Cocaine is popular and frog poison can wreck you: This is your news on drugs

Cocaine is popular and frog poison can wreck you: This is your news on drugs

VicesApril 06, 2018 By Reilly Capps

Too lifted to read the news about drugs? Every week, we recap the most interesting news in the world of intoxicants, illegal or not. To inform, to liberate.

1. Cocaine use is up, as America is "experiencing the highest cocaine supply and usage levels in a decade," according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. More coca grown in Colombia was credited.

2. Frog poison did in a dude in Orlando, Florida. At an ayahuasca church called Soul Quest, which defied DEA orders to shut down, a 22-year-old did a kambo ceremony, which is frog venom rubbed into your skin, and started convulsing on the ground. He's now on life support, and isn't expected to make it.

3. Psychedelics roll in the dough, as research group MAPS raised $8 million in eight weeks, thanks to a cryptocurrency philanthropist — interviewed here — who dropped bags of digital money all over a bunch of drug nonprofits. MAPS says it's now just $500,000 short of what it needs to complete its trial to make MDMA — ecstasy, molly — a legal medicine.

4. High-class highs coming to Fifth Avenue, as a shmantzy marijuana dispensary plans to open in Manhattan. (Remember, you dirty, natural, outdoorsy Coloradans: we had it here first.)

5. Weed sales might surpass soda by 2030, Bloomberg says.

6. Drug testing spreads in Britain, as the Loop, a nonprofit, vows to bring test kits to city centers across that country.

7. You could save a life, as the U.S. surgeon general wants you — yes, you! — to carry narcan, the antidote to an opioid overdose.

8. Suicidal people should get ketamine if they show up in emergency rooms, a doctor suggested, since "within a day, about 55 percent of individuals who received ketamine no longer had suicidal ideations."

9. There will be a memorial to the opioid epidemic, a wall covered in 20,000 white “pills,” each with a face, representing deaths from prescribed opioids every year.

10. Dealers increasingly doing time for overdoses, as cops and lawyers are spreading the blame around for overdoses; more heroin dealers seem to be facing charges of murder when their clients kick the bucket. The authorities are charging the dealers with murder even though the person took the drug voluntarily. They're charging them even when the person who gave it to them was a loved one. This is happening both here and in England.

[Cover photo: drying of coca leaves in Cruz Loma village near Coroico, Bolivia. Photo by Matyas Rehak, from Shutterstock.]