Grandma drug smuggler and WTF is Monkey Dust?: This is Your News on Drugs
Here's your news from this week on drugs, so, pro or con, you can navigate this druggy world.
1. The overdose deaths pile up mountain-high, as the government estimated a record 72,000 Americans OD'd in 2017. It's mostly opioids, but don't underestimate the roles of meth and alcohol. It's so deadly it's almost hard to wrap your head around, like some war between two African kingdoms in the 14th Century or malaria deaths in South America. But it's in every city in America.
2. The Buddha trips balls, as more Buddhist meditation teachers are incorporating psychedelics into their teachings, says the magazine Lion's Roar. In the Sixties, LSD and mushrooms pushed a whole herd of Boomers toward Eastern religions. Today, as psychedelics return to mainstream cultures, Eastern religions are accepting psychedelics back in. There's at least one podcast on the topic, Meditating on Psychedelics. And, the meditation circle won't notice if you're on 50 mics of LSD.
3. Narco-granny gets busted, as an 81-year-old American women stuffed 92 pounds of heroin into her bumper and drove across the U.S.-Mexico border. A drug dog sniffed her out. In a related story we somehow missed, a dude was arrested for sewing liquid heroin into the bellies of puppies and smuggling the pups. Yikes.
4. "Monkey dust" is the latest drug to make the bad part of the newspaper. The BBC said monkey dust "makes people jump off buildings," as well as bite people, and Sky News said it gives dudes "Hulk-like strength." In fact, monkey dust is the same class of drugs as "bath salts" and "plant food," synthetic cathinones, drugs that can feel so similar to molly that users at festivals can't tell the difference. On bath salts, have some faces been eaten? Maybe. Maybe not. But how much can you blame the drug?
Here's a video:
INTERNATIONAL DRUG NEWS
5. Mexican cops found 50 tons of meth in an underground drug lab. Fifty freaking tons. Sincle legalization, cartels are missing out on marijuana revenue, so they're diversifying their portfolios into other drugs, and meth is cheap and addictive and compact. Video:
6. Times are tough in the Philippines, as Filipino drug forces are arresting "drug users" who are actually cancer patients, confused by their emaciated bodies. A 35-year-old chemo patient died in jail after being mistaken for a fiend. The police say they've killed 4,500 alleged drug users and dealers, although activists say the number is closer to 12,000. All since Duterte took office two years ago and decided that the national scapegoat was folks who get high.
7. In Africa, dudes love chewing this plant called khat, a speedy relative of coffee. But wives in Somalia say khat induces violence, and their heartless khatted-up husbands beat them. And the government in Kenya says khat is such a poison it should be allowed. Kenyan khat farmers protested.
8. Kava drives trade and opportunity. The South Pacific plant is brewed into a tea that chills you out. (It's like a reverse coffee, and illicit in the U.S.) Demand is taking root around the world, and South Pacific farmers in Fiji and Papua New Guinea are teaming up with traders to supply it.
9. And even though drugs aren't all bad, here's your weekly reminder that this shit can go wrong: a story of a kid who took acid and had to be taken away in an ambulance. Good mindset, comfortable location, clean drugs and good companions — these are the keys to a good trip.
10. And, finally, a ballsy New Yorker weighs out an eighth on the trunk of a cop car. Video: