Category Archives: psychoactives

Amsterdam Coffee Shop Ban Lifted

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Coffee shop weed menu Source: greenomixblogspot.com

Coffee shop weed menu
Source: greenomix.blogspot.com

I know this is old news to some of you, but trust me, I’ve been eager to post this one for a while. Apparently, good sense has prevailed over bad taste regarding the coffee shop tourist ban. Last year, Amsterdam’s former right-wing government implemented changes effectively restricting non-Dutch nationals from entering coffee shops. Under the new policy, each shop was limited to 2,000 members who would have been required to have a Weed Pass. Having visited Amsterdam and thoroughly enjoyed the coffee shop culture there, naturally I was concerned. To that end, I wrote an article about this last April. These changes were expected to take effect in the rest of the Netherlands come January 1st 2013. Thankfully, the new Dutch government has realized just how devastating these draconian laws would be not only to Amsterdam’s economy, but to the rights and freedoms of its citizens. According to the December 12th 2012 edition of Amsterdam Coffee Shop News:

The mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan confirmed in his letter that a certificate of residence issued by city municipality will not be required to enter the coffee shops in Amsterdam.
The mayor underlined that while one third of six to eight million tourists arriving to Amsterdam each year visits the coffee shops, these visitors do not create any disturbance in the life of the city, while limitations on sale of the cannabis to foreigners might create illegal street trade and be a cause for growth of criminality. At the same time, a strict ban on smoking marijuana in schools and schoolyards has been reaffirmed by the Mayor set to take effect on January 1, 2013.

So refreshing to know there are peeps in power who can see past the ridiculous fear-mongering propaganda the previous government was trying to pass off as legitimate “cause for concern. ”

As for the much reviled Weed Pass:

Coffee shops club ID card abolished
The new Dutch center-left coalition government is clearly more lenient in its policy on coffee shops than the previous center-right coalition. Coffee shops club ID card (Dutch: wietpas) introduced in 2012 in the border provinces of the Netherlands, has been as of November 19, 2012 abolished. There were serious civil rights objections on collecting data who and where is smoking marijuana. The existing cofee shop club members data was destroyed. Now a standard residence certificate issued by the municipality, which is in common use in many bureaucratic situations together with personal ID are enough to purchase the cannabis in the coffee shops in border areas of the country.

As for Amsterdam, we do not expect any restriction imposed coming months on access for tourists visiting the city to its 214 coffee shops.

Let’s just say I’m due for another visit.  Amen to that!

Source: http://www.amsterdam.info/coffee-shop-news/

Copyright © 2013 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY MDMA!

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Source: fkinghateit.blogspot.com

Image: fkinghateit.blogspot.com

It’s Christmas Eve, a time when a significant number of Earthlings happen to be feasting, fighting and fucking under the mistletoe. I would think by now, dear reader, that you would be happily engaged in some festive gangbangery but if you happen to be reading this article, mo’ power to you!

Fuck Santa and his Merry Elves. There is no way I could live with myself if I didn’t give a MASSIVE BIRTHDAY SHOUTOUT TO MDMA – THE WONDER DRUG THAT’S HERE TO STAY !!! HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!!!

Now I’m curious to know as to whether any of you, during all of your pill popping, jaw clenching escapades ever thought, “Dude, like, where does MDMA come from? And who invented it?” If you answered yes, then it means you weren’t freakin’ high enough.

Until fairly recently, I thought MDMA might have been invented in the 80’s. So I was blown away to discover that in fact, it has been around much longer.

Let’s travel back in time to early 1912, Darmstadt, Germany. Native scientist, Dr. Anton Köllisch, is commissioned by drug giant Merck to come up with an alternative to hydrastinine, a styptic (blood clotting agent) previously patented by Bayer. While experimenting with methylhydrastinine, a similar compound (so as not to infringe on Bayer’s copyright), Köllisch discovered an intermediate chemical which he considered rather interesting. He subsequently named it 3,4-Methylendioxy-N-methamphetamine. Köllisch brought this bastard baby to the attention of his superiors. They weren’t altogether sure exactly what to do with it, but they thought the discovery was significant enough to file patents, which they did on December 24th 1912. So if you want to get technical, MDMA’s birthday was back in May. However, I thought it would be fun to celebrate MDMA’S 100 birthday on Christmas Eve. You do see the delightful irony in this right? The timing  is highly symbolic, as Merck’s actions heralded the dawn of a new era in chemically induced self-exploration. There was no way they could have predicted the huge impact MDMA would have on millions in the not too distant future.   

 

Ecstasy - the happy result of MDMA

Ecstasy – the happy result of MDMA

Despite the nefarious efforts of the Anti-Fun Brigade to banish the main ingredient to Ecstasy, it’s definitely not going anywhere anytime soon. Hell, even my grandchildren might end up dabbling in the thing. I’d much rather smack a cigarette out of their hands than discourage them from using Ecstasy, that’s for sure.  As a matter of fact, E is currently enjoying a surge of popularity in England. Manufacturers have apparently exploited a loophole in accessing the precursors to making Ecstasy, which have allowed them to produce pills of high quality for the first time in decades.

It’s like giving the royal finger to authorities, who’ve embarked on a major Ecstasy smear campaign over the last little while. If anything, prohibition is the problem, not MDMA/ Ecstasy itself. It is obvious that it’s time for governments everywhere to reconsider their hardline stance towards psychoactives in general. As of November 2012, legislation has been passed in Colorado and Washington, U.S.A., legalizing marijuana for personal use, albeit with some restrictions. It’s not perfect but at least, it’s a step in the right direction! Let’s hope that one day, MDMA will be recognized for its medicinal value, and be given the respect it deserves in like manner.

