Father of LSD - Dead at 102

Albert Hofmann died on April 29, 2008 in the village of Burg im Leimental near Switzerland at 102 years old. You may ask yourself, why is this of any importance? Well, let me break it down for you...

Albert Hofmann, a scientist of Switzerland descent, was the first person to synthesize lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in 1938 and also the first to ingest and experiment with the drug on April 19th, 1943. This day has been dubbed the infamous “Bicycle Day” by numerous drug aficionados around the world because he was bicycling home from his laboratory when he began to experience the most intense effects of the chemical compound.

Hofmann began his studies of chemistry at the University of Zurich. Through his studies he found that he was truly passionate about the chemistry of plants and animals. This lead him to join the pharmaceutical-chemical department of Sandoz Laboratories. In an attempt to purify and synthesize active constituents for use as pharmaceuticals, he studies mainly the medicinal plant scilla and the fungus ergot.

During his research of lysergic acid derivatives, Hofmann synthesized LSD-25. It served of no immediate use to the public. They gave the drug to animals and no interesting effects were observed, and was set aside for approximately five years, until it peaked Hofmann’s curiosity once again, and he decided to re-synthesize LSD with the hopes that it might be a useful circulatory and respiratory stimulant. It was during this re-synthesizing that he accidentally absorbed a small quantity through his fingertips - and was in for a big surprise on his bicycle ride home. In a note to the laboratory’s director Hofmann reported,
“a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed, I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away.”

Amazed by its effects Hofmann ingested 250 micrograms of LSD the next working day...on purpose. He went on to perform numerous experiments and wrote about the effects on his psyche due to this newfound chemical composition. Within forty minutes Hofmann was writing away in his laboratory journal and reported
“dizziness, feeling of anxiety, visual distortions, symptoms of paralysis, desire to laugh.”
With the inability to continue writing he asked the services of his assistant to take him home by bicycle.

Later he reported that,
“on the way home, my condition began to assume threatening forms. Everything in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror. I also had the sensation of being unable to move from the spot. Nevertheless, my assistant later told me that we had travelled very rapidly.”

In an attempt to make a quick profit off of Hofmann’s discovery, Sandoz, gave the new substance the trade name Delysid and sent samples to psychiatric researchers. More than 2,000 papers had been published by 1965 ranging with ideas to use the drug in order to combat drug and alcohol addiction to various mental illnesses. However, since the drug was so cheap and relatively easy to create allowed it open for abuse and it became the recreational drug of choice for the western youth.

This lead to a wave of moral panic. And this wave paired with some stupid hippies deciding that they could fly under influence of the drug prompted governments around the world to ban LSD. Of course, Hofmann was hurt when he heard that LSD was removed on such a wide scale from commercial distribution. He remained steadfast in his belief that the drug had the ability to counter psychological problems brought on by
“materialism, alienation from nature through industrialization and increasing urbanization, lack of satisfaction in professional employment in mechanized, lifeless working world, ennui and purposelessness in wealthy, saturated society, and lack of a religious, nurturing, and meaning philosophical foundation of life.”

Hofmann felt that Dr. Timothy Leary was partly to blame for the criminalization of LSD and regretted Leary’s encouragement for recreational use amongst the youth. Leary felt that American teenagers “with regard to information and life experience, were comparable to adult Europeans and were able to make up their own minds.”

Do not be so quick to write Hofmann off as a mad chemist that has an affinity towards psychedelic drugs. His experiments and studies have led to many helpful discoveries in the medical world such as Hydergine, a medicament for improving circulation and cerebral function, as well as Dihydergot, a circulation and blood pressure stabilizing medicine.

Hofmann has been quoted as saying that LSD is “medicine for the soul” and could not believe the negative connotations and associations that have been paired with the drug. He said that the drug was used “very successfully for 10 years in psychoanalysis” and that the drug was essentially stolen by the countercultural youth of the 1960s and “unfairly demonized by the establishment that the movement opposed.”

Fortunately, in December of 2007, Swiss medical authorities permitted a psychotherapist to perform a series of experiments with patients who suffer from terminal stage cancer and other deadly diseases. Although the inception of the experiments has not yet began, these experiments will be the first study of therapeutic effects of LSD on humans in 35 years.

In retirement Hofmann was a member of the Nobel Prize Committee, a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences, a member of the International Society of Plant Research, and of the American Society of Pharmacognosy.

The Albert Hofmann Foundation was established in 1988 as a means to “assemble and maintain an international library and archive devoted to the study of human consciousness and related fields.”

R.I.P Hofmann - you were a great man.


Leinart Will Be Fine...Trust Me

In my opinion, these pictures are not that big a blow to Leinart’s image, despite what my fellow blogger over at The Brand has to say. It has been steadily declining since about 2005. Why do I say 2005? Because that was the end of his junior year, and he was projected to go in the top three in that NFL draft class. Instead he attempted to maintain his USC “poster boy” image and went back to school. All the announcers, fans, peers and what not were raving on and on about what a smart kid he was, and how important education is and always will be. But then the 2006 draft rolled around and Leinart dropped to the 10th overall pick, missing out on millions of dollars. All of a sudden, everyone retracted the former statement and didn’t see him as the “great decision maker” but rather a Heisman winner who was simply part of a great football program. Leinart did maintain one stereotype of USC though, he held out for the fattest paycheck that he could get. Matter of fact, out of all the players that were drafted he was the LAST to sign his contract (but he did get $51 million - so props).

After he made amends with his coach for holding out on his contract he eventually took over as starting quarterback and ended up finishing his first season with a 4-7 record. But in his second year, due to numerous poor performances, the same side-arm throwing, ex-arena, slow moving quarterback that initially took a backseat to Leinart, (Kurt Warner) ended up taking his starting position back and actually did a much better job.

