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So it’s been a busy week in the legal high scene. DMAA also known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine was added to the Gazzette, and placed on a Temporary Class Drug Notice. The common party pill ingredient will be illegal to sell from April 9.
Now it’s worth mentioning that all evidence seems to indicate DMAA has a similar safety profile to caffeine - that is, as a stimulant, reasonable safe. Of course bans tend to lead to development, and this ban has missed an opportunity to slow that product development with DMAA.
Not to mention that when BZP was banned, there was a large scientifically proven increase in MDMA and methamphetamine use. Given the poor state of the pill scene, where you don’t know what your getting, and the addictiveness of methamphetamine, this no question that this move could cause harm on some level.
A new legal high called DIME has been sold, discussed intensely here on TripMe, until the issue came to the awareness of Close Up. The active chemical in DIME is apparently, 25c-nbome, which Close Up confirmed with an ESR test. Now the close-up article has faults, such as a poor characterisation of psychedelics and other ambiguities about the substances classification – but they assert that DIME is an illegal drug analogue under our NZ analogue laws.
However it appears, legally the matter may not be so simple, it may be that DIME is sufficiently different from any illegal drug. Only time and the courts will decide, especially as our analogue laws are vague to begin with.
Temporary Class Drug Notices
Peter Dunne has been running around quite pleased with himself that he has temporarily addressed the legal high issue with the temporary bans. It was personally most pleasing when Close Up asked Dunne, where exactly his new safety law was – Dunne is not solving the situation at all, so thank you Close Up for calling him out on that!
Such complex laws often take two years to pass from first reading. It hasn’t had its first reading yet, or even, as far as I know, been partially written. The whole purpose of the temporary bans was to last until the safety law could be in place – and yet this is something we hear nothing about the progress of.
These Temporary Class Drug Notices last for one year. The law stipulates they can only be renewed once, for one additional year. Because the first Notices where handed out at the end of last year, those initial temporary bans, for compounds like JWH-018 will expire at the end of next year – well before its likely any progress will be made on the law commission recommendations for legal high safety testing.
Of course if this situation went on forever (thank god it wont!), because these instant and constantly increasing bans force development, moreso because the bans are so quick and numerous: If we keep relying on this style of approach, the market could be flooded with novel and unknown substances from the forced development.
Its well known than the legal high industry used DMAA because it was low-level, and thus shouldnt have pushed any buttons - they wanted it to remain legal, and they had and have other options they would not release because of this attempt to appease. If anything they introduce will automatically be banned, why bother trying to appease the goverment or masses? There would be less point in doing this, and more motive to make more short term profits.
Of course one also still wonders at the ethics of having one man capable of banning anything with no consultation in just one week. The idea, of one rather unqualified person, deciding what is safe for everyone else, is scarily like some form of dictatorship. For everyones benefit, I hope they get right onto this new law.
Drug Law ambiguities
Something that I have been giving some thought this week, is just how ambiguous, and selectively applied our drug laws are. It began with talking about DMAA on the forum. Apparently it may occur naturally in Geranium. Yet, geranium essential oil is very unlikely to be prosecuted despite containing the soon to be class drug. Confusing? Well, prepared to be more confused.
When our government was banning GHB and the like, they saw fit to make the commonly occurring, amino acid, GABA also class B. Yes GHB occurs in trace amount in wine, as well as occurring in meat – and yes that’s a little odd for an illegal banned drug – but even weirder, GABA occurs in high amounts in some foods, like brown rice, and is sold in pure synthetic form in health food stores. So, they sell pure synthetic class B drugs at your health food store – but because the law is used rather than followed, they will never be prosecuted. Here's an example of a local vendor selling the class B drug.
It makes one wonder why they bother having drug laws at all, if they are going to ignore it most of the time, and selectively choose, on personal whim, when to prosecute. I had once naively thought that the law specifically defined what was illegal and what isn’t. Rather it seems, at least with drug law, it tries to catch everything, just in case the prosecuters don’t like you for some reason. I can't even get my head around at how unevenly applied the law is. Something worth keeping in mind, if your trying to figure out in black and white what the Misuse of Drugs act actually says, especially given what happened with DIME.