Source: E, the Incredibly Strange History of Ecstasy by Tim Pilcher.

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

MDMA Use in Psychotherapy: Switzerland

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Despite ongoing attempts by mainstream media to demonize MDMA as a dangerous drug, there is plenty of evidence demonstrating its effective use in psychotherapy. During the 70’s, MDMA was used in marriage counseling and on individual patients by a small circle of pioneering psychiatrists, most notably Ann Shulgin and Philip Wolfson. They were impressed by MDMA’s ability to help several patients achieve “breakthroughs” where conventional therapy failed. However, this innovative experimentation came to a halt when MDMA was banned by the U.S. government in 1986. According to Nicholas Saunders,“In December 1985, a group of psychotherapists in Switzerland obtained permission to use psychoactive drugs in their work including MDMA, LSD, Mescaline and psilocybin. They formed The Swiss Medical Society for Psycholitic Therrapy, and besides treating patients with these drugs, members take one of the drugs together at twice yearly meetings.” Say what? The doc doses too? But of course! The general consensus was that doctors administering psychotropic medicine had to be thoroughly acquainted with its effects, though they did not do this while treating patients simultaneously.

The following is an excerpt from an interview conducted by British author Nicholas Saunders with Swiss psychotherapist, Dr. Marianne Bloch, from his book, E for Ecstasy. In my opinion, it is one of the most balanced, truthful, fascinating books ever published about the benefits, effects and dangers of Ecstasy. It was considered so controversial that it has been banned in Australia since 1995. Saunders was a social activist and entrepreneur, having started the successful enterprise of Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden. He also self-published and distributed “Alternative London,” an encyclopaedic guide for young people living in London with tips on squatting, communal living, creative budgeting and alternative thinking. After his tragic demise in a car crash in 1998, Saunders legacy lives on in his work, providing factual information so that people are empowered to make informed decisions in their quest for self-knowledge.  

Introduction Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved.

Italics: Nicholas Saunders  Normal: Dr. Marianne Bloch

Do you use LSD as well as MDMA?

No. Although I have permission to use LSD, and use it for myself, I have decided only to use MDMA with patients. LSD lasts too long, both for the patient and myself. In my own experience, I like LSD much better in a one-to-one setting. I don’t like LSD in a group, and therefore I don’t want my patients to use it in a group either.

What is the problem with using LSD in a group?

I become too sensitive. There were too many stimuli for me – I guess it depends on one’s personality. The more I was able to allow things to come through, the more difficult it was for me to handle them. In a one-to-one setting it was OK, but I don’t want to do it with patients.

Do you do individual work with MDMA or just group work?

I do both. Mostly I use MDMA in a group, but when there is a patient who needs complete attention I use it individually.

What are the particular advantages of using MDMA? For instance, is there a particular character type or problem that it is suitable for? Is it perhaps only suitable when clients reach a block?

I use it with patients who are in an intense psychotherapeutic relationship with me. I usually start after six months or a year of ongoing therapy. Most of my patients come every week for individual therapy, and monthly to my Grof holotropic breathing weekends.* Among them are a few who I select who I select for MDMA therapy as well. These are mostly patients who have difficulties with their feelings…so they are mostly character-armoured people.

Aren’t all patients character-armoured people?

Yes, but there are some who have much weaker armour. For instance, oral people.* Their armouring is not as hard to get through.

So you use MDMA with the people with the hardest character armour.

Yes, I prefer to work with MDMA with people who have very hard character

Nicholas Saunders Photo: Anja Saunders

armour. These are, for instance, women with bulimia and some compulsive characters and depressive patients.

What about other groups such as people who have suppressed a memory of a trauma? 

Yes, that is another group. For instance I had a woman patient whose problem was Bulimia, but then it came out that she was abused by her father, although she had no recollection of it beforehand. With MDMA she said, “Oh, there is some incest problem,” and I was very surprised as she had not mentioned it before, and now with the MDMA it comes out clearer and clearer. This person is completely out of her body, how shall we say it, yes completely detached from her body feeling and her emotional feelings.

Does the MDMA help her to become more integrated?

Yes, it helps a lot. It’s the method that helps her most to integrate and to get into her body. She is much less armoured in normal life than she was before, but she is still armoured and this blocks her from feeling her body. Very often she says, “I can’t feel my legs,” but on MDMA she says, “I feel good, I can feel my body.” It seems to have something to do with energy flow.

If you had not used MDMA with this client, presumably she would have made some progress just with the body work, massage, touch and expressing emotions?

 Yes, but I am not sure that I would have come to that deep knowledge about her background, the incest problems with her father. It was so deeply covered, she had no idea it existed.

Did it take a long time to come out? Was it in the first MDMA session?

It was in the second. She had MDMA sessions alone because she was so frightened, and later she had sessions in the group.

How often do you run an MDMA group?

Twice a year.

That is very infrequent. Is that a policy or is that because it takes so much time?

I decided that because of the toxicity patients should not take it more than four times a year.

Now that new research shows that MDMA is not so toxic, do you think you might give it more often?

No, for me it is enough. Actually I don’t want to use more drugs than I have to. I also get results with breath work and body work. With some patients, these methods work well. It is the hard core ones who sometimes need a push.

Before the [legal] restrictions were put on, how many people were there in your MDMA groups?

Twelve. I didn’t want to take more. And I always work with my colleague, another woman therapist.