Now, I didn’t say all this to trash Leinart, I mean, at SC he was the man and I couldn’t have asked more from a college quarterback. All I am saying is that he was not PR dream to begin with. He wasn’t like Reggie with 20,000 sponsorships awaiting him. I think he is in the background of a couple Nike commercials and he got Punk’d by Ashton Kutcher. He definitely was not up for any multi-million dollar sponsorship anytime soon. Let's just put this all in perspective: OJ killed his wife and is free, Clinton cheated on his wife while he was President, Pacman Jones punched a stripper in the face and one of his friends paralyzed an innocent body guard (he's back in the NFL fyi) - I am sure Leinart will survive these "oh, so horrible" pictures with some "pro-hoes" and a beer bong.



I walk a fine line ablazed a maze
They say I'm crazed to give praise in this day in age
And ways if the world - to phase the snakes and slaves
And its apparent to the uniherently saved
In this world of rage
We hypocrites when the bigger picture gets posed
Its the Christian militia men against Islamic liquor stores
Its souls getting bitter frozen - its hit or miss or chosen
Him livin it, supposin, knowin nobody knows for certain
Behold this ship afloatin - admist this row its pitchin postin ocean
Sittin too sick for bolstin and pitchin
To get around these degrees of magnitute
Degrees of latitude
Who's deciding my fate
Is it Him, me, or you?


Decriminalization not Legalization

What is crazy to me is that people feel that putting an end to drugs is seemingly a "viable option” for most Americans. It is important to note that America has not ever and will never be drug free. The state and local governments have spent close to hundreds of billions of dollars on trying to make Putting an end to drugs. In Americas attempts to make the world a "drug-free" society the sate and local governments have spent hundred of million dollars. The irony is that heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other illegal drugs are now cheaper, purer and easier to obtain than they have every been before.

The result is that now we have more than half a million people imprisoned on simply petty possessions of these drugs. As opposed for the DEA going for the main suppliers of the drugs, they seem content with imprisoning the largely destitute and helpless population that could be deemed as "drug users. The war on drugs promotes this facade of attempting to help the people but rather it has thrown in jail more than half a million low-level players based on simple drug charges, targeting families with low income and a blatant disregard for human constitutional rights.

The irony lies in the fact that the majority of the problems that the "drug war" has attempted to resolves are indeed the causes of the drug war itself, for the various laws that they have implanted have a direct correlation with the prohibition of drugs and the distortion of laws of supply and demand. The "drug war" that has been going on for various years is merely a shell in order to keep the majority of middle of America at bay, promoting the ideal that it is an effort to protect the youth from intravenous drug use. However it has simply served as a catalyst of negative behavior for the youth, leaving numerous helpless children without a steady parental figure with has a direct correlation with their educational demise, bouts with addiction, and ultimately joblessness due to the lack of a substantial parental figure being at home. Now don't get me wrong, drug abuse is bad for the youth, but the drug was has far more detrimental effects.

It is ironic that majority of the problems that the drug war is supported on and direly wants to resolve are indeed caused by the drug war itself. What has been labeled as "drug-related crime has a direct correlation with the prohibition of drugs and the distortion of laws of supply and demand. Although on the shell the drug war seems like a great idea towards the protection of the youth from drug use, it has serves as a catalyst of negative behavior of the youth. Numerous children have fallen victims to having their parents be inmates due to these laws and as a result are a a direct risk for educational demise, future addiction, delinquency, and ultimately the possibility of not attaining a substantial income due to lack of guidance. Granted drug abuse is bad, but the drug war is far worse.

The drug war has essentially compromised our public health and undermine our fundamental civil liberties for so long and to such a degree that the war on drugs is seemingly counter intuitive. The United States happens to be the world’s largest jailer, thusly imprisoning nearly half a million people for minor drug offenses alone. Roughly 1.5 million people are arrested on a regular basis due to these drug offenses, and the sad part is that40% of these imprisonments have come from solely marijuana possession. The laws implemented by the “war on drugs” tend to neglect those suffering from AIDS, cancer, and other legitimate illnesses that have been proven to be aided by the use of medical marijuana.


IRan Contra(band) Affair

In order to discredit the ideal of America’s “War on Drugs” I am going to inform you of the corruption of our American government with regards to the importing of drugs that they have deemed illegal. Shit, talk about irony...a conversation between an American broadcaster and a powerful figure with direct connections to the powerful Columbian drug trade was quoted saying the following (can also be found in the movie Scarface):

Host: I’ve heard whispers
Host: I've heard whispers about the financial support
your government receives from the drug industry.

Guest: Well, the irony of this, of course, is that
this money, which is in the billions, is coming from
your country. You see, you are the major purchaser of
our national product, which is of course cocaina, cocaine.

Host: On one hand, you're saying the United States
government is spending millions of dollars to
eliminate the flow of drugs onto our streets. At the
same time, we are doing business with the very same
government that is flooding our streets with cocaine.

Guest: Mmm-hmm, si, si. Let me show you a few other
characters that are involved in this tragic comedy.

There has been tons of controversy stirred about with regards to the involvement of the United States Central Intelligence Agency during the Reagan Administration in cocaine trafficking in Central America - using the Contra War in Nicaragua as its drug and money-laundering front.

It all began when U.S. government officials were flooded with reports of Contra cocaine trafficking. This was before there was a direct link to the CIA, therefore three officials reported to journalists that the sources and reports of this drug trafficking was “reliable.”

