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Magic Mushroom Users Turn to Exotic Alternatives to Get High (UK)

By BlueMystic, May 30, 2006 | Updated: Jun 3, 2006 | | |
Rating:
4/5,
  1. BlueMystic
    MAGIC MUSHROOM USERS TURN TO EXOTIC ALTERNATIVES TO GET HIGH WITHOUT BREAKING LAW
    Author: Terry Kirby, Chief Reporter
    Independent (UK)
    Tue, 30 May 2006

    They have exotic names like Funk Pills, Amsterdam Gold, Kratom Leaf and Ayahuasca Sacrament and promise effects which range from the mildly euphoric to "ecstasy-style" energy rushes and hallucinogenic experiences.

    But these are not drugs where you have to break the law to sell, buy or consume them - they are all completely legal. Dozens of new and ancient types of "legal highs" - derived from herbs, plants and cacti from South America and Asia and synthetic stimulants from New Zealand - - are available. They can be bought, often at low prices, from internet-based companies and an increasing number of high-street "head" shops.

    Ironically, the trade has been stimulated by the Government's decision last year to ban "magic mushrooms", which contain the hallucinogenic psilocin, which had been sold openly through the internet and in places such as Camden market in north London. The ban left a gap in the market, with consumers and vendors looking for new products.

    Mark Evans, one of the leading mail order operations, said the increase in trade since last year had been "massive". He added: "There is a huge gap in the market. These consumers are not going to disappear, they are just looking for alternatives." Mr Evans, whose company also sells cannabis seeds for growing, said there had been a change in the culture of people who consumed recreational drugs. "We do a lot of festivals and speak to people who say they are fed up with dealers and taking drugs - like ecstasy - where they cannot always be confident that they know what is in the pill. People want something which will not poison them and they [want to] know what they are buying."

    Although many of the organic-based legal highs have, it is claimed, been used in primitive communities for millennia, the current biggest seller, Funk Pills, have only been in existence for a few years. Sales have rocketed in the past six months. Selling for between UKP 5 and UKP 7, they come from New Zealand, where they are made by companies licensed by the government there, after it decided that they were a less-harmful substitute for illegal drugs such as methamphetamine.

    Also known as pep pills, they contain the stimulant benzylpiperazine - - banned in the US, Denmark and Australia - with other chemicals from the piperazine family, which are also used to create Viagra.

    According to DrugScope, the independent advice body, while some users are keen on the pills, attributing genuine ecstasy-style effects, others are more sceptical. The pills come with warnings about dosage, driving or using machinery, and side effects can include those normally associated with ecstasy or amphetamines, such as dehydration, anxiety and insomnia.

    Another big seller is the Spice Smoking Blend, a new version of the herbal mixes which are traditional legal alternatives to cannabis. "Herbal substitutes were always a bit of a joke, but many people say these are the closest thing to marijuana yet," said Mr Evans.

    Mr Bovey said consumers broadly divided into two groups - older "hippie" types, used to smoking cannabis and younger buyers seeking to replicate the "E" experience. Instances of addiction, abuse or harmful effects were almost non-existent. The Home Office said there was no reason to examine the legal status of any of the substances on the market.

    Nevertheless, DrugScope issued advice to students in London earlier this year, cautioning that any drug which has a psychological effect can prove difficult to stop if used regularly. It added: "Proper controlled research is sparse, and therefore side effects and possible dangers when taken with other drugs and even foods is not known."

    Harry Shapiro, a spokesman for DrugScope, added: "People with mental health problems should not take them. If you are going to experiment, do so in a safe and secure environment."

    HERBAL PLEASURES

    * PEP PILLS: Marketed as Funk Pills or Party Pills and made from a chemical derived from the pepper plant (we all know what this is). Developed as a worming treatment for cattle. Replicates the rush of ecstasy, but users should be careful of overdosing.

    * AMANITA MUSCARIA ( FLY AGARIC ): Red-capped, white-spotted mushroomlong known for its psychoactive effects. Not covered by the Government's ban on "magic mushrooms" since it does not contain psilocin. Users should start with low doses.

    * KRATOM LEAF ( above ): Leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree of Malaysia and Thailand. Described by PotSeeds as "one of the most effective and pleasurable psychoactive herbs". Said to cause a dreamy sensation. Can be addictive.

    * SALVIA DIVINORUM: Herb that can create an intense high lasting less than an hour. Not recommended as a recreational drug.

    * AYAHUASCA SACRAMENT: A shamanic plant potion, it can induce vomiting before narcotic effects begin. Should not be mixed with with antidepressant drugs.

    Printed in the Belfast Telegraph (Northern Ireland) as well: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/story.jsp?story=693203

Comments

  1. Alicia
    Who else can see the echo with what happened to shroom users in the uk, only with guess what some new adaptions , swim likes the decription to Ayahuasca apparently its a narcotic now.
  2. enquirewithin
    Do we? Piperazines did not come form the pepper plant.
  3. Alfa
    The piperazine products sold by Marc Evans do NOT list which piperazines are in them.
  4. Abrad
    Hopefully this doesn't mark the start of a flood of articles on headshops. If so I can definetely see some products getting banned.
  5. turkeyphant
    And even fewer actually give the quantities or ratios.
  6. Lunar Loops
    Gráinne Kenny saddled her headshop hunting horse some time ago and is as we speak looking for new recruits to her lynch mob....ignorant campaigner badgers ignorant press who write ignorant articles which are read by ignorant people resulting in an ignorant outcry and an ignorant piece of knee-jerk legislation by ignorant politicians. Here's hoping the press get bored with this.
  7. mopsie
    Funk Pills: Getting On A 'legal High'

    No Longer All That Ecstatic Over Ecstasy, Britons Are Showing A Growing Interest in Alternatives to Hard Drugs

    They have exotic names like Amsterdam Gold, Funk Pills and Ayahuasca Sacrament, and promise a spectrum of effects that