What doses do you give people?

125 mg.

You don’t vary doses according to body weight?

Earlier, yes, there were some small patients and they got 100 mg.

Do you find MDMA is much stronger for some clients than others?

I don’t find so much difference, no. Some take a longer time to get into it.

Do you give it in one does?

Yes.

Do you take it yourself, or does your assistant?

No.

Do you take it in a ritual way?

We just pass it around and take it. And then we eat some chocolate.

Oh! Chocolate?

Yes, it speeds up the effect of the drug.

Really? How is that?

Albert Hoffman [the discoverer of LSD} told me about it with reference to LSD, and he said that there are some receptors that it speeds up, and now we do it with MDMA and it seems to me that it works. They always have to take their orange juice, their pills and the chocolate. I think it has something to do with endorphins.

How long does it take to come on?

About half an hour. After they have taken the pills they lie down and my co-therapist continues to play the monochord.

Do you have any rules or agreements about how clients interact with one another or with yourself? How do you run a group?

Mostly I say that the patients are by themselves. They lie on the mattresses in their space; it’s something that has to do with internal work and they have to stay by themselves. But lately I have started to say, “Why don’t you mix a bit.” Maybe they were looking around and would say, “This person seems to be very sad,” and I would say, “OK, if you feel like going over to this person who you think is sad you can do so.” I mean, I encourage them to communicate with each other. But this is new, in the beginning I wanted to keep each of them separate, just going into their own space.

How do you deal with the situation where the person might be feeling sad but actually not want someone to approach?  Do they have to ask before moving?

Yes. A patient who feels they want to go over to another has to ask: “I would like to get closer to you, how is it for you? Do you want me or not?”, and the other person has to decide. I tell them that they all have to be very honest. They have to feel for themselves what they want.

So after people have started opening up, what do you do next?

Then I play music on tapes. Mostly meditative music but also some with bass, rhythmic bass – it stimulates some feelings and activity. It’s completely different to the music I use in holotropic treatment, because there the music is actually the ‘drug’ that stimulates the activity. With MDMA, the stimulus comes from the chemical substance, so the music has a different intent in each setting.

Do you use different kinds of music to stimulate people in different ways? To bring up aggression, for instance?

Yes, and sometimes also anxiety.

What kind of music stimulates anxiety?

It’s some kind of dramatic music.

Film music from a thriller?

That’s right. But people require different stimuli. I mean, it’s not only music which stimulates feelings, but also contact. Sometimes it’s very important that closeness between a patient and myself brings up a feeling of anxiety, because they are afraid of closeness.

Even on MDMA?

Even more so. I remember an obsessive-compulsive character who was never in touch with her feelings of closeness, and the last time with MDMA she really got in touch by being close, having close body contact and also eye contact. The first time she felt her panic by being close.

Can you give me a few more examples of when MDMA has been particularly useful?

One patient was an extreme stutterer who had been in therapy for a long time. With MDMA, she could really talk about her history for the first time – because before she was only able to write things on a slip of paper. With MDMA she spoke about her father, how she was held back and not accepted as a child, and all of her emotional feelings came u p in regard to this theme.

So on MDMA she was able to talk freely?

Yes, it was incredible. It was also incredible how her body opened up. She started to breather dramatically, and then sounds came out, and she could talk without difficulty. But it was also significant that after the MDMA session her stuttering came back. It was not as bad, but she continued to stutter.

So MDMA didn’t cure the stutter, but enabled her to talk about her pain concerning her father.

Exactly, and this opened up a different area that could be worked with in ongoing psychotherapy afterwards. Material came up that was not known about before. And so this opened up certain feelings.

I’ve heard it said that you can’t feel love until you have learned to love yourself. Do you believe that?

I think so, yes. I believe in it. That only when you are really in contact with yourself, are you open enough to let love flow out.

Do you think that people are suggestible on MDMA?

Not at all. I think they see things as they are more clearly. For instance, the Bulimic client I mentioned had thought she had invented being abused by her father, but on MDMA she saw it was true. She saw it very clearly.

Are there other problems with using MDMA? Perhaps patients get too close to you?

The transference problem is the same as with body therapy, but the situation of transference becomes more clear to a patient on the drug. They can see their projections more easily. When they come up to me during the MDMA session and say, “I love you so much!”, I respond by saying, “See whether this love is something to do with you. Could it not be your newly discovered love for yourself?”

*Stanislav Grof has developed a method using hyper-ventilation and music to create an altered state of consciousness similar to that experienced under LSD.

*Oral people are those whose early needs have not been met adequately. They tend to have a feeling of emptiness which they try to fill by the attention of other people.

 

Shulgin Denounces War on Drugs

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It has become increasingly evident to anyone with a brain that the so-called “War on Drugs” is an abysmal failure. In a world where drug offenders often face stiffer penalties than pedophiles, something is definitely amiss. Add to that Harper’s omnibus crime bill which seeks to criminalize drug users even further by imposing mandatory minimum sentencing, and the overall picture looks truly disturbing. The following is an excerpt from a lecture given by Alexander Shulgin to students at the University of California, Berkeley, in the early 1980’s. What Sasha says about the growing presence of an increasingly powerful police state while giving up more of one’s rights and freedoms, all in the name of curbing illegal drug use is chillingly relevant, thirty something odd years later. Take heed and listen to the wise words of this erudite scholar, and then wonder, how come they haven’t killed this man yet. Source: “E for Ecstasy” by Nicholas Saunders.

