the same way that you can with other drugs, users can build up a tolerance which means that they need to take more ecstasy or take pills more often in order to get the same pleasant sensation. Similarly, people can become dependent on the euphoric feelings produced by ecstasy which leads them to want to take it more and more frequently.

Ecstasy and the Law

Ecstasy is an illegal drug; making it illegal to manufacture sell or possess and use tablets or MDMA powder. In the US, ecstasy is considered a Schedule I illicit drug, in the same category as cannabis and LSD.

The US Government introduced new penalties in 2001 for those involved in the making, distribution and taking of ecstasy tablets; possession of just a few grams can lead to a prison sentence between 5 and 40 years. In the UK, ecstasy is a Class A drug, with possession leading to a prison sentence of up to seven years. Selling or even giving away the drug could see you spending life in prison.

It is also illegal to drive while under the influence of ecstasy, as it can affect your judgment and even your vision.

Ecstasy remains a popular recreational drug, but it is important to be informed about the potential physical and psychological side effects, both in the short term and in the long term. Users should also be aware of the dangers of using a drug like ecstasy, especially if they have any pre-existing medical conditions that may be affected by MDMA.

You should also know that while your friends may view ecstasy as harmless fun, the law takes a very different view, and even possession of a few tablets could see you being sent to prison or facing a significant financial fine.

And of course, if you have this in your system for whatever reason, read my info here about passing drug tests.

A New Consciousness With N,N-Dimethyltryptamine Or DMT

The name DMT is short for dimethyltryptamine, an illegal hallucinogenic drug. Those who seek it out are looking for a unique experience they think can only be achieved by taking chemical substance; one which affects all the senses. Some drug abusers believe it is possible to cross over into a spiritual realm of sorts, but this is a realm of chemical misfiring and potentially lethal results.

Appearance of DMT

If you come across a substance that resembles salt and the color is almost white, you could be looking at dimethyltryptamine. Then again, you could also be staring at actual salt, meth, or cocaine. They are all very similar.

Image: Wikipedia

A keen and experienced eye will know what to look for and how to distinguish them. Unfortunately for addicts, those keen eyes are often being used by police officers. If you are caught possessing, selling, or using DMT, you face some kind of legal action.

Apparently, the generic appearance of DMT makes it easy to pass off other substances as the real thing, but many consumers buying the drug online are actually buying something far less potent. Whether online or on the street, dealers are difficult to trace.

Effects of Using DMT

One might say this is the ticket to a high like no other; something so amazing that it can only be short-lived. Some call it the spiritual molecule. Effects last about 30 minutes or less, at least at first. Users of this or virtually any drug will tell you the effects wear off faster and faster over time and intensity decreases as well.

One must take more of the stuff or add other drugs which is when drug abuse becomes very dangerous indeed if the risks were not already considered substantial. Compare dimethyltryptamine with any hallucinogenic such as LSD.

Where Does It Come from?

This is a natural, plant-based substance found in the Amazon. There are also man-made versions being concocted in labs. As for buying the drug, it is sold the same way other illegal substances such as heroin, meth, and cocaine are peddled.

Taking and Detecting DMT

As with many drugs, there are multiple ways to get your high. Take it orally. Inhale the drug. Inject it into your bloodstream directly.

Cocaine, meth, and other drugs are delivered in the same ways. Unlike meth, it is not considered technically “addictive,” at least not in the biological sense. One might become addicted to the habit of taking it however.

Clinicians look for DMT by measuring a patient’s urine or blood. It’s unlikely the clinician will examine either substance specifically for dimethyltryptamine. Instead, having been arrested or hospitalized due to suspected drug use, experts will measure for signs of assorted chemicals and markers will reveal which one was being used.

Suggested: Best Way To Pass A Urine Test On Short Notice

The Down Side

If potential arrest is not deterrent enough, here are some possible negative results from taking DMT. A trip this intense could make you feel anxious or nauseous. It’s possible that, if you are able to use your body, the urge to take risks will overcome common sense.

Effects on the heart rate could lead to a heart attack and, ultimately, death at even a young age. Drugs can always interfere or interact with each other, so taking dimethyltryptamine with another illegal substance or a prescription drug could cause a severe chemical reaction and serious illness or kill a person.

Any hallucinogenic experience can trigger mental health problems which were only moderately in evidence until this time. After taking DMT or a similar drug, symptoms of anxiety or another disorder could become more pronounced.