My favourite electronic three piece has a more recent EP offering: “We can make the world stop”. If this EP is any indication of The Glitch Mob’s future direction, I personally would be quite happy with that, it shows qualities I have always liked about their sound. The cover art is also pretty awesome, I believe it’s taken from the music video, or at least it's very similar.
"We Can Make The World Stop" has a certain outward character, more so than the other tracks on the EP, and a solid rhythmic steadiness, that one would perhaps guess from the name. It's also, like the other tracks, somewhat emotionally driven in its melodies, a sort of mental and spiritual journey, containing a lot of organic sounds and expressive melodies – this really contrasts nicely with the solid almost 4/4 rythmn and bass, giving a feeling perhaps of triumph or confident acceptance? Hard to pin exactly, but this EP is rich with this sort of hard to define mood.
The Warrior Concerto brings in something of a passionate dramatic classical sound, again building into a more rhythmic and electronically melodic sound. The drama of this track, the more overt first and the more reflective third track makes for an EP, that is very rich with the sub-textual emotion and journey that can also be found in parts of “Drink the Sea”. While it’s still very rhythmic, its not as much of a total crescendo as "Drink the sea", something more of a gentle build, or perhaps when viewed as a whole EP, more of a fading out.
Palace of the Innocents begins with a lush organic chinese sounding instrument. There's a general sense of gentle tone and pacing. on this Palace of the Innocents gently builds, layering bass and rythmns in, but retaining those deep and reflective qualities. It reminds me of someone dancing solo at sunrise, very zen, but a bit moving.
Overall, I love this EP, it shows off the more melodic and perhaps spiritual side of the trio’s sound, something of a mental journey. Can wait to see what they do next!
Hey folks. Time for a little news update. Big news for Pot reform is Colorado is running an initiative to regulate cannabis like alcohol. Fingers crossed! Read about that here.
Similarly, California has introduced legalislation to decriminalise possession. Link.
According to a recent study, sleeping pills may be as dangerous to your health as tobacco smoking. Check that out here.
Some crazy teen posted You Tube videos of them smoking weed while driving in “protest” to the NZ drug driving campaign. It’s an amusing read, albeit less than helpful to harm minimisation. Read that here.
Now onto a bit of science and technology related news: A study shows that melting artic ice could lead to colder winters on the northern side of the globe. (Sucks for them!)
They have developed a new game controller – a rope device, for simulating flying a kite, riding a horse, or skipping rope.
IBM improves the performance of their devices for quantum computing. While it may seem slow progress on the outside, it would seem quantum computers are looking more and more inevitable and practical.
New mouse glove offers an alternative to a traditional mouse. This looks pretty interesting I think, especially as it seems like moving on from the mouse control in computing is taking longer than one would expect. Gamers are already using motion capture after all. Nice how this one lets you get away from the desk.
Some immortal worms seem able to defy aging indefinitely. Read bout that here.
I decided that I’d like to summarize some of the rest of the neurotransmitter systems in the brain I haven’t already covered, especially as they relate to substances – a kind of brief basic overview without heavy detail that might hopefully give you some more insights into the workings of the brain.
The opiod receptors are widely distributed in the brain, and there are a variety of endogenous opiods like enkephalins, and endorphins. Opiate receptors are associated with analgesia and reward. There are three main drug related types of opiod receptor, with differing effects: Delta, Kappa & Mu.
The delta receptor is associated with analgesia, and anti-depressive effects. Protopine and Berberine from prickly poppy have suspected delta receptor mediated anti-depressive effects.
The Kappa receptor is associated with analgesia, and disassociative or delirient effects. Salvinorin A from salvia has this action. There is a low level of this action associated with kratom and poppy usage, most likely responsibly for the dream-like hallucinations thereof
The Mu receptor is the one associated with traditional opiate euphoria and dependence, as well as analgesia.