The first sign of faulty play was when Dr. Hugo Spadafora, former Panamanian deputy health minister and guerrilla fighter in Guinea-Bissau in Nicaragua was disgusted with the rise of Manuel Noriega, an avid protector of drug trafficking, as dictator of Panama. This provoked Spadafora to provide an in depth outline of cocaine trafficking to Noriega. Because of this detailed outline in September 1985, Spadafora was detained and tortured by Noriega’s forces when entering Panama from Costa Rica. His body was later found mashed up in a post office bag - decapitated. Nicolas Ardito Barletta, who was the Panamanian President at the time attempt to investigate the murder but before any investigation could ensue, Noriega made Barletta resign which heightened everyone’s suspicion that Spadafora’s beheading was of Noriega’s doing. However, Spadafora’s death was not in vein, as he began the unravelling of various political heads involvement in cross-national drug trafficking.

Sebastian Gonzalez Mendiola, another Contra leader,
“told U.S. authorities that his group was being paid $50,000 by Columbian traffickers for help with a 100-kilo cocaine shipment and that the money would go ‘for the cause’ of fighting the Nicaraguan government.”
The National Intelligence Estimate of 1985 was responsible for uncovering the involvement of Contra leader Eden Pastora. Pastora felt that these charges were invalid and unsubstantiated, he claimed, “two political figures in Washington told him last week that State Department and CIA personnel were spreading the rumor that he is linked to drug trafficking in order to isolate his movement.” Somehow, all the pieces were not adding up. The reports of various officials and Contra leaders were not corroborating and this lead to a sort of tattle-telling warfare.

In the contents of an Associated Press article from December 20, 1985 was an outline of the drug charges after an substantial investigation which had interviews with “officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Custom Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Costa Rica’s Public Security Ministry, as well as rebels and Americans who work with them.” These charges outlined by the Associated Press were further authenticated when five American Contra supporters noted that
“two Cuban-Americans used armed rebel troops to guard cocaine at clandestine airfields in northern Costa Rica. They identified the Cuban-Americans as members of the 2506 Brigade, an anti-Castro group that participated in the 1961 Bay of Pigs attack on Cuba. Several also said they supplied information about the smuggling to U.S. investigators.”
The Associated Press quoted one of the American Contra supporters as saying that
“in one ongoing operation, the cocaine is unloaded from planes at rebel airstrips and taken to an Atlantic coast port where it is concealed on shrimp boats that are later unloaded in the Miami area.”
It was this quote that began arousing speculation from the populace of America of their own government’s involvement with the Contra cocaine smuggling, because people wondered how could their government be aware of these operations and do nothing to seize these illegal drugs.

After the bold reporting that came from the Associated Press, other papers followed suit in exposing America’s involvement with the widespread trafficking of cocaine. For instance, the San Francisco Examiner published a report on March 16, 1986 on the seizure of 430 pounds of cocaine from a Colombian freighter in San Francisco 1983. This report drew a direct link between the San Francisco Bay area cocaine ring and the financing of Nicaragua’s Contra rebels. Julio Zavala, convicted on trafficking charges, said that he gave $500,000 to two Contra groups based in Costa Rica - and that the primary source of this money was from cocaine trafficking in the San Francisco Bay area, Miami, and New Orleans. Carlos Cabezas, also convicted of conspiracy to traffic cocaine, said that the monetary gains that he saw from his drug trade belonged to the Contra revolution. In an interview with the Examiner he was quoted as saying, “I just wanted to get the Communists out of my country.”

David MacMichael, a former CIA agent, blatantly elucidated the immanent relationship between CIA activity in South America and drug trafficking:
“Once you set up a covert operation to supply arms and money, it’s very difficult to separate it from the kind of people who are involved in other forms of trade, and especially drugs. There is a limited number of planes, pilots and landing strips. By developing a system for supply of the Contras, the U.S. built a road for drug supply into the U.S.”

The Reagan Administration constantly attempted to separate themselves from the Contra-cocaine connections, but as time passed, the relationship became more and more apparent, and the administration had no other choice but to admit a slight connection. The Reagan Administration, on April 17, 1986, offered a report to the public that admitted that there were some Contra-cocaine connections in 1984 and 1985, but in an attempt to save-face said that the connections happened only at a time when the rebels were “particularly hard pressed for financial support” due to the aid of the U.S. being cut off. By saying this, the U.S. government was admitting to the foul play of foreign nations but also clearing their name from any possible association with the drug trade - the only involvement they claimed to have was the removal of financial support to these “hard pressed” rebel groups. An example of the type of admissions the report made is as follows:
“We have evidence of a limited number of incidents in which known drug traffickers have tried to establish connections with Nicaraguan resistance groups.”
The report claimed that all of the players in the drug trade undermined the resistance leaders, and did it without their knowing.

After this report was released by the Reagan Administration, Senator John Kerry and Senator Christopher Dodd proposed a series of hearings in 1986 at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with regards to the links between Contras and drug trafficking. On April 13, 1989 the Kerry committee released the report saying that
“Contra drug links included...payments to drug traffickers by the U.S. State Department of funds authorized by the Congress for humanitarian assistance to the Contras, in some cases after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies on drug charges, in others while traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies. The U.S. State Department paid over $806,000 to known drug traffickers to carry humanitarian assistance to the Contras.”
This investigation provided conclusive and direct evidence of the U.S.’s involvement in the drug trade - and many asked the question, “what is to be done next?”

Gary Webb was a journalist for the San Jose Mercury News and gained the most notoriety from his famous series of articles named the “Dark Alliance” which he later made into a book. Webb blamed the U.S. government for the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s in Los Angeles. Webb investigated Nicaraguans linked to the CIA-backed Contras and highlighted the CIA’s involvement and knowledge of the drug trade, and how they turned a blind-eye to all of the drug trafficking in order to raise money for the Contras. The reporting done by Webb reached millions of Americans and provided substantial evidence for direct connections between the CIA and cocaine trafficking - and this stirred an immense amount of controversy amongst the public. The Columbia Journalism review was quoted as saying that the series became the “most talked-about piece of journalism in 1996 and arguably the most famous -- some would say infamous - set of articles of the decade.”

