Tag Archives | Cocaine

New Evidence Shows William Shakespeare Smoked Weed

A stoner?

A stoner?

Could Shakespeare have been high when he penned his plays?

State-of-the-art forensic technology from South Africa has been used to try and unravel the mystery of what was smoked in tobacco pipes found in the Stratford-upon-Avon garden of British playwright William Shakespeare.

Residue from clay tobacco pipes more than 400 years old from the playwright’s garden were analysed in Pretoria using a sophisticated technique called gas chromatography mass spectrometry.

Chemicals from pipe bowls and stems which had been excavated from Shakespeare’ garden and adjacent areas were identified and quantified during the forensic study. The artefacts for the study were on loan from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

The gas technique is very sensitive to residues that can be preserved in pipes even if they had been smoked 400 years ago.

What were they smoking

There were several kinds of tobacco in the 17th century, including the North American Nicotiana (from which we get nicotine), and cocaine (Erythroxylum), which is obtained from Peruvian coca leaves.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The 3 deadliest drugs in America are all totally legal

via Vox Media.

via Vox.

German Lopez via Vox:

As the US debates drug policy reforms and marijuana legalization, there’s one aspect of the war on drugs that remains perplexingly contradictory: some of the most dangerous drugs in the US are legal.

Don’t believe it? The available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows tobacco, alcohol, and opioid-based prescription painkillers were responsible for more direct deaths than any other drug in 2011. This chart compares those drug deaths with the best available data for cocaine, heroin, and marijuana deaths [show above].

Now, this chart isn’t a perfect comparison across the board. One driver of tobacco and alcohol deaths is that both substances are legal and easily available. Other substances would likely be far deadlier if they were as available as tobacco and alcohol. (Heroin-linked deaths in particular have been trending up since 2010, topping 8,200 in 2013 and making heroin deadlier overall than cocaine.) And federal data excludes some deaths, particularly less direct illicit drug deaths, which is why the chart focuses on direct health complications for all drugs.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Dr. Ingrid Walker: Drugs & Desire

What do you think of when you think of the term, ‘drug user’? Do you think of crusty people on skid row, or perhaps wall street tycoons doing blow off of the butts of their secretaries? Whatever your vision is, it might be very different from the truth. Chances are, you are a drug user. Dr. Ingrid Walker explains further and offers some interesting insights into our biases and misconceptions on drugs.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Here’s What Your Eyes Look Like When You Take Different Drugs

via Vice:

Eyes are the window to your soul, and that doesn’t stop being true no matter how many illegal substances you consume on a night out. But can your eyes really tell when you’re actually on something? From pupils the size of a needlepoint to huge black holes with barely visible irises, we snapped our way through Berlin’s nightclubs to see if people’s eyeballs could tell us the night’s story. How much does the size of your pupils actually have to do with the substances you’ve taken?

The stuff in drugs that makes you relaxed, happy or just really awake not only manipulates the neurotransmitters in your brain, but can also affect physiological processes in your body. This includes the muscles in your eyes that are responsible for making your pupils bigger (to let in more light, for example), or smaller.

can-you-tell-what-drugs-someones-on-just-by-looking-at-their-eyes-876-body-image-1415976516

can-you-tell-what-drugs-someones-on-just-by-looking-at-their-eyes-876-body-image-1415976590

can-you-tell-what-drugs-someones-on-just-by-looking-at-their-eyes-876-body-image-1415976657

To see more eyes and read more, go here: http://www.vice.com/read/can-you-tell-what-drugs-someones-on-just-by-looking-at-their-eyes-876

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Altered Microbial Enzyme Digests Cocaine

Pic: Willis Kent Productions (C)

Pic: Willis Kent Productions (C)

Bioengineered enzyme that eats cocaine and can survive in the human body… sounds like the makings of a low-budget but entirely awesome cocaine zombie movie. (Please let the epidemic begin in Hollywood.)

Bacteria that live in the soil near coca plants make an enzyme called cocaine esterase, which rapidly breaks down the drug. The enzyme could theoretically be useful to  destroy cocaine ingested by people before it takes effect, but the half-life of the enzyme–which was isolated years ago–is only about 12 minutes at human body temperature, according to Chemical & Engineering News. “It would be hard to use this enzyme for therapeutic purposes,” University of Kentucky researcher Chang-Guo Zhan says.

So scientists decided to tinker with it. What if the enzyme could be made sturdy at high temperatures? In a 2008 study, Zhan and colleagues first figured out how to extend the half-life to six hours, possibly enough to treat an overdose.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Condoms Full of Cocaine Addressed to Vatican Seized by German Customs Officers

Pic: Willis Kent Productions (C)

Pic: Willis Kent Productions (C)

Pope Rockso would approve.

Via The Guardian:

A government spokesman said a box packed with 340 grammes of the drug, valued at €40,000 (£33,470), was seized in January at the international airport in the eastern city of Leipzig.

The cocaine, posted from an unnamed South American country, was in liquid form. It had been poured into the condoms and placed in the package addressed to the main postal centre at the Vatican.

Authorities handed the parcel to a Vatican police officer with the aim of laying a trap.

Read the rest at The Guardian.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

What Americans Spend on Illegal Drugs

Number of Chronic Users of Cocaine, Heroin, and Meth (based on NSDUH) (RAND/ONDCP)

Number of Chronic Users of Cocaine, Heroin, and Meth (based on NSDUH) (RAND/ONDCP)

The RAND Corporation has prepared a facts and figures filled report for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) entitled “What America’s Users Spend on Illegal Drugs: 2000-2010.” Make of it what you will (RAND and ONDCP aren’t exactly the most trusted institutions), but there’s plenty of interesting and thought-provoking information. You can find a PDF with the entire report here; this excerpt is from the executive summary:

A sense of scale is a prerequisite to thinking sensibly about illicit drug markets. For example, knowing whether a country consumes tens, hundreds, or thousands of metric tons (MTs) of a prohibited substance is critical for understanding the impact of a three-MT seizure at a border crossing. But decisionmakers need more than a sense of scale; they also need figures with enough precision to be able to determine whether the markets have become larger or smaller over time.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

DEA Case Threatens to Expose US Government-Sanctioned Drug-Running

DEAThe Narcosphere reports on a story that could blow the lid open on a US government program responsible for flying tons of cocaine between nations.

Federal agents this past November raided the offices of an aircraft brokerage and leasing company called World Jet Inc., based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The raid, spearheaded by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, was launched on the heels of a DEA affidavit for a search warrant, which was filed in late October last year in federal court in Colorado as part of a case that is now sealed. The search-warrant affidavit was made available on the Internet after being obtained by a reporter for the Durango Herald newspaper.

The affidavit outlines allegations against several individuals accused by the DEA of participating in a narco-trafficking conspiracy. But that is not the big story here.

Instead, the real news is buried deep in the DEA court pleadings and confirms the existence of a US undercover operation that Narco News reported previously had allowed tons of cocaine to be flown from Latin America into the states absent proper controls or the knowledge of the affected Latin American nations.

Read the rest
Continue Reading