Hallucinogens and medical science: San Jose conferenceThe New York Times reports on a conference in San Jose about hallucinogens as physicians and scientists are re-examining their medical benefits. See the article by John Tierney here. And a thank you to Matthew Warner Osborn for the tip.
Mexico's "magic mint" bittersweet hallucinogen
USA Today, 22 June 09, reports about the powerful hallucinogen salvia divinorum, known as magic mint. In a district of Mexico south of the capital traditional Mazatec medicine men used magic mushrooms, salvia leaves, and psychedelic seeds of morning glories to diagnose illnesses.
Dutch may ban "fresh" magic mushrooms
The Dutch government is considering a ban on the sale of "fresh" magic mushrooms at so-called Smart Shops. Dried magic mushrooms already are banned. The proposed change is part of a larger shift in Dutch tolerance toward drug use and prostitution. For more, see here.
Youthful abuse of cough and cold medicines to get high
According to a 2006 study, 3.1 million Americans aged 12 to 25 have used cough and cold medicines to get high, a figure much higher for this age group than those who used methamphetamines. The same study showed that for this age group 82% have used marijuana and nearly half have used inhalants or hallucingens such as LSD or Ecstasy. For more, see here.
"Toad smoking" has emerged as alternative to toad licking as way to extract hallucinogens from the poor frightened or angry creature. For more, see here
'You're either on the bus or you're off the bus'
Dreams of getting author Ken Kesey's original psychedelic bus, Furthur, back on the road again have hit a pothole. The Kesey family is looking for a new sponsor to finance restoration work and a TV documentary after breaking things off with Hollywood restaurant owner David Houston, who had hoped to raise $100,000 to restore the bus made famous in Tom Wolfe's 1968 book, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
Find the full story here.
Proscribed Purchases in USA (call for papers)
Call For Papers: Proscribed Purchases: Banned, Restricted and Subversive
Consumption in United States History
2008 Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting
New York, New York
March 28-31, 2008
I am looking for participants to form a panel for the 2008 OAH
Annual Meeting in New York. The tentative title of the panel is
“Proscribed Purchases: Banned, Restricted and Subversive Consumption in
the United States.”
In recent decades U.S. historians of virtually every specialization
have created significant works of scholarship dealing with themes of
“deviance,” cultural subversion and transgression. Despite their inherent
commonalities, many of these works tend to address disparate topics and
employ different methodologies, and their audience or influence is often
limited to a distinct subfield within the larger field of United States
This panel seeks to address topics of “deviance” or transgression in
the United States across lines of specialization and field by focusing on
these themes’ relationship to consumption and commercial market forces.
More specifically, I am seeking papers that deal with commercial
activities and consumer goods that are banned or heavily restricted by
law. Panelists will make the market-, commercial- or consumer-oriented
aspects of their topic a main focus of their papers. Although it is
important that the focus of papers be retrospective, submissions from all
disciplines, and not just history, are invited.
My own work deals with youth and marijuana culture in the 1970s.
A selection of possible paper topics includes, but is not limited to, the
--Alcohol and tobacco
--Embargoed trade or goods
--Any type of black market
--Bootleg or counterfeit goods
--Sites of consumption that were at one time or another prohibited or
heavily restricted: speakeasies, gay bars, etc.
--Banned publications and visual media.
Any potential panelist should indicate their interest by sending
an email to Joshua Davis (at email@example.com) as soon as possible,
and also submit an abstract of 250 words or less along with a CV no later
than January 1, 2007.
Joshua C. Davis
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Drugs and cemeteries
Youths traveling to pick hallucinogenic mushrooms at a cemetery in Norway are causing concern for locals. Aftenposten reports.
Hallucinogenic poisoning from the Salema fish
In an April 19 report for Practical Fishkeeping, Matt Clarke reports that some British men experienced hallucinations after eating a popular seafish in Mediterranean restaurants.
Ichthyoallyeinotoxism, or hallucinogenic fish poisoning, is caused by eating the heads or body parts of certain species of herbivorous fish and has previously only been recorded from the Indo Pacific.
The effects of eating ichthyoallyeinotoxic fishes, such as certain mullet, goatfish, tangs, damsels and rabbitfish, are believed to be similar to LSD, and may include vivid and terrifying auditory and visual hallucinations. This has given rise to the collective common name for ichthyoallyeinotoxic fishes of "dream fish".
Pommier and de Haro of the Toxicovigilance Centre Antipoison at Marseille's Hospital Salvator, who undertook the study, said that the men had both eaten a fish called Sarpa salpa, and subsequently suffered from CNS disturbances including terrifying hallucinations and nightmares.
One of the men, a 40-year old, was admitted to hospital suffering from a digestive problem and frightening visual and auditory hallucinations, which took 36 hours to disappear. The second man, a 90-year old, suffered from auditory hallucinations a couple of hours after eating the same species of fish, followed by a series of nightmares over the next two nights.
Full story here.
'Users may also journey to other worlds, communicate with strange beings or chat with the plant itself'
Additional unique physical effects include a strange twisting or pulling of the body, viewing tube- or snake-like patterns and, in some cases, encountering an 'alien geometry.'
Sometimes called “the drug the government forgot to ban,” salvia, a Mexican herb known to give users intense hallucinations, has recently crept into small-town America by way of the internet.
The Batesville Daily Guard reports.