Webb was able to get his hands on a 450-page declassified version of an October 1988 report by CIA Insepctor General Frederick Hitz through the Freedom of Information Act. Webb used this report as a means to demonstrate that Oliver North, and other White House officials, not only were aware of and supported the use of drug trafficking money as a means to fund the contras, but they also did not give any of this information to the DEA. Senator John Kerry was quoted as saying
“serious questions as to whether or not U.S. officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war effort against Nicaragua.”

After the “Dark Alliance” series garnered so much attention, there were numerous reports in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and New York Times that attempted to show fault in the link drawn by Gary Webb between the Contras and the crack epidemic. Richard Thieme, in an op-ed piece said that the reports of the various news outlets were more focused on discrediting Webb as a person, and attacked irrelevant parts of the story, thusly leaving Webb’s main thesis undefiled.

However, the Mercury News turned its back on Webb and reassigned him to a suburban bureau 150 miles from his home - obviously knowing that he would not be able to make the commute without uprooting his family. Webb was forced to resign and that marked the decimation of his career as a journalist as a whole.

Webb felt that heat that came upon him was a direct result of “media manipulation.” Webb felt as if the government used story-hungry reporters from major newspapers as a means to make it seem like it was coming from an unbiased newspaper and not from the “mouthpiece of the CIA.”

In the book Into The Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press Webb stated,
“If we had met five years ago, you wouldn't have found a more staunch defender of the newspaper industry than me ... I was winning awards, getting raises, lecturing college classes, appearing on TV shows, and judging journalism contests. So how could I possibly agree with people like Noam Chomsky and Ben Bagdikian, who were claiming the system didn't work, that it was steered by powerful special interests and corporations, and existed to protect the power elite? And then I wrote some stories that made me realize how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. The reason I'd enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn't been, as I'd assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job ... The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn't written anything important enough to suppress...”
One can easily see the disappointment and mistrust of the system he had once been associated with. Webb was found dead from two “self-inflicted” gunshot wounds to the head on December 10, 2004.

Due to Gary Webb’s reports the CIA investigated a published report, by former DEA agent Celerino Castillo, about their alleged involvement in cocaine sales in the U.S. CIA director, John Deutch, assigned CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz to investigate the numerous allegations. Doesn’t that seem weird to anyone else? How can the CIA investigate itself? I would like to know when in any court of law has the alleged criminal been provided with the luxury of investigating himself/herself. Surprise, surprise Hitz found “no direct or indirect” links between cocaine traffickers and the CIA and stated that:
Volume II... will be devoted to a detailed treatment of what was known to CIA regarding dozens of people and a number of companies connected in some fashion to the Contra program or the Contra movement that were the subject of any sort of drug trafficking allegations. Each is closely examined in terms of their relationship with CIA, the drug trafficking activity that was alleged, the actions CIA took in response to the allegations, and the extent of information concerning the allegations that was Shared with U.S. law enforcement and Congress.

As I said earlier, we have found no evidence in the course of this lengthy investigation of any conspiracy by CIA or its employees to bring drugs into the United States. However, during the Contra era, CIA worked with a variety of people to support the Contra program. These included CIA assets, pilots who ferried supplies to the Contras, as well as Contra officials and others. Let me be frank about what we are finding. There are instances where CIA did not, in an expeditious or consistent fashion, cut off relationships with individuals supporting the Contra program who were alleged to have engaged in drug trafficking activity or take action to resolve the allegations.”

Does it make any sense to give a child a piece of chocolate, and then reprimand him for being in the possession of candy? No, it doesn’t - so then why is America so ready to fight the “War on Drugs?” Is it because Nancy Reagan is trying to make up for all the bullshit that went on during her husband’s presidency? I don’t know, just a thought, you be the judge.


The Green Fairy


There is always that one drunk guy at a party that has always been waaaay drunker than anyone ever has in their life. You know, the one guy who has even tried absinthe. Well now you can call him out on his bullshit, because no, he did not get his hands on the magical alcohol that makes you hallucinate.

Scientists have recently underwent an in-depth analysis of century-old bottles of absinthe, and despite what you may have heard, it seems as if the main ingredient that makes absinthe so powerful is simply the percentage of alcohol. Absinthe is 70 percent alcohol, making it 140-proof, not unlike Bacardi 151.

Absinthe was originally created in Switzerland and has been revered by such creative minds such as Vincent van Gough, Oscar Wilde, Aleister Crowley, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, and Arthur Rimbaud. In their day they were seen as sort of “bad boys” with a devious addiction to this alcohol.

Due to the people the alcohol was associated with it was vilified by many European nations and the United States. Many scientists have determined that absinthe’s reputation could have derived from alcoholism, or possibly the leaking of toxic compounds during faulty distillation. Many people originally sited the chemical thujone in wormwood - it is also the thing that gives the drink its green color.

Yet, it seems that the levels of thujone in absinthe have simply been exaggerated, and there is no empirical evidence to support the claim that it is this chemical that lead to “absinthe madness.” This is another case of people going into hysterics over a mind-altering drug and letting their fears take over rather than making rational observations.


Mary Ann Likes Mary Jane

If you haven’t heard, Dawn Wells, the actress that played Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island,” got busted on her way home from her own surprise birthday party. No wonder they couldn’t find their way off of the island, Mary Ann was supplying the parties with Mary Jane.

She is 69 years old people, let the woman smoke a little bit of weed to get through her golden years. You know it must be tough previously being in the limelight and now she just wants to get a little toke here and a little toke there so she can relive the days where she was one of the most coveted women in show business.

Wells got hit with a six month unsupervised probation, five days in jail and a $410.50 fine, as well as one count of reckless driving. She pleaded guilty in order to drop three misdemeanor counts, DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.