It is thought that alcohol has in indirect effect on the opiate receptors.
Supplements: There is no specific OTC supplement. Just eat a healthy diet with lots of proteins and aminos.
The most studied receptors, associated with consciousness, attention, memory, wakefulness and muscle activation, these receptors can be affected in interesting ways by some differing compounds. There are two main types of receptor, nicotinic and muscarinic.
Nicotinic receptors are stimulated by nicotine, betel nut and acetylcholine. The obvious effects relate to attentional wakefulness and similar. Many other drugs affect acetylcholine levels generally, such as a suppression of the levels by alcohol, or enhancement on MDMA.
Muscarinic receptors are stimulated by choline, and muscarine from the Amanita mushroom (only found in trace amounts). These receptors are comparable to acetylcholine generally, relating to attentional and memory qualities. Delirient drugs block muscarinic action, such as deadly nightshade and datura, and this why consciousness, attention and memory is so altered on these drugs.
Supplements: Lecithin, Choline Bitrate, CDP choline, Citicholine
GABA is largely known as an inhibitory neurocomplex, but it is sometimes excitory. There are three main types of receptor, GABA a, GABA b, and the GHB receptor.
The well known GABA a receptor is stimulated by alcohol and benzodiazepines. It is an inhibitory effect leading to general relaxation and calm.
The GABA b receptor is effected by GBL, GHB and phenibut, but this receptors is thought to be excitory, and thus not the cause of main effects of GHB. The GHB receptor is thus thought to indirectly create the effects of substances like GHB. Alcohol most like has some interaction with this receptor also.
Supplements: Glutamate, Picamilon (GABA does not penetrate the blood brain barrier)
The Glutamate receptors
These receptors are related to memory, learning, and neural regulation. There are two main receptors AMPA, and NMDA. High levels of Glutamate can be neurotoxic, despite this being a central and widespread neurosystem.
Because the effects are excitory, relating to plasticity and learning, many of the interesting effects come from suppressing this system. Interestingly most of the “cetams”, which are memory enhancing drugs, are AMPA enhancers.
Ketamine, DXM, nitrous and PCP exert there effects through NMDA antagonism (suppression). Alcohol at high doses also has this effect on this system.
Of course there are a host of other more minor NT systems, but together with my articles on the cannabinoid, serotonin and dopamine systems, this should help tie together all the major players.
What a small poll tells us...
(And what an ad campaign doesn't)
Drug Driving. Is it a problem? That's the catchphrase of the new Safer Journeys campaign which kicked off in a multimedia flurry that includes a Facebook page and a series of TV adverts featuring actors pretending to be under the influence of various substances and the candid reactions of their passengers. Judging by the comments arriving on the FB wall and at the bottom of news articles the campaigns first goal; to engage the public in the discussion, has had a measure of success. Audience participation can further be gauged by the weekly poll numbers: 84 votes on their opener (Drug Driving. Do you think it's a problem?), up to a staggering 17,000 votes on the second weeks offering (Do you think drugs make you a better driver?), and so far eight and a half thousand respondents to this week’s question (Is it safe to smoke marijuana and drive?).
Those are good numbers and the people generating them should be proud because not only are they broaching an important and complicated issue, but in drug users they're also dealing with a target audience notoriously hard to engage when you're a government agency.
The problem of reaching this group is a long way from being solved however; it is one thing to get the disgruntled ticking boxes and another all together to get them to engage meaningfully which long term is key to modifying behaviour. There's no secret of course that long term, modifying behaviour is what this campaign sets out to do. At the moment the waters are only being tested, but as one capricious FB member points out "government funded campaigns are seldom launched without an endgame in mind."
If there is already a plan we can only hope it's informed by better sources than social media one-liners, but it does beg the question: what's all that social media and air time in aid of? Are we being asked what we think only to mollify our desire for input? The polls in particular seem a terrible waste of data, twenty thousand votes and nothing gained in terms of insight into the issue.
