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Hey Vegans: ‘Mushroom is Murder’!
12.16.2014
09:06 am

Topics:
Drugs
Science/Tech

Tags:
marijuana
cannabis
truffles


 
Dangerous Minds pal Michael Backes is one of the world’s foremost experts on marijuana. He writes with this fascinating scientific tidbit you might want to ponder before tucking in to that meatless mushroom loaf for dinner tonight:

All animals, including humans, possess endocannabinoid systems responsible for feeding, energy expenditure, memory, and pain regulation. The production of endocannabinoids is one characteristic that distinguishes animals from plants. When someone smokes weed, phytocannabinoids produced by cannabis actually mimic the body’s endocannabinoids. 

New research from Italy now shows that truffles, the highly prized and insanely expensive fungi, also produce endocannabinoids. Truffles grow underground near oak trees and can ultimately fetch $1500 per pound. That truffles produce endocannabinoids is just the latest evidence that fungi are more closely related to animals than plants. Plants, animals and fungi all share a common ancestor, and increasingly it appears that fungi are much more akin within the evolutionary tree to humans than say, lettuce. (I certainly feel more simpatico with truffles than turnips or kale, don’t you?)

The endocannabinoid content of truffles may be one of the reasons that humans prize them, since these compounds are active at incredibly small doses and the aroma of fresh truffles feels quite intoxicating. Vegans, however, might find themselves in a bit of a quandary as fungi move more closely towards animals in the hierarchy of nature. Many vegans take the ethical stand that veganism is cruelty free because plants do not suffer when harvested or eaten. The reality is that plants possess very robust signaling systems that share characteristics with the nervous systems of animals. We may have difficulty perceiving the suffering of plants, simply because a plant’s internal signaling system and subsequent reaction is slower than an animal’s nervous system. Vegans hoping to fully eliminate any chance of suffering in their eating patterns may wish to look into inedia.

My takeaway from this is that pigs and billionaires seek out the same drug.

Michael Backes is the author of Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana (endorsed by Dr. Andrew Weil) and head of research and development for the medical marijuana company Abatin. Previously he was a co-founder of Cornerstone Collective, California’s first research-based medical cannabis collective.

Below, a recent talk by Michael Backes at Seattle Town Hall:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Cocaine comedy from 1916: The deeply weird druggy slapstick of ‘The Mystery of the Leaping Fish’


Douglas Fairbanks as “Coke Ennyday.” Note his sash of syringes.
 
The Mystery of the Leaping Fish is a deeply weird silent two-reeler comedy short whose hero—played by none other than the great Douglas Fairbanks—is the massively drug-addicted “scientific detective” Coke Ennyday, a parody of Sherlock Holmes. Not only did this odd little film employ the talents of Fairbanks, the story was written by Tod Browning (Freaks, Dracula) and an uncredited D.W. Griffith. The film’s intertitles were penned by novelist Anita Loos and her future husband, John Emerson directed it. It comes across more as a vanity project—Fairbanks wanting to prove he could be funny—than something they thought they could exhibit to the public. From the acting, to the onscreen giggling, to the frenzied editing—good luck reading some of those blink-and-you-miss-them title cards—the whole thing comes across itself as the product of a weekendlong coke jag.


 
What’s so incredibly odd about this film, seen from the vantage point of 100 years after the fact, is the cavalier attitude towards drug use. There is so much “dope” consumed offhand in The Mystery of the Leaping Fish that, well, it makes Scarface, Trainspotting or any Cheech and Chong film seem utterly tame in comparison. Has any character in cinema history ever consumed—comically or otherwise—more drugs onscreen than Coke Ennyday does in The Mystery of the Leaping Fish? If so, I can’t think of one. He’s got a tub of cocaine that he rubs all over his face. I mean, he’s even got syringes strapped to his chest!

That The Mystery of the Leaping Fish was made in 1916 by one of the most famous people in the entire world at that time is perplexing. The film is so druggy it’s hard to believe something like it—of that vintage especially—even exists. It just goes to show what the societal attitudes were like towards drugs like cocaine and opium at that time that narcotics could be played for laughs in a slapstick comedy!
 

 
With thanks to Laurent Marie!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Charles Bukowski loathed potheads: ‘I like drunkards, man’
12.12.2014
09:17 am

Topics:
Drugs
Literature

Tags:
Charles Bukowski

Bukowski Bottles
 
Despite being a famously proud drunkard of monumental proportions, author/brawler Charles Bukowski didn’t have a lot of nice things to say about other forms of mind-altering pursuits, especially marijuana. The inebriated bard shares his thoughts on drug use in the interview below and it’s anything but your typical “just say no” statement. 