She was definitely high when talking to the police officer. She said that she had picked up some hitch hikers and she immediately dropped them off when they started smoking. The policeman went on to find a couple more unfinished joints in her car. She said she was swerving because she was trying to figure out how to work the heater in her new car; we all know she just hit some of that danky dank kush, and was coughing her brains out…most likely.


Press B2 for OG Kush

Have you bought marijuana at a vending machine before? Well, rest assured, you can now. It is legal to buy medical marijuana in Los Angeles from a vending machine, open 24-hours.

When I first heard this I realized that it could be viewed from two very differing perspectives: the first being that America’s stance on drugs is slowly becoming more tarnished and needs to be taken up a notch. An alternate perspective could be that America is gradually teetering on the brink of a society that is beginning to hold its inhabitants as responsible individuals. I would have to agree with the latter.

The advocates of these weed vending machines believe, and I think rightfully so, that these vending machines are beneficial to the community. Albeit, my opinions as to why, differ from those of the owners of vending machines; but we are in accordance with the fact that they ARE indeed beneficial.

Before I get into the reasons why these weed vending machines are a big step for Los Angeles, let me tell you about the basic workings of these modern day marvels. These machines are enclosed in a hefty, jet black, armored box. Its pretty much the coolest vending machine I’ve every seen, even for sheer aesthetic reasons, completely negating the wonderful service that it provides.

In my mind, it is wonderful that the city who popularized the fast food industry has now made it legal to get marijuana from vending machines 24 hours a day. Dubbed the "Herbal Nutrition Center" this vending machine will help various patients that suffer from loss of appetite, insomnia, chronic pain (no pun intended), and many other ailments and be seen as a sort of self-help, round-the-clock pharmacy.

How is it guarded you might ask. Well, there is a guard in a T-Shirt labeled "Security" and he stands in front of the machine, most likely with his arms crossed in some "tough guy" pose that makes sure you are indeed a patient. Then the computerized vending machine requires that you give your fingerprint as a means of identification and you have to retain a prepaid card with a magnetic stripe from your doctor in order to pay at the machine. Once the card and the fingerprint are verified then a bright green envelope with whatever marijuana you ordered drops down from the slot, similar to a candy bar. Unlike other vending machines though, this one surely won't malfunction and leave your marijuana dangling from a hook like a Snickers bar.

This proves wonderful for patients that might be apprehensive to receive their medication by other means. This legitimizes a service that the city has already deemed legal. The users are limited to only an ounce per week, and a patient can only buy 1/8 or ¼ of an ounce at a time. Due to the fact that there is not someone behind the counter that needs to be servicing the patients, the prices of the marijuana are cheaper. (Is there anything wrong with this machine?) For weed that would generally be between $65-80 the vending machines are practically giving it away at $40-45.

By having this medical marijuana dispensary available, Americans are on the right path in terms of the legitimization of drugs. Instead of drug users being hidden in the shadows of everyday life like criminals, we are shifting our views and putting everything out in the open, as it should be, because there is nothing wrong with trying to cure a little “chronic” pain (pun intended).


Response to Comment from "Rex 345"

In response to the
comment posted by "rex 345",author of Politaurus Rex, I would have to say that I pretty much covered my fact and didn't neglect anything at all. Maybe I didn't go into enough depth; you see once broken down to their sheer composition, the drugs that we create in order to mimic the endogeneous receptors in our brain are, in essence, the exact same thing. We are creating something that we already have, or else there would be no use for it. There are many ways that i could attempt to put it in some analagous form, but Shulgin to the rescue once again, has put it perfectly,
Look at yourself in the mirror, it's a good catharsis. It's me and the drug. It's a relationship which is available to everyone. Everybody has the possibility of going into some sort of ecstatic experience, at any time, without drugs, perhaps even at the grocery store.
I was asked almost the same question a few years ago, so I made up a chart about telephones. The finger dial system phone can be seen as an analog of the brain. All you're doing, if you dial the number one and release it, is making one very fast break in the integrity of the system. If you dial the six and release it, it makes six breaks in the system. Then the relay gets broken three times when you dial three, two times when you dial two and then five times, and you have the number - 6325. You see, you make the circuit by the number of times you break the relay. In fact, if you are very fast with your two fingers you can dial 911 by hitting the cradle which gives you the dial tone 9 times very fast and then once and then once again.

Then you have the push button system. Every time you hit a button you're actually activating two frequencies simultaneously. They devised frequencies so that there's no harmonic interference which could give you a false signal. You're not imposing breaks in the system, you're super-imposing two non-conflicting frequencies in the system.

I look upon this as the true analog of the human brain. The numbers represent serotonin, dopamine etc. If you want a signal to come through, you get this neurotransmitter combination which combines with this and that and the next thing you know you have a thought process and memory.

But when they designed the system, they didn't make it three by four, they made it four by four. These extra four stops have the rather unimaginative names of A,B,C and D and to operate them there is a very secret frequency of 1633 cycles per second. So if you play around with these, you get into areas you wouldn't believe! The military and deep computer language use these four additional stops. But they're not visible on your telephone.

And of course, these stops represent your psychedelic drug neurotransmitter which also gets you into weird places. All the wiring is there but you don't have access to it because 2 million years ago it got bred out of us because it didn't have survival value, in spite of what Terence McKenna says. So the wiring of the brain can use a psychedelic but the transmitter that makes it a functional network is not available.

Secondly, with regards to the ability to overdose from illegal substances, that cannot seriously be the problem at hand. I mean there are tons of deaths from LEGAL substances, car accidents, random shootings, falling down the stairs, running with scissors - but does that mean we should stop use of all these objects that could POSSIBLY kill us. If we are going to live in an imminent state of fear then what is the point of living at all? Half of this life is based on experience (nature vs nurture) so why are we going to limit ourselves from being able to become completlely entrenched in the abilities of the human mind? You could feasibly take too many Advil and die if that's how you chose "go out." The point I was trying to make is that responsibility should come from within the individual and not from some arbitrary system. The government really does not have too many regulations on what you can do to your body. It is YOUR temple, for instance, you can get it tattood, pierced, hung on hooks from walls, take your clothes off of it and dance on top of paying customers...does the government tell you how much food you can eat? No, so why should the ingestion of drugs be any diferent. There should be guidelines, of course, and children should not be sold drugs. But the reason that this has not happened is because the American mindset towards drug laws provides a sort of shell that diverts responsibility away from the individual. Yet, if we go by the way that I am suggesting, if you ALLOW drugs to spin you out of control the problem was you, not the creator of the drug, not the dealer that lied to you and told you it was the "really good stuff,"not the system for letting it hit the streets, but people would actually have to take blame for some of the shit they do. But since we are so quick to "save face" everyone wants to be POWERLESS to these substances as a means to circumvent attention away from how they have regressed or failed in the one and only life they have to live.

ME versus ME

K - one more poem I got in me before I go back to my other works...

Not that I'm big on astrological signs or anything, but I'm a gemini and have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (not that either are anything more than an excuse to act two faced) - anyways...here it goes

My clashing identities are destined and doomed to be rapidly racing
To some finish line of mine
Where my highs are highs and my lows more sedating
LOOK, I'm dreaming in a nightmare with my eyes wide shut
My thoughts fill with ecstasy
While simultaneously screaming "WHAT THE FUCK"
I can't decide whether to weather the storm or flee
It's impossible to have piece of mind
When there are two inside of me
Dreadfully delightful duality shouts muffled voices crystal clear
The temptation to confidently confide in defeat is prevalent
But death is more appealing than living a facade of courageous fear
Self-destructive tendencies inundate my brain
Cliche sayings scream, "one life to live!"
So why can I only sadistically succeed in a constant state of pain
Soon I'll offer the fruits of my labor to life's insatiable appetite for answers
But the seed I've sewn aren't quite ripe
Undoubtedly dreading their decimation and my transformation into a stagnant advancer
I don't know exactly when, for the forecast is visibly clouded by my plight
You see, it's hard guaranteeing a plentiful harvest
When my days are filled with darkness and my nights are desperately searching for light


Mind, Body, Spirtit

Ah, the difference between the mind, the body, and the spirit. It is an ancient question that those of a philosophical nature have attempted to answer for centuries. The wonderful thing about the human mind that separates us from animals (as far as we know) is that animals simply act and react on mostly their instincts; humans also have this animal instinct, however, after we act a certain way we have the ability to think about how we have acted. Although this is an amazing trait that allows for humans to strive for knowledge on the human physiology and genome it has been the cause of much turmoil and inner strife amongst many. The problem is that in order to completely understand the inner workings of a human, you yourself cannot be human. It is impossible. Right when your mother and father came together that special night and brought about your conception, at that very moment you began developing your bias towards the human race. As you grew older your genetic makeup and various experiences have tainted your ability to maintain a true
tabula rasa.

In an effort to catalyze the ability of humans to understand themselves, various researchers have turned to drugs. I mean, everyone knows of “legal” drugs, such as
Zoloft, Xanax, Klonopin etc that numerous psychiatrists have used in order to help their patients deal with various psychological issues. Therefore, how come an intelligent person of inquiry cannot turn to psychedelics as a means for exploration on their own? Professor X (Shulgin) gives a wonderful explanation of his first “drug” experience and why he decided to pursue the use of various others:
''I realized that all of this experience had been brought about by a fraction of a gram of a white solid, but that in no way whatsoever could it be argued that these memories had been contained within the white solid. . . . I understood that our entire universe is contained in the mind and the spirit. We may choose not to find access to it, we may even deny its existence, but it is indeed there inside us, and there are chemicals that can catalyze its availability.''

In agreement with Shulgin, I believe that the drug accommodates and expedites but it itself does not actually do anything. Upon attainment of the drug, one does not instantly start an experience, you must ingest it. It is the human mind that is doing all the work; we are just giving a little jump start. The drugs would not be able to affect the mind if we did not have endogenous neurotransmitters for them. And with the various research that has come about towards the idea of adult Neurogenesis, we now know that upon extensive use of a neurotransmitter it is very possible for our brain to come back in full function. The idea of an overused “druggie” brain is only applicable to the person that allows themselves to be labeled as such and act in accordance with the misnomer. We need answers to the capabilities of the mind, and we are on an everlasting search for the spirit, we need all the help we can get; so get out there and start your discovery.



Where do ideas come from? John Locke had the theory that ideas had to come from either sensation or reflection. He saw them as the fountains of knowledge from which all thoughts that we have or can naturally have do spring. Therefore the mind itself cannot make or create simple ideas. Therefore, where can we get these sensations and reflections? The answer is, the public intellectual.

We are all individuals attempting to work together in a society as a cohesive unit. In order for each individual to comprehend and not be overwhelmed by the extensive amount of knowledge that is available in this world, we need others that we respect to help guide our mode of thought. It is hard enough to be deeply entrenched in one subject of thought, have one expertise; therefore, you would inevitable go crazy trying to be a modern day renaissance man/woman. When we are born we have the blank slate, the tabula rasa that we yearn to fill with something worthy of being etched into our mind. The public intellectual serves as a sort of filter for the mass public, letting them know what sensations we must perceive and what reflections should be reflected upon.


Intellectual Ascension

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” Is this laughable to anyone else besides me? I mean, from a theoretical perspective I could see why this would be a wonderful statement to put in our Declaration of Independence but let’s break some basic things down first.

Besides the obvious contradiction in this statement upon its creation (blacks were slaves – doesn’t seem too equal to me) there are some integral problems with people truly believing in this ideal. From a biological standpoint this in not true, therefore, why would it manifest itself in one’s intellectual capabilities? It really bothers me when I hear people attempt to give credence to broad and objective uplifting statements such as, “you can be anything you want to be if you work hard enough.” It’s time for everyone to stop being an idealist and let’s hop on the realist train.