Which is an awful shame because with only fifty votes this poll here gives an interesting peek into the behaviours of New Zealanders who self-identify as being part of the drug taking scene. We can see straight away and with some confidence despite the small sample size that cannabis and its new-fangled imitators tag-team with alcohol as the most common drugs for people to use and then drive. A full two thirds of respondents had at the time of writing indicated they'd driven, or been passenger in a vehicle driven by someone, under their influence. Quite a stunning illustration of the extent of the problem, especially when coupled with the fact that only a fifth of voters had never driven drugged. That's less than have driven under the influence of psychedelics, or prescription sedatives, or amphetamines. It's a lot less than the number of people who have driven on legal or illegal party pills.
So if you're a drug user, driver and internet savvy enough to be on TripMe then you're highly likely to have driven drugged and it's highly likely it was alcohol, cannabis or a synthetic smoking blend that was the intoxicant. Scary stuff, but also interesting, informative and the type of conversation fodder that encourages people to explore the depth of the issue and raise further questions rather than drop a vapid tweet on the issue and move on.
Speaking of further questions, here's a couple of supplementary enquiries for readers to weigh in on:
I’ve been trying a few different new entheogens over recent months, so I thought I’d share my experiences with some of them.
Dan Shen 10x
Dan Shen is one of the most important plants in Chinese medicine, and has widespread use in Asian countries. Traditionally, Dan Shen has been used to improve bodily functioning, as well as to treat haemorrhage, dysmenorrhoea, miscarriage, swelling, insomnia, and hepatitis. Dan Shen provides a head/heart calming benzo like effect, without notable muscle relaxation. This makes it generally non-euphoric, but it goes very well with other sedatives, increasing their effects of calmness. It’s also no doubt useful for anxiety. It’s also a liver enzyme inhibitor (CYP450), so be careful it may potentiate things like alcohol or opiates. And Dan Shen also has a tonic healing effect on the liver, which is backed up by a fair bit of science.
Prickly poppy 10x
Prickly poppy is a non-opiate relative of the opium poppy. It was sacred to the Aztecs, who knew it as “Nourishment of the dead”. Which perhaps makes sense considering the nature of it’s effects. It’s a non-euphoric, but quite mentally and physically relaxing feeling similar in some ways to opiates. It was offered to the Gods as a sacrifice, and one god in particular, Tláloc, used this plant, as one of the three psychoactives associated with him. While there is nothing euphoric about this plant, its relaxing effects are uniquely useful, and may be somewhat useful as a stopgap for depression or anxiety (some of the chemical components of prickly poppy, are established as anti-depressant in studies). Nourishment of the dead indeed.
Chocolate extract 25x
I have covered this in a recent article, but thought I’d mention it here again briefly. Chocolate extract is stimulating (more so than caffeine, or an energy drink), and mildly mood boosting. A pleasant pick me up with a number of notable synergies.
Like prickly poppy, this is a non-opiod relative of the well known opium poppy. This is also known as corn poppy, and is the poppy of Anzac day. It’s effect are perhaps comparable to chamomile, a mild effect, but useful for anxiety and relaxation. Both of those (chamomile and red poppy) are often combined with lotus. The best thing about red poppy is that either as a tea, or in a smoking mix, it tastes just delicious..
Baybean, even in 50x extract form, is a plant that’s effects are hard to pin down. It’s best used in a combination, as a potentiator. But on its own, it provides “trippy” effects similar to cannabis, but without actual cannabinoid or euphoric effects. Would be interesting to try other combos, with it. Reputedly synergizes with salvia, and I would not be surprised if it interacts with other psychedelics. Historically it has more use as a medicine, topically for pain. There is also some indication it was used as a cannabis substitute, but judging on the effects, probably more in the sacramental or introspective sense.
Hopefully a grand New Year’s Eve was had by all, and the summer festival season is bringing up the joy levels, even if the sun is a tiny bit inconsistent. It’s certainly been awhile since our last news update, so let’s try and catch up a bit.