 

Alexander Shulgin

How severe is the illegal drug problem, really? If you go down through the generalized statistics, and search out the hard facts, it is not very large. From the point of view of public health, it is vanishingly small.

Just the two major legal drugs, tobacco and alcohol are together directly responsible for over 500,000 deaths a year in this country.  Deaths associated with prescription drugs are an additional 100,000 a year. The combined deaths associated with all the illegal drugs, including heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and PCP, may increase this total by another 5,000. In other words, if all illegal drug use were to be curtailed by some stroke of a magic wand, the drug-related deaths in the country would decrease by 1 percent. The remaining 99% remain just as dead, but dead by legal, and thus socially acceptable means.

The drug problem may not be the size we are being told it is, but it is large enough for concern. What are some of its causes?  There is a feeling of helplessness in much of our poor population, particularly among young Black and Hispanic males. There is a total absence of any sense of self-worth in most of the residents of the inner cities. There is extensive homelessness, and an increasing state of alienation between the middle-to-upper and the lowest classes. On one side, there is a growing attitude of “I’ve got mine, and the hell with you,” and on the other, “I’ve got nothing to lose, so screw you.”

There is a shameful public health problem of massive proportions (AIDS, teen-age pregnancies, rising infant mortality and the abandonment of any serious effort to help those with debilitating mental illnesses). There are children who have no families, no food, no education, and no hope. There is near anarchy in the streets of our big cities, matched by a loss of community integrity in the rural areas. All of this is blamed on the “drug problem,” although the use of drugs has nothing to do with it. Drug use is not the cause of any of these terrible problems. It may certainly be one of the results, but it is not the cause. Nonetheless, a major national effort is being made to convince the American people that winning the “War on Drugs” will indeed cure us of all ailments, if we would but relinquish a few more individual rights in the pursuit of victory.

This war cannot be won. And we will only lose more and more of our freedoms in a futile effort to win it. Our efforts must be directed towards the causes, not just the consequences of drug misuse. But, in the meantime things are going downhill at a rapid rate. People will tell me I am a defeatist to suggest the obvious answer, which is to legalize the use of drugs by adults who choose to use them.

I have been accused of giving the message that drug use is okay. Remove the laws, they say, and the nation will be plunged overnight into an orgy of unbridled drug use. I answer that we are already awash in illegal drugs, available to anyone who is able to pay, and their illegality has spawned a rash of criminal organizations and territorial blood-lettings, the likes of which have not been since the glory days of Prohibition.

 

Yes it ‘s possible that with the removal of drug laws a few timid Presbyterians will venture a snort of cocaine, but in the main, drug abuse will be no worse than it is now, and – after some initial experimentation – things will return to a natural balance. There is no “Middle America” sitting out there, ready to go Whoopee! with the repeal of the drug laws. The majority of the population will, however, benefit from the return of the criminal justice system’s attention to theft, rape, and murder, the crimes against society for which we need prisons. Pot smoking, remember, is not intrinsically antisocial. Let me ask each of you this simple question. What indicators would you accept as a definition of a police state, if it were to quietly materialize about you? I mean, a state that you could not tolerate. A state in which there is a decrease in drug use, but in which your behaviour was increasingly being dictated by those in power?

Each of you, personally and privately, please draw an imaginary line in front of you, a line that indicates up to here, okay, but beyond here, no way! Let me suggest some thoughts to use as guides. What about a requirement for an observed urination into a plastic cup for drug analysis before getting a welfare check, or to qualify for or maintain a job at the local MacDonald’s, or to allow your child enrolment in the public schools? Would any of these convince you that our nation was in trouble? More and more companies are requiring pre-employment urine testing, and insisting upon random analyses during working hours. Not just bus drivers and policemen, but furniture salesmen and grocery store clerks. Some local school districts are requiring random urine tests on 7th graders, but as of the present time they are still requesting a parent’s permission. Recipients of public housing, of university loans, or of academic grants must give assurance that they will maintain a drug-free environment. Today, verbal assurance is acceptable, but what about tomorrow? What about the daily shaving of the head and body so that no hair sample can be seized to provide evidence against you of past drug-use? There are increasingly strong moves to seize and assay hair samples in connection with legitimate arrests, as a potential source of incriminating evidence of past illegal drug use. What if you had to make a formal request to the government, and get written permission, to take more than $300 out of the country for a week’s vacation in Holland? Or $200? There used to be no limit, then the limit dropped to the current level of $10,000, but this number will certainly continue to drop as legislation becomes more severe with regard to the laundering of drug money. 

A lot of what I have been talking about has to do with the “other guy,” not you. It is your drug-using neighbor who will have to live in fear, not you. It is easy to dismiss these invasions of personal rights when they don’t affect you directly. But let me ask you a not-quite-so-simple question, the answer to which is very important to you, indeed: where are your own personal limits? To what extent do you feel that it is justifiable for someone else to control your personal behaviour, if it contributes to the public’s benefit? Let me presume that the idea of urine tests for cocaine use is okay with you. You probably don’t use cocaine. Would you allow demands upon you for random urine tests for tobacco use? What about alcohol use? The use of coffee? To what extent would you allow the authorities into your private life? Let us presume that, having committed no crime, you would permit a policeman, who is visiting you officially, into your home without a warrant. But what about officials entering your home in your absence? Would you still proclaim, “I don’t mind; I’ve got nothing to hide!” I doubt that there are many of you who feel disturbed about the existence of a national computerized fingerprint file. But how about a national genetic marker file? What about police cards for domestic travel? How would you react to a law that says you must provide hair samples upon re-entering the country from abroad? How would you feel about the automatic opening and reading of first class mail? Any and all of these things could be rationalized as being effective tools in the war against drugs. Where would you personally draw the line? 