In a discussion that’s more about what you choose to say yes to, Bukowski unsurprisingly embraces alcohol as a life affirming “release of the dream” after a hard day’s work at a shitty job. Then, after categorically classifying himself as being anti-drug, Bukowski does a few impressions of pot smokers as space cadets and asserts that for otherwise intelligent people and even for casual tokers, “all mind circulation and all spirit has been cut off” once Mary Jane enters the picture. 

“Be an alcoholic. If you’ve gotta be anything, be an alcoholic” he says.

This is #10 of the 53 segments that comprise the cult classic The Charles Bukowski Tapes, a collection of short interviews with the writer, videotaped and assembled by Barbet Schroeder in the early 80s. The German director of Barfly shot about about 64 hours of footage during the three-year pre-production period of that film and the segments were culled from that. There are a variety of NSFW comments floating around in this one, so be warned.
 

Posted by Jason Schafer | Discussion
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Catnipped: Watch a jaguar tripping balls after eating ayahuasca vines
12.11.2014
09:27 am

Topics:
Animals
Drugs

Tags:
jaguar


 
Apparently animals dig otherworldly experiences, too. Take this jaguar for instance, who seeks out and then happily munches on the Banisteriopsis caapi vine located in rainforests of South America.

Ayahuasca AKA yajé is a tea brewed by shamas known for its psychoactive effects. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the role of Banisteriopsis caapi in the making of ayahuasca.

It contains harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine, all of which are both beta-carboline harmala alkaloids and MAOIs. The MAOIs in B. caapi allow the primary psychoactive compound, DMT (which is introduced from the other primary ingredient in ayahuasca, the Psychotria viridis plant), to be orally active. The stems contain 0.11-0.83% beta-carbolines, with harmine and tetrahydroharmine as the major components

From what I understand, a human wouldn’t get this effect from eating the yajé vine alone. It would have to be mixed with other plant matter to reach its full, trippy effect. Perhaps a jaguar’s liver processes the plant differently? I don’t know.

What is known is that many animals “self medicate”—take for instance when your dog eats grass, it’s probably trying to bring on vomiting. Pregnant elephants in Kenya have been observed eating the leaves of certain trees to induce delivery. Some species of lizards are believed to eat a certain root to counter the venom of poisonous snake bites.

And as we’re reminded every holiday season (on websites just like this one) reindeer located in the Arctic Circle are known to eat the Amanita muscaria mushroom, an especially strong “magic” mushroom. Maybe that’s how Santa’s reindeer achieve lift off…

 
via Ultraculture

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Bill Cosby on drugs
12.05.2014
08:44 am

Topics:
Drugs
Music

Tags:
Bill Cosby


 
For a generation now, Cosby has played an uneasy role in the African-American community as the most unforgiving variety of scold, getting on Eddie Murphy for his foul language as well as countless other examples of same—the standup routine of Hannibal Buress that started the whole “Bill Cosby is a rapist” news story explicitly referenced this side of Cosby’s persona. (As it happens, I’ve seen Buress perform many times in person and I dig his style of standup. I also admire his bravery in bringing the, er, highly litigatable subject up.) Cosby’s forays into music, including the remarkable 1968 album Bill Cosby Sings Hooray for the Salvation Army Band! (which we covered here), show a restlessness and ambition and willingness to try anything that is fairly admirable while also, perhaps, conforming more to the picture of Cosby that has emerged in the last few weeks, that of someone who takes what he wants—this might be a stretch, but the point is that Cosby didn’t necessarily listen to those around him who might have dissented with his plans. Of course, 400 million dollars later, he might have had a point. Then there’s this interesting report from seasoned sitcom writer and showrunner Ken Levine (M*A*S*H, Frasier, etc.), which asserts that working on The Cosby Show was a terrible gig because Cosby treated his writers like shit. (To be fair, a writer who worked on the show in the show’s final year opines in comments that it wasn’t all that bad—at least in Season 8.)