She originally supposedly was experiencing exhaustion. However, this article suggests perhaps instead: - Demi Moore overdid the whippets?
It’s from the US, but it’s an interesting article. A US cop derides war on drugs, talks about how he hates that part of his job. I wonder how many cops generally feel this way?
Here’s a poorly reasoned herald article, full of misinformation, such as ludicrous claims that marijuana causes cancer (when in fact it appears to be anti-cancer if anything). It calls for NZ government to legalize pot purely for profit reasons. Which on its own may be sound reasoning, apart from the guff that surrounds it. Overall, not the most enlightened read, but insightful to some peoples misguided POV. Here's the article.
Here's a good article on the cliché’s and illogical arguments for prohibition, using a real argument, this article breaks down all the fallacies inherent in the standard spiel. Read that here.
Nz’ers and Aussies are the biggest stoners. No real surprise there, but my own experience suggests that Aussies might “win” out on that one.
Okay, a little science news now. The first quantum jiggles are detected in a solid object, rather than in a particle. Read that here.
Here’s some fun imagining and details about the moon Titan. Its a pretty trippy place.
A new algorithm for generating trees automatically generates trees that sway in the wind, without individually creating each tree. This should lead to much more realism in their graphics. Read about that here.
Newt 'Light-year' Gingrich promises moon base by 2020. As much as I don’t like right wing politicians, this would be interesting to watch, if he did get in. Find out about that here.
Alcohol, western society’s most popular recreational drug, is one of the most studied, and yet its exact pharmacology remains perhaps even more mysterious than that of MDMA.
Believe me when I say this, there is quite the list of potential central actions, it has an action of some sort at almost every major neurotransmitter system, so bear with me as I attempt to summarize it all!
Some major suspects
The first major suspect is the GABA-A receptors, where benzodiazepines like diazepam act. It doesn’t act here directly, but definitely acts indirectly, and in particular the delta subunit of GABA-A receptors. This contributes to the sense of relaxation and sedation.
Another major player, is the glutamate receptors, particularly the NMDA receptor, where somewhat related drugs Ketamine and PCP act. The action is responsible for disassociative effects, which may be partly responsible for unusual behaviours on large amounts of alcohol, as well as contributing to sedative effects.
Alcohol is also a potentiator of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which may contribute to its rewarding effects, as well as the effect of alcohol on memory (same with the NMDA receptor).
As its holiday season, I thought people might like a little article on our old friend chocolate :)
The first people to use the Cacao plant were the Mayans. The word Cacao originated from the Mayan word “Ka’kau”. Theobroma is Greek for “food of the gods”.
According to the mythology, the god Hunahpú gave cacao to the Maya after they were created. The Mayans celebrated an April festival to celebrate the Ka’kau god, Ek Chuah, offering him Cacao and animal sacrifices. They used cacao both everyday, and as a ritual sacrament.
There’s a variety of ancient recipes with chillies, vanilla, peanut butter, honey and flowers. The Mayans made a frothy drink, and perhaps also an alcohol distilled from the white pulp. The Mayans placed a very high trade value on the beans; it was one of the privileges of nobility to drink chocolate. The Aztecs went to place chocolate in similar high regard.
The Spanish took the drink, and added spices for a cold beverage. It was when it spread through the European continent that it became more like the fattier sweetened drink version we know today. The industrial revolution however is what brought the actual chocolate bar.
Chocolate contains a heady mix of psychotropic compounds. Having experienced the 25x extract of Cacao Theobroma at reasonable dose, I can tell you that the most prominent psychoactive effects are the phenylethylamine, and theobromine – giving one a clean -stronger than coffee- stimulant effect if you take the extract (PEA is in bodybuilding products and in modern NZ party pills, and theobromine is related to caffeine. There’s also caffeine in here as well).