Each of us must carefully draw that line for himself or herself. It is an exquisitely personal decision, just where your stick is to enter the ground to mark that boundary. This far, and no further. There is a second and equally important decision to be made. Let’s ease into it by recapitulation. The first requirement is to establish a line, up to which you will allow the erosions of liberties and freedoms, all in the good cause of winning the drug war. The second requirement is to decide, ahead of time, exactly what you will do, if and when your personal line has been breached. The point at which you say, “This has gone too far. It is time for me to do such-and-such.” Decide what such-and-such really is. You must figure it out beforehand. And beware. It is so easy to say, “Well, my line has been exceeded, but everything else seems benign and non-threatening, so perhaps I will relocate my line from right here to over there.” This is the seductive rationalizing that cost millions of innocent people their lives under the Nazi occupation in Europe.

If you can move your line, then your line was not honestly positioned in the first place. Where is your line? And if your limits are exceeded, what will you do? Stay continuously aware of where things are, politically, and in what direction they seem to be heading. Think your plans out ahead of time, while doing everything in your power to prevent further dismantling of what rights and freedoms are left the citizens of your country. Do not give away your rights simply to make the police enforcement of criminal law easier. Yes, easier enforcement will catch more criminals, but it will become an increasing threat to you, as well. The policemen’s task should not be easy; the founders of this country made that clear. A policeman’s task is always difficult in a free country. A society of free people will always have crime, violence and social disruption. It will never be completely safe. The alternative is a police state. A police state can give you safe streets, but only at the price of your human spirit.

 

 

 

2C-B: Party Drug or Potent Medicine?

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2C-B image courtesy of erowid.org

When people suffer from depression or anxiety, doctors often prescribe anti-depressants such as Zoloft and Prozac, both of which practically guarantee a death sentence to the libido. Goodbye sex life, hello stability! Screw that – I’d  rather roll around in Saran wrap on hot coals. But what if there’s a drug that enables you to access the roots of those nagging problems with total awareness whilst tripping out with said libido fully intact? Enter 2C-B (4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine), not to be confused with 2C-D. Popular amongst psytrancers, 2C-B was first synthesized in 1974 by Alexander Shulgin, aka The Godfather of MDMA. In PIHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved), Shulgin gives a detailed description of how to synthesize the drug, its recommended dosage and effects.

Also known as Nexus and Bees, 2C-B was first used successfully in psychiatric therapy before it became known as a recreational drug.  Shulgin himself observed, “Many of the reports that have come in over the years have mentioned the combination of MDMA and 2C-B. The most successful reports have followed a program in which the two drugs are not used at the same time, nor even too closely spaced. It appears that the optimum time for the 2C-B is at, or just before, the final baseline recovery of the MDMA. It is as if the mental and emotional discoveries can be mobilized, and something done about them. This combination has several enthusiastic advocates in the psychotherapy world, and should be the basis of careful research when these materials become legal, and accepted by the medical community.” Unfortunately, 2C-B has been placed in Schedule III of the CDSA, which makes possession of this substance illegal. Prior to its placement in List I of the Opium Law, 2C-B was widely available at smartshops in the Netherlands as a legal substitute for Ecstasy. 

2C-B is widely distributed in gelcaps or pill form

At milder dosages (5-15 mg), 2C-B’s entactogenic properties become more pronounced. It’s no surprise then that it was once peddled as an aphrodisiac named Eros by Drittewelle, a German pharmaceutical company.  It seems the Germans are always onto something; heck, even MDMA was first discovered in Germany! Up the dosage to 25 mg and more, and shit starts to get intense. Light trails, candy coloured clouds, rippling bushes, an achingly deep affinity with nature and music manifesting itself visually are just some of the many wondrous effects one can expect from this dynamic drug. Commercially sold as a brownish white powder (usually in capsule form), 2C-B can either be ingested orally or insufflated. When swallowed, it takes much longer for the effects to be felt (1 – 2 hours from the moment of ingestion), but the trip lasts significantly longer (4 – 8 hours). This is best done on an empty stomach, as 2C-B can induce nausea. Insufflation produces rapid results, usually within a matter of minutes, but your nose will pay a painful price for5 minutes or more while you wonder, “WHAT THA FUCK HAVE I DONE TO MY FREAKIN NOSE!!! AAARRRGGGHH!!!” However, the onset is intense but the ride will be much shorter. It is really a matter of individual preference coupled with how much mileage the user wants to get out of the experience, that determines the method of absorption. 

What’s truly unique about 2C-B is that it combines the psychedelic properties of LSD with a hint of MDMA’s warm glow, while eschewing the sometimes unpleasant side effects one usually experiences with LSD. When used correctly, it allows one to remain in a lucid frame of mind, observing thought processes in minute detail with the understanding that the Self is separate from one’s thoughts. For this reason, 2C-B has the potential to help the user to address repressed emotional issues, release negative thought patterns and experience one’s connection with other sentient beings, namely plants and animals. If done at a party, expect some far out visuals and hours of transcendent hula-hooping or contact improv if that’s your  kind of scene. Do it outdoors and you might find yourself skulking and snarling in the underbrush as you become one with your totem animal. Nevermind that badass raccoon that looks like it’s about to fly right off the frickin tree and make a beeline for your face – you’re in your element! Suddenly, you know beyond a doubt that wild animals hate cars – I mean, really fucking hate ’em.