Granted, everyone should be provided the same rights, but let’s be real, we’re in the most individualistic culture in the world, there is no such thing as unanimous equality. Therefore, I feel that my stance on the idea of the intellectual is one of “
Gramsci-esque” thought in that the public indefinitely needs its own intelligentsia to form and shape ideologies for the masses. Thus sparking the inception of the “public intellectual.” But then the question arises, “what makes someone part of this social class of intellectuals?” Well fret not public, the intellectual Mr. Minor is offering up his four quarters (as opposed to “two cents”) on the idea.

It was easier to determine who was an intellectual in the nineteenth century with a clear distinction between the proletariat and the scholarly. But in America, due to that little excerpt from the Declaration of Independence, you know, the whole “equal” thing, the problem arises that the very public you are trying to inform is the arbiter of whether or not you are indeed an “intellectual.” In racking my brain for the definition of what is truly
a public intellectual I found that this term is essentially a way for those who positively identify themselves with various ideologies to perpetuate the idea that they should be listened to and that their ideas are better than others who do not share this same means of identification. In other words, it is a way for academics to engage upon the act of intellectual ascension, setting a glass ceiling for those who do not readily define themselves with the ideals that these “intellectuals” value.

This is a necessity for those who spend so much time researching and giving their opinions on various topics because people like to believe that they are living their lives in a progressive manner. It is an innate tendency that human’s must exercise until their death. For instance, various religious fanatics have come up with ideals such as those who do not believe in their faith are going to be condemned to an eternity of suffering. So it is not that much of a stretch to see how someone who regards themselves as an intellectual could condemn others to a label of “less-informed” as a way to fulfill their path of self-righteousness.

Instead of attempting to put labels on anything and everything we can, Americans should be more concerned with the product of the public intellectual. As
Stephen Mack eloquently put it,
So, is there any way of conceptualizing something called the public intellectual that is consistent with democratic values? Of course there is, but it needs to begin with a shift from “categories and class” to “function.” That is, our notions of the public intellectual need to focus less on who or what a public intellectual is—and by extension, the qualifications for getting and keeping the title. Instead, we need to be more concerned with the work public intellectuals must do, irrespective of who happens to be doing it.

I feel that Mack’s analysis of the situation cuts to the heart of the problem. We are needlessly wasting our resources and academic class by arguing over who is qualified and who is not qualified to offer their opinion to the public. But by doing this, the intelligentsia is glossing over and avoiding their original purpose, to inform the public on his/her area of expertise. The dissemination of knowledge is essential to the progression of a culture and society. With all of the mediums that are prepped and ready for the “intellectual” to provide information on, why are we polluting it with petty bickering?

Well I guess by that previous statement, you could say that this whole piece that I just wrote is pointless, another form of petty bickering, but I feel that this was necessary in order for me to continue on my path of writing works on this blog. But this would not be necessary if other works had not been published that put me in this defensive stance causing me to readily defend my stance as a public intellectual. Hey, if you want to call yourself a public intellectual, and you have something worthy to say, let society deem whether or not what you have to say is meaningful. All you can do is hope for the best and pray that your work has reached your target audience. If you have something to say of any worth, it will be picked up at some point in time, it could be posthumously, but that should not concern you. Some of the greatest minds were not seen as such until their death or many years later (Galileo, Copernicus etc). If your sole intention as a public intellectual is to gain recognition as one, then your priorities are all out of whack and a serious reevaluation of your goals needs to ensue.


Life, Liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Avid Drug User (def): Constantly lost in a downward spiraling haze of addiction, with the inability to live in a world with ethics and morals.

This is what the average American thinks of a person that occasionally attempts to engage in mind opening experiences by way of using illicit substances. This definition generally comes from the person who is easily persuaded by watching an advertisement, the person that blindly follows a religion, the person who believes that “gullible” is not in the dictionary. You know, the type of person who has his child ask, “why do I have to do that?” and he replies, “because I said so!” If you haven’t caught my drift, I am talking about majority of people that do not have much foundation in their arguments from lack of true education on the subject. Due to America’s harsh stance towards illegal substances there has yet to be a need to provide a true education of drugs and drug culture to the youth. Instead we have a bunch of power happy, hypocritical, misinformed adults preaching to a brainwashed youth, perpetuating the very cycle that made these adults the ignorant bunch that they are today. The West has a tendency to demonize the unconscious and regard it as the enemy. Drugs tap into these various realms of the unconscious and therefore many have been deemed illegal based on false pre-tenses and assertions. I feel that through a complete reformation of Western belief systems towards illegal drugs humans have the possibility to delve into a previously untapped spiritual and emotional enlightenment.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that drugs are for everyone. The irony is, the people that preach the necessity for a ban on all drugs are probably the one’s most susceptible to having their lives destroyed from occasional drug use. My only hope is that one day the general public will be more informed than they seem to be today. If we could truly educate the youth about the effects of drugs and not bombard them with anti-dug propaganda that screams, “IF YOU TAKE DRUGS YOU ARE THE DEVIL!” It is much easier to make a good decision when coming from an informed background, don’t you think? I mean, you wouldn’t ask a parking enforcement agent how to fix a rocket ship, so why would you ask a person who has been sober all their life to combat the negative effects of drugs? That just doesn’t make any sense.

So in an attempt to inform the mass public, I’m going to begin with a broad overview of the history of how some drugs were made illegal, just because I feel that a good place to start is from the beginning. Let’s kick it off this section with what I feel to be the mildest drug around, it happens to be the one with the horrible misnomer of “the gateway drug,” – marijuana.