There are also other neurotransmitters – Serotonin, dopamine, and anandamide (the brains own THC), as well as FAAH inhibitors that increase its mild cannabinoids effects, and MAO inhibitors that let more of feel good neurotransmitter chemicals into the brain; such that the overall effect of these additional compounds is a pleasant mildly euphoric mood boost along with the stimulation. Bet some of you didn’t know chocolate was a stimulant with a decent kick in its pure form! (Sugar may change the effects of course).
A lot of modern people enjoy the extract form, with coffee for a wake up (beats coffee alone), or with a cannabinoid smoke, or certain opiates for complimentary synergies.
Not many supermarket foods come so dense with mind altering compounds – nor so many brain vital nutrients. Of course cacao also has anti-oxidant properties, and some other nutrients.
I have written a few articles in the past, about conspiracy theories, and I thought this week I’d focus on something I encountered in the CT scene, something more than a little weird, the “Monarch” mind control programming theory.
This is not so much trippy, or lightly entertaining or bemusing, like other CT material, as much downright weird and psychological. A nest of stories and modern mythology, that is noteworthy as a cultural phenomena, if for no other reason.
It’s a big one, but so full of fear and mythos, it makes fringe, x-files, twin peaks, all look rather. And it’s better and more interesting to here the brief, than to read the materials or hear from the adherents, much like its fun to make fun of Christian scientists and learn about them, but who the heck wants to actually talk to one?
And be warned, the books on this topic are vivid in details though, this emotionally/morally charged material.
Conspiracy theory being like Chinese whispers on crack, is constantly turning over new takes on old stories.
This is about Satanism, and the occult. Only this theory, unlike prior incarnations, in its many details, describes a hypnotically puppeted society, enacting occult rituals, and endorsing “evil” ideas, as a secret alien race move us into there complete control. I guess that also makes it a new take on revelations/christianity, as well as the NWO.
So where does this all start? With shape changing lizards from another dimension/planet, who like to sacrifice and eat people! This comes partly from an old new age myth, about an alien race of reptilian robot shape shifters called the “Annunuki”, which presumably is some Babylonian or Sumerian reference?
Oh, and by the way, the royal family is made of them, and so is the US government. Sounds like an overly convoluted version of “v” right?
Well, these lizards need us for there evil spells of course, they need our “energy”, so they stimulate negative "energies" in people in order to feed on us, and use us for spells.
Now we’ve added in a touch of Shamanism, and a dash of Truman show.
And of course, any public death, public event, television broadcast is all tuned to vampire the crap out of us. Suddenly the movie and TV borrowed metaphors are all blurring together ;)
But it gets worse. You see, all the important or useful people then become puppets. They are created via “ritual abuse”, to become multiple personality. A similar vein of research was carried out in MK-ULTRA for espionage purposes, using LSD, sensory deprivation, brain washing etc, but so far as the record goes, nothing about freaky satanic crimes – like abuse, violence and other nasty details described in depth in these CT materials.
These people, including all important celebrities, don’t even know they are being controlled by handlers with key words, phrases, and hand signals – who then in turn fill there acting and music careers with occult meanings, symbols and gestures. Basically a mind controlled media serving an evil occult agenda. Lady Gaga almost make that too easy for these nutbags, with her constant reference to religious ideas.
And what is all this “ritual” about? Why things like the MTV awards and hollywood blockbuster movies. Supposedly, everything is linked by symbolism, like butterflies (for transformation), tigers (for sexuality), pyramids, eyes, checkerboards, and other keys supposed to provoke some sense of inner evil. Next time you watch a Disney movie, be aware it’s designed by demons!! ;) (And here I thought they promoted fairly Christian ideals)
And you thought the bible was imaginative, or the Raellians crazy, or new agers flaky? – you were wrong, these paranoid conspira-christians have them all beat hands down! Just forget that tin-foil hat, and the secret wire tap in your tooth, your MTV show is now a portal to mental enslavement to the ultimate evil to lady Gaga and the Queen, and our reptile masters! :P
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