Chalk up to Cosby’s history of questionable decisions the putative subject of this post, his exceedingly strange 1971 album Bill Cosby Talks to Kids About Drugs, which—indeed—consists mostly of Bill Cosby talking to kids about drugs and singing some half-baked (sorry) songs. I own this album on LP, and it is a really weird album. Believe it or not, after winning a ridiculous six consecutive Grammies for “Best Comedy Performance,” this album won a Grammy as well, but for “Best Album for Children.”

Here’s the introductory track, which eventually resolves into an aural representation of how downers and uppers feel (hint: the speed is adjusted):
 

Introduction/Downers and Uppers by Bill Cosby on Grooveshark

 
More Cosby on drugs after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Blood Freak! The ultimate Thanksgiving gore film (and a true Golden Turkey!)
11.27.2014
11:57 am

Topics:
Drugs
Movies

Tags:
cult films
gore

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For those of you true seekers out there, here is the ultimate Thanksgiving film on so many levels. First thank the universe this was even made, wasn’t burned or left in a dumpster like so many other small weird films and is waiting for you to devour it. From my buddies Something Weird Video, here is the perfect rundown on this, the world’s only marijuana-addict-turkey-monster-anti-drug-pro-Jesus-gore film!
 

For those that think they’ve seen everything comes Blood Freak, a rampaging turkey monster on a marijuana high!

Finding himself sandwiched between Bible-thumping good-girl Angel and her bad-girl sister Ann, a muscle bound biker named Herschell (Steve Hawkes, star of two obscure Tarzan films) falls under Ann’s seductive spell when she offers him some weed. Quickly becoming a writhing, spastic addict - “I have a feeling I’m hooked!” - the big galoot then gets a job at a turkey farm where he’s fed meat treated with an experimental drug and, like any junkie who eats tainted turkey meat, turns into a man with a giant turkey head. Yes, A Man With A Giant Turkey Head. Who also gobbles like a big dumb bird.

Still hungry for a fix, Herschell-the-Turkey-Man proceeds to attack fellow drug addicts whose blood he drinks with his pointy little turkey beak. In one magical moment, he even buzz-saws the leg off a pusher who holds his stump and howls for what seems like days. All of which is punctuated by philosophical pondering by co-director Brad Grinter (Flesh Feast) before two potheads with a machete decide to go on their version of a turkey shoot…

Wow. A monster movie quite unlike any other, Blood Freak is a jaw-dropping almost legendary milestone in crackpot filmmaking, and the ultimate cinematic turkey. Gobble-gobble!

To top it off there is a narrator who reads from a page on his desk, chain smokes while babbling about the dangers of ingesting chemicals, and at one point has a coughing fit ON SCREEN! This came out on video in the 80’s and it is one of a very small handful of films that still make my head spin.

For those of you who just want a quick dabble, here’s the trailer:
 

 
And for the tried and true freaks here is the complete film (with a silly three minute intro by a non-scary horror host)! Happy Thanksgiving!
 

Posted by Howie Pyro | Discussion
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‘Weed Snobs’ pretty much nails weed snobs
11.26.2014
10:13 am

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs

Tags:
marijuana
Weed Snobs


 
Meet pompous old Yale buddies Richard and Sebastian, who have expert knowledge on the finer things in life and who also happen to be world class “weed snobs.”

Much like wine tasting, Richard and Sebastian take you on an amusing journey through weed class snobbery.

There are too many choice quotes to pick out. I think this is my favorite by far:

Richard: First off I’m going to start off with a Philly blunt of your Super Sour Dies. Uh, now your Pre-98 Bubba Kush... that’s a Bubba Kush that’s definitely prior to 98, correct?

Waiter: Of course, Sir. We import from a boutique nursery whose Bubba clones directly descend from the original Pre-98 plant.

.
This video is a production of Weed Maps, an extremely useful website that reviews local dispensaries. More of these, please! Thanks.

 
via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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The acid-inspired interactive art of 1960s psychedelic collective ‘The Company of Us’
11.26.2014
06:34 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs

Tags:
LSD
art


Artist Richard Aldcroft, in his “Infinity Projector,” featured on a 1966 cover of LIFE. The goggles prevented binocular vision and showed kaleidoscopic images.
 
“The Company of Us,” or USCO, was an ambitious, groundbreaking collective of artists and engineers heavily associated with LSD, although they formed in 1962, a few years prior to the explosion in public awareness of the drug. They counted among their ranks now notable artists like Gerd Stern, Stan VanDerBeek and Jud Yalkut, but at the time their ethos was rooted in collaboration and anonymity, so they only took credit for their productions as a group. Ironically, their work was actually helped by their druggy reputation, as they were featured in a 1966 LIFE magazine cover story—LIFE had published an editorial against the prohibition of LSD six months prior to USCO’s article.