In the 1800s in America most states had no problem with marijuana because it was used as hemp to make clothes, ropes, sails, and it was occasionally used for medicinal purposes. Then the Mexican Revolution rolled around in 1910 and this brought a large amount of Mexican immigrants to the United States and with them they brought the custom of taking a little puff here and there in their downtime. Then the Great Depression rolled around and angry, jobless, white Americans were looking for someone to blame and just like at a big high-school, Americans picked on the “new kid.” The Americans did not hate the Mexicans because of marijuana, but rather the criminalization of marijuana came about because of the hatred for Mexicans and marijuana was guilty by association. In order to rationalize this illegalization, bogus studies were produced that linked “mary jane” to crime and violence that was primarily committed by, you guessed it, Mexicans. If you don’t believe me, watch Reefer Madness in your free time, I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of it.

Next on the list is the stimulant cocaine. Its use in America was all well and good in the early 1800s. Paolo Mantegazza, an Italian doctor came back from his visit to Peru and saw Peruvians use the coca leaves, and he decided to test it out on himself. He felt that it had medicinal use for the treatment of flatulence and whitening of the teeth. Then a chemist by the name of Angelo Mariana read Mantegazza’s work and thought that this drug had the potential to be used to his economic advantage, and put these wonderful coca leaves into his wine. Coca leaves then found their way into Coca-Cola (hence the name) and was eventually used to treat morphine addiction in 1879. A little known psychologist by the name of Sigmund Freud published work by the name of Über Coca in which he described the effects of cocaine. He said that cocaine causes, “...exhilaration and lasting euphoria, which in no way differs from the normal euphoria of the healthy person...You perceive an increase of self-control and possess more vitality and capacity for work....In other words, you are simply normal, and it is soon hard to believe you are under the influence of any drug....long intensive physical work is performed without any fatigue...This result is enjoyed without any of the unpleasant after-effects that follow exhilaration brought about by alcohol....absolutely no craving for the further use of cocaine appears after the first, or even after repeated taking of the drug...” Then in the 1900s the stance towards cocaine began to drastically change. Intense racial discrimination and a widespread social panic were primarily responsible this change. In 1914, Dr. Christopher Koch of Pennsylvania’s State Pharmacy Board was quoted as saying that, “Most of the attacks upon the white women of the South are the direct result of a cocaine-crazed Negro brain.” There is very little evidence to support this claim however this is what majority of American’s stance towards the drug became, and this bastardization of the effects of the drug have held strong until this very day.

Last, but most certainly not least, I will talk about the illegalization of methylenedioxymethamphetamine, more commonly known as MDMA or ecstasy. Chemical compounds similar to MDMA have been experimented with since the late 1800s, but the actual chemical composition that we find in ecstasy pills today was synthesized by Anton Köllisch, a German chemist. Later on the U.S. Army was involved with using MDMA in some lethal dose studies on animals in the 1950s, and was occasionally used for recreational purposes in the late 1960s. Then came about Alexander Shulgin, a chemist who many call the “Godfather of Ecstasy.” He tried the drug for himself in 1977 and shared it with a friend and psychotherapist Leo Zeff. They concluded that the drug had potential for therapeutic use. The use of the drug became fairly popular in various nightclubs in the 1980s and spread from there. Then the damn DEA had to get involved. The drug was proposed for scheduling by the DEA in July 1984 and they deemed that the drug has no medical use and a “high potential for abuse.” Most of the experts that were called about to give their knowledge about the drug recommended a DEA Schedule III prescription for the drug because of its positive uses in psychotherapy, even the judge, Francis Young, made this recommendation. But the DEA was on a violent tyrannous warpath to criminalize the drug, and cast all this knowledge aside in order to classify it as a Schedule I drug. With this particular classification it made it so not even experimental research could be done on the drug. Why did the DEA really want to do this? Because right-winged politicians associated the drug with the onset of a hippie counterculture that did not coincide with their view of the direction that America needed top be going in. That’s just ignorant and unfortunate.
So, now do you see why I am such a strong proponent for the change in American’s drug policy? If the researchers of the drug came out and said that these drugs had negative effects, then hey, I might listen to them; but when you make something illegal solely due to the hatred of a minority, that screams of so much prejudice it’s unbelievable. I mean as America aren’t we promised life, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS? Well goddammit, let us pursue our happiness. Minor out.


Angels and Demons

The most valuable effects of
psychedelics is that it enables an insightful experience. I feel that there is an underlying suspicion in everyone that when they are stripped down to their core there lies some demons that they will no longer be able to cover up. You see, when you are sober you can put up this facade of whatever persona you have created. Under the influence of psychedelics you find that not only are you comprised of these demons that are the building blocks of the "you" but they are intertwined with these angels that you can come to accept as a whole. A strict dichotomy does not have to be created between this removal of fear and happiness. I feel that most people's greatest fear is that they will be forever stuck in these demons, but this is where responsibility comes in. You have already decided what kind of person you are going to be, whether it be good, evil, vindictive, ruthless, whatever. It is through this exploration that you can tap into the "survivor aspect" of yourself. When these demons are attempting to take over and you seem so engulfed in them, another part of you (the angels) level you out, acting as a sort of equilibrium. This validation of the self should be an essential stepping stone in everyone's creation of themselves. When using psychedelics, the whole point is to train yourself to a different kind of perception that can provide valuable information for life instances when you are not under the influences of these drugs. Simply put, the stuff you learn on drugs helps you in situations when you are not on drugs. Bible bangers and other spiritual leaders often say things like, "you should be able to recreate these altered states of mind in a 'natural' way and you don't need drugs to do it." When a similar question was posed to Alexander Shulgin, an advocate of psychedelics, he replied, "This is the equivalent of saying you should never go to a symphony or listen to a recording. You should produce the music yourself and you should not use any other tools besides your own body." Now put that in your pipe and smoke it...