Ultimately, 2C-B can empower you to make brave decisions you wouldn’t normally do, like ditching a co-dependent relationship you’ve been dying to end but didn’t know how to. Or chucking your worn out shoes in the garbage and going home barefoot. Or pissing on whitey’s lawn. Be forewarned: 2C-B  is a very powerful psychotropic substance, best used on its own. DO NOT COMBINE with marijuana or alcohol. Overdose and you may find yourself bawling in the psychiatric ward as it can seriously skewer your perception of reality before you even come back to Square 1. Respect for this powerful medicine as a shamanic intermediary is key to having a positive experience. Many may find it helpful to have a sober, trustworthy person present to act as a guide in case things get dicey. A more equipoised individual might choose to dose privately in a natural environment with few distractions. The majority seem to prefer taking it at parties, so the effects of blacklight visuals and music is intensified, but this is drastically different compared to dosing in the woods for example. Setting is of utmost importance when using 2C-B as it can have a profound effect on what the user gets out of it. For a more introspective experience, it is best taken outdoors. Effects may include: 

  • Nausea
  • Anxiety attacks (which subside when addressed rationally).
  • Headaches
  • Feelings of isolation / introversion.
  • Greater insight into the roots of one’s problems.
  • Improved sense of well being and confidence.
  • Acute observation of one’s environment in minutiae (similar to LSD).
  • Colours become noticeably vibrant and dynamic.
  • The ability to perceive auras (coloured vapours around people and flowers).
  • Kinship with nature.
  • Subsequent rejection of materialistic societal values.
  • Recognition of one’s power animal and the ability to see what that animal sees.
  • Intense hunger (when coming down).
  • Reluctance to leave the vicinity (hence it is advisable to let someone you trust know you’ll be tripping out!).

So far, no fatalities have been reported from taking 2C-B. However, if you have a history of mental illness / psychosis, you definitely should not take this drug. Too often, people approach these substances with a trivial attitude, thinking it’s all fun and recreation, but 2C-B has the potential to give you a serious reality check.  A resounding bitchslap to the ol’ noggin. This is not something you want authorities to be aware of if you should end up screaming your head off at a busy junction because you took twice the recommended dosage despite warnings from your friends. Respect 2C-B for its medicinal properties, and you may gain remarkable insight into what makes you tick.

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

 

B.C. Doctor Admits Pure Ecstasy can be Safe for Adults

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http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/06/14/bc-ecstasy-adults-safe-health.html

(Please refer to link for news article. Source: CBC News)

Back in February, I blogged about the so called Ecstasy deaths in Calgary and how the culprit was not Ecstasy but PMMA, a dangerous compound which mimics some of MDMA’s effects. Last week, Dr. Perry Kendall, health officer of British Columbia made headlines when he admitted that pure Ecstasy can be safely consumed by adults in a clinical setting, though he does not condone recreational use. Initially, there appeared to be some confusion as to whether Dr. Kendall was calling for the legalization of Ecstasy, which he denied. He later clarified his position, stating that he believes if MDMA is ever legalized, it should be regulated and sold through government run outlets. “(If) you knew what a safe dosage was, you might be able to buy ecstasy like you could buy alcohol from a government-regulated store,” Kendall said in an interview. “We accept the fact that alcohol, which is inherently dangerous, is a product over a certain age that anybody can access. “So I don’t think the issue is a technical one of how we would manage that. The issue is a political, perceptual one.”   

Even while the RCMP are adamant that Ecstasy is dangerous, Dr. Kendall asserts that the problem arises when Ecstasy is mixed with other dangerous compounds and sold on the black market with no quality control standards. “Unless you are getting it from a psychiatrist in a legitimate clinical trial, at the present time you can’t guarantee what’s in it, how much of it there is, or its safety, so I would say as we have said in the past — don’t take it,” Kendall told CBC News. The good doctor, along with other medical practitioners even compared the tainted Ecstasy dilemma to alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s. “Methyl alcohol led to huge rates of morbidity and mortality in the United States under alcohol prohibition because of illicit alcohol manufacturing,” said Dr. Evan Wood, a lead researcher at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and internationally-recognized expert in drug addiction and related policies.

“PMMA is a natural and expected consequence of the prohibition on ecstasy.” No kidding. If health care professionals admit that MDMA is safe when administered in the correct dosage in clinical settings, why won’t the government legalize it, at least for psychiatric use? They are certainly not the first to put forward these astute observations. The Shulgins, Leo Zeff and other well respected psychiatrists have used MDMA in therapeutic sessions with numerous patients from the 1970’s up until it was criminalized. Several reports have been published about the benefits of Ecstasy in helping people to overcome emotional blockages that conventional therapy was unable to accomplish. In spite of the aforementioned personalities’ valiant efforts to keep MDMA legal, the DEA placed it in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act in 1985.

So what it boils down to is this: a relatively harmless drug that promotes togetherness and peaceful behaviour is criminalized. In the meantime, alcohol, which makes wretched assholes out of its abusers, encourages violent and reckless behaviour and claims millions of lives worldwide is perfectly legal. Something is definitely amiss. So much that the Canadian government is contemplating suing the tobacco industry for billions of dollars in healthcare costs.  Doesn’t that indicate that they know this shit is lethal? Why won’t they place alcohol and tobacco in Schedule 1 then? As the saying goes, money talks and the bullshit tangos all over the gotdamn place. Kudos to Dr. Perry Kendall (and his colleagues) for having the guts to speak out on the demonization of MDMA. He presents an unbiased perspective on its usage and effects; something the establishment doesn’t want to hear, no doubt. I strongly recommend you watch the video of his press conference, where he brilliantly defends his position whilst shredding commonly held misconceptions about MDMA. Let’s hope that one day, good sense will prevail and Ecstasy be given the respect that it deserves. 