The photos you see here are from their 1966 show at New York’s Riverside Museum which featured USCO’s psychedelic work in six enormous, completely tripped-out rooms. The collective created surreal environments—like “light gardens” and painted shelters—complete with electronic sounds, projections, flashing and pulsating lights, even an area with sensory goggles that blocked out any external vision. Everything moved and nothing was silent. The work was half druggy multi-media show, half interactive architecture, and it was quite the endeavor for a small bunch of outsider artists.

Stern says of the labor involved:

Part of the real problem that we had at USCO was that everything we did was very heavy. We would travel with a Volkswagen bus and trailers and thousands of pounds of equipment. Schlepping. In fact, I once wrote a piece for one of the art magazines called “The Artist as Schlepper.”

As I’m sure you would guess from an art show comprised of psychedelic rooms, many viewers of USCO’s “Down By the Riverside” exhibit were probably chemically altered, transforming the experience into a sort of amusement park of the senses where you could sit and fiddle with AV equipment or just lay there and watch the walls move. Of course, lingering and prolonged “observation” was encouraged—the show was actually where the term “be-in” was coined.
 

Painting of Hindu deity, which was flashed with color lights.
 

Artists Rudi Stern and Jackie Cassen work on an abstract slide show
 

Plastic eye illuminated with shifting light
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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‘How To Blow Your Mind And Have A Freak Out Party’: The stupidest record of the 1960s?
11.25.2014
12:01 pm

Topics:
Drugs
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
psychsploitation

kjtggytft
 
I have been avidly buying records since I was eight. By that age, I had a pretty full grasp of rock and roll and its furthest reaches (the second record I ever bought was Mothermania by The Mothers of Invention). I “got” what oddball records were and looked for them specifically. The Audio Fidelity label was for the most part the home of sound effects records, newfangled stereo experiment records with bongos going back & forth from speaker to speaker, calliope music, Nazi marching orchestras and all other kinds of similar cheapo ephemera. It was a budget label like the ones pre-VU Lou Reed worked for, but it rarely delved into rock and roll. There was a three-volume set called Jet Set Discotheque with a few truly remarkable garage tunes from god knows where and a little later, this psychedelic abomination, How to Blow Your Mind and Have a Freakout Party.
 
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Had this come out on the ESP Disk label (and it certainly could have) it would have found fans who “dug” the Fugs and other off-kilter freaks, but because it was on this un-hip “bow-tie-daddy” label it aroused suspicion and was relegated to stay where these records were placed anyway, even when they were brand new—in the 99 cent cut-out bin.

Don’t get me wrong, this is most definitely an exploitation record (or a “psychsploitation record” as they are known in deep record collector lingo). Most exploitation records are recorded by older hack musicians with no clue of the subject matter (which is what gives them their charm, especially when they’re trying to be psychedelic). This record was most definitely recorded by young people. On acid. It’s crude, young, and innocently dumb, which is what saves it from being just another boring psych record. The art also resembles a kids school book drawing version of the great Cal Schenkel art on the Mothers of Invention LP covers.

I found this in a used record store in 1972 and knew immediately from the cover that I would love it. And I was right. The record is experimental beyond its time, has incredibly bizarre effects I’ve never heard on any other record from this time period, plus catchy songs (at least on side one). Around the same time I bought a Grateful Dead record and expected it to sound just like this due to their extreme hype, not the boring country record I wound up being disappointed with.
 
yktbdvj
 
The band credited is called The Unfolding. There is one name I recognize, David Dalton. There is a David Dalton won the Columbia School of Journalism Award for his Rolling Stone interview with Charles Manson, wrote bios on Andy Warhol, Sid Vicious, The Stones, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, etc., and he co-wrote Marianne Faithfull’s autobiography. I have no idea if this is the same person but it very well may be as this was a New York label and Mr. Dalton was a New Yorker (the CD reissue liner notes are no help in this department).