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

Amsterdam Coffee Shops Fight Gov’t Policy

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Last year, I heard whispers about the Dutch government’s plans to ban foreigners from coffee shops, thereby restricting access to Dutch citizens with memberships known as “weed passes.” Months later, those dreadful snippets of hearsay turned out to be true. Fret not – the Dutch got bollocks. Café owners ain’t taking this lying down. Lawyers acting on their behalf are attempting to derail government policy before it takes full effect. And rightly so. Coffee shops were the number one reason I chose to visit Amsterdam. See, I just had to confirm whether all those fantastic rumours I’d been hearing were true. Tales of weed menus and prostitutes in display windows peaked my curiosity no end. Let’s just say my life was never quite the same after a trip to The Magic Mushroom Gallery…however, the coffee shops proved to be fantastic places where one could relax, unwind, and toke in peace without fear of harrasment by authorities. The level of professionalism and customer service was second to none. Needless to say, I was completely bowled over by the experience, not to mention the varieties of salad on the menu. ..

            Holland’s civilized approach to psychoactives is light years ahead of many other countries, including North America. But now that forward thinking, gloriously liberal reputation is in danger of being greatly diminished. These restrictions will not improve health and safety, as the Dutch government claim. In fact, it may do the very opposite. According to Lucy Miller at http://news.nuggetry.com:

Many coffeeshops in Amsterdam rely on tourists to keep their businesses alive, and would likely have to shut their doors should the Weed Pass program take effect in the city.  Studies completed in response to the introduction of the Weed Pass program indicate that it will lead to an increase of black market drug deals and an increase of crime, which is why the Netherlands’ drug tolerance policy was initially put into place in the 1970s.  

            So the Anti-Fun Brigade is not simply satisfied with screwing up responsible drug culture, it seems they’re hellbent on destroying the economy and pushing the Netherlands back into the Dark Ages. Much like a hare-brained idiot’s pistol going off under a pillow, this moronicism will ultimately come back to haunt them. How ironic then, that the Dutch government collapsed last weekend over failure to agree on a budget plan that would have introduced austerity measures.

            History textbooks clearly demonstrate that escapism increases during times of recession, so it makes more sense to maintain safe outlets for peeps of every nationality to get high, not ban them. The Metro stated, “The move comes into force in the south of the country May 1 and is scheduled to roll out nationwide on Jan. 1, 2013.” That being said, there’s still time for the opposition to gain momentum and for sub-culture aficionados to experience the unique joys of coffee shops before exclusionist policies take hold. Looks like it’s high time for another visit to Amsterdam folks!

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author

 

 

The Shulgins:Psychoactive Pioneers

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The Shulgins and their Alchemical Angels by Alex Grey

For Valentine’s Day, I decided to focus on something far more substantial than chocolate covered marshmallow hearts and cheap thongs that lodge themselves in my asscrack, courtesy of an overenthusiastic lover with an embroidered lace fixation. Let’s talk about love shall we? In my opinion, Sasha and Ann Shulgin are one of the finest examples of this underrated adjective, considering that they’ve been together for over 30 years. While the majority of marriages in the Western world continue to implode at an alarming rate, the Shulgins’ have withstood the test of time. Is there a valuable lesson we can learn from these psychedelic sweethearts? Perhaps they are onto something that most of us remain clueless about…

Let’s take a closer look at these Venerable Valentines and their labour of love for psychoactives that has brought them together, and, one might add, kept them together through many years of ups and downs.

Alexander Shulgin (or Sasha as he is affectionately known) is an American pharmacologist and author of Russian descent. This champion of subversive psychoactivism is popularly referred to as the “Godfather of MDMA.”  Born June 17th 1925, he is credited with re-synthesizing the drug after a lengthy period of obscurity since its initial discovery in 1912.  Though he never intended for MDMA to become a party drug, he has accepted its popularity from a social standpoint, and even attended a rave once. Sasha’s love affair with psychedelics began when he tried mescaline for the first time. It blew his mind. The experience triggered a lifelong exploration and categorization of mind altering substances that would come to define his legacy:

 “I first explored mescaline in the late ’50s. “Three-hundred-fifty to 400 milligrams. I learned there was a great deal inside me.” – L.A. Times 1995

After earning a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1955, Shulgin went to work at Dow Chemical Company as a senior research chemist.  With the successful development of Zectran, the first biodegradable (and highly profitable) pesticide, Shulgin was granted carte blanche by the company and his own lab – wonderful assets for any aspiring chemist. Dow hoped that their brilliant apothecarist would continue to create compounds that would line the pockets of their investors. Instead, Alexander came up with increasing numbers of patents for psychoactives, which was far from what Dow Chemical had originally intended.

Ever the sharpminded tack, Sasha quit while he was ahead, and carried on synthesizing psychedelics in a makeshift lab he’d constructed in a shed behind his house (the nerve!). During the mid 1960’s, Sasha became a private consultant and lectured at local universities and the San Francisco General Hospital.  He even worked with the DEA as an expert on controlled substances, which led to him testifying in court cases for both the prosecution and the defence as an authority on the subject matter. Ironically, the DEA raided his lab in 1994 and fined him $25,000 for violation of his Schedule 1 license, though no illegal substances were ever found in his possession, even during subsequent raids.

What really got the DEA’s panties in a knot was the publication of “PIHKAL: A Love Story” which Sasha co-authored with his wife Ann, in 1991. If you look closely at the tripped out illustration at the beginning of this article, you will see PIHKAL and TIHKAL disguised in the winged eyes above the Shulgins’ heads. PIHKAL is an acronym for Phenythlamines I  Have Known And Loved. A quick perusal through this fantastic tome revealed 179 recipes for synthesizing a variety of psychoactives, including  2C-B, 2C-T-2 and MDMA, plus meticulously detailed accounts of their effects, chemical structures and recommended dosage. Obviously, the DEA was not thrilled by the prospect of a publicly accessible “cookbook on drugs,” though realistically speaking, amateurs would not have access to the kind of equipment required to produce these superduper compounds. TIHKAL (Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved) soon followed suit, which featured tryptamines such as DMT and psilocybin and instructions for cooking up 55 psychedelic recipes, many of which Shulgin had discovered himself. Now why would such a lovely, middle aged couple put themselves at risk from incurring the wrath of Uncle Sam? The Shulgins are motivated not by profit margins, but by a desire to ensure that information about psychoactives remain in the hands of the public. They truly believe in the power of these substances, as tools of self-exploration and a potential salve for the psyche, when used under the right circumstances and within appropriate settings. Which brings us to Sasha’s lifelong partner in psychedelic aviation, Ann Shulgin. 

Born March 22nd 1931, Ann worked as a lay therapist using MDMA and 2C-B to facilitate sessions involving married couples, when these substances were still legal. Ann met Alexander in Berkeley in 1979. Needless to say, these kindred spirits fell deeply in love and married in Sasha’s backyard in 1981. So you could say the Shulgins were into eco-marriage before it became fashionable. Together they came up with “The Shulgin Scale,” a unique rating system for the effects of various psychoactives, which they tested out on themselves and a select group of friends in the 60’s and 70’s. Ann has spoken at numerous conventions, contributed to other publications and has travelled around the globe with her husband as an expert on the use of psychedelics in therapy. She is a staunch supporter of her husband’s work and believes MDMA should never have beeen criminalized:

“MDMA is an insight drug,” she says with a determined passion. “It helps you open doors to yourself. You can see yourself for what you are. You can feel a compassion for who you are.” – Time Out, March 2002

It is evident that these two brave souls were united for a higher purpose; to serve humanity in truth and light, and to encourage a greater awareness of the redemptive qualities of psychoactives, contrary to what the government would have us believe. Such remarkable acts of selflessness have come at a rather high cost. The Shulgins are not sitting on a pile of cash, happily retired, as many would like to believe. They have recently fallen on difficult times. In 2010, Sasha suffered a stroke and subsequently developed an ulcer on his leg, which almost led to amputation. They do not have life insurance, and their small pension cannot cover the medical bills which have piled up as a result. Incredibly, the Shulgins are still alive and very much in love. Their amazing longevity defies the popular belief that doing drugs will send you to an early grave. Collectively speaking, Ann and Sasha have done hundreds of drugs, yet they are still alive. What gives? It is obvious to anyone with half a brain that all drugs are not created equal. Some are good, some are bad. The Shulgins were smart enough to distinguish between the former and the latter, so now they are a living testament to this rather intriguing anomaly. They are shining examples of subversive defiance towards state endorsed mind control propaganda. What the world needs is love – and more psychoactivists like these seasoned Old World Warriors.

Despite ongoing hardships, Ann has stood by Sasha’s side, even as he continues to battle health problems and dementia. At 80 years of age, she is taxed physically and emotionally, yet remains optimistic about life and her husband’s condition. In an open letter that courageously addresses their challenging situation, Ann stated: 

I am still a believer in Sasha, because the essential man is still — dementia or not — the person he always was: loyal and loving and tremendously life-affirming and funny as hell.  He still makes good jokes (and lousy ones), and he loves me the way I always wanted to be loved.  He wasn’t clever about money, but what he did care about was — and still is — chemistry, and the fabulous things you  can discover in the world of molecules, and how deeply satisfying it is to send what you know out to the world in the form of books, and how moving it is to hear from hundreds and hundreds of people in all the countries of the world (except Antarctica) writing to tell you how you saved their lives, or marriages, or sanity.  Sasha was, and is, a truly good man, a nice and kind man, and he deserves the best we can give him at the end of his life.  He has a dark side, but I’ve been able to live with it without any regrets, as he seems to have been able to live with my dark side without more than an occasional shrug.  His I.Q. was equal to Einstein’s, but he’s been a much sweeter person than Einstein ever was.  And, unlike most of the extremely high I.Q. people in this world, Sasha never had the slightest touch of malice or cruelty. He’s been a good man to know and love. 

Now that, to me, is what true love’s all about. Think of it as an equation if you will: 

ANN + ALEXANDER = LOVE PERSONIFIED

* Note: The Shulgins’ remarkable accomplishments are too numerous to be included in this blogpost. I strongly recommend that you do further research  if you are interested. There is a wealth of information on this dynamic duo, including literature, fascinating clips on youtube, and a documentary called “Dirty Pictures.”

Here is a link to a fantastic website devoted entirely to the Shulgins:

http://www.mdma.net/alexander-shulgin/shulgins.html

To find out more about how you can help the Shulgins cover Sasha’s medical expenses visit:

 http://www.shulginresearch.org/home/topics/caringbridge/

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.