This record was most certainly made for a kid like me. It comes with hysterical instructions on “how to freak out,” plus an insert where you can send for psychedelic “stuff” for your very own freakout party! The TV trick is my favorite and the first thing I ran to try, messing up my parents TV in the process!
 
fgkfgutdr
 

You can really turn your guests on with a mind-blowing light show with two things you probably have in your house right now: a TV set and a see-through kaleidoscope (not the kind with colored glass in the bottom). First put a rock and roll record on the phonograph. Turn on your TV and make the image jump in time to the music by turning the vertical knob all the way to the left or right. Now point the kaleidoscope at the TV screen. This is a guaranteed TRIP. Now play the same record at another speed. YOU ARE NOW FREAKING OUT. Enjoy it.

 
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To set the scene for the party, spray pop bottles or an old chair with DAY-GLOW PAINT in bright colors, then light the whole room with DAY-GLOW light (you can buy these in any hardware or art-supply stores). This will make everything glow with weird luminous psychedelic colors. Guaranteed to blow their minds right away.

There’s even instructions on how to dress:

Wear bright really out-of-sight combinations, things that look strange together. GIRLS! This is a chance to wear something exotic and fantastic that you wouldn’t get a chance to put on. Perhaps spray an old pair of shoes with DAY-GLOW and wear DAY-GLOW tights to match. Bright oranges and greens, goofy jewelry, peacock feathers as earrings and a super mini-skirt.  GUYS! The idea is to look cool and mysterious, so wear moccasins, prayer beads, or Indian bells, psychedelic buttons, and groovy mod clothes. If you really want to blow your guests’ minds, paint your face in wild colors. It’s a chance to use some way-out make-up effects. Paint flowers on your arms and wear a mystical PSYCHEDISK on your forehead. Hypnotize your friends with its hallucinating effect.

In case you don’t have it memorized, they clue you into the (hysterical) “Psychedelic Top Ten”!
 
gkkfdlh
 
A few more instructions with a green and purple gleam in their winking third eye and we’re on our way:

Invite your grooviest friends, people who really swing, and enjoy exploring new and exciting experiences. BLOW YOUR MIND, FREAK OUT, etc. on pieces of colored paper, then glue them on to a piece of tinfoil and fold. This will let them know what kind of scene it’s going to be. Ask everyone to bring things they really dig: records, candy, people, flowers, books on flying saucers, kooky things. Tell them it’s a costume party and to come in their most out-of-sight clothes. Tell them it’s going to be a happening; they’ll get the message.

 
dfjdvf
 

By now your guests should be really grooving with your head. Get everyone involved in way-out conversations. Read your horoscopes. Compare the personalities of people born under different signs.

Oddly they leave almost nothing to your imagination, truly the antithesis of a psychedelic experience, but they must have known the plastic people they were aiming this at.
 
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The record is broken into two parts in more than just the physical sense. The great side A (Acid Rock)  is the where all the actual songs are: “I’ve Got a Zebra—She Can Fly,” “Play Your Game,” “Girl from Nowhere,” “Flora’s Holiday” and “Love Supreme Deal.” Then the heavy comedown of the slow moving side B: “(Meditations) featuring Prama,” “Electric Buddha,” “Hare Krishna” and “Parable.” It is is a heady mix of weirdness, chanting and sound effects (from the Audio-Fidelity library no doubt) and is meant for the coming down period (of course the record is only 35 minutes long so good luck. Good luck on even turning a record over while tripping your ass off… how did we DO that? Haha and truly, good luck on even listening to side two with its babbling nonsense surrounded by slide whistles, bells, and backwards thingamajigs). You can hear the whole record in this YouTube clip Listen Seriously Dudes!
 

Posted by Howie Pyro | Discussion
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Eyes on drugs
11.25.2014
09:17 am

Topics:
Drugs

Tags:
pupils


 
VICE visited a nightclub in Berlin and photographed close-up images of people’s eyeballs while they were under certain er, illegal (and some legal) substances to see it you can tell what drug they’re on by the size of their pupils.

Opiates tend to constrict your pupils while the likes of cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines—“speedier” drugs—will dilate your pupils.

Apparently German police use a device that’s called a “pupillograph” (kinda like a pair of glasses) that can determine if someone’s on a drug by the size of their pupils before the blood test results even come back. From what I’ve read online about the “pupillograph,” the device doesn’t actually work too well with determining drug use. It works great for determining glaucoma, though!

I don’t know. These all seem kinda bogus if you ask me. It really depends on what lights are on around them and the flash on the camera. I’m not saying they aren’t on drugs, but I take this with a grain of salt.

Anyway, I guess it’s sorta interesting to look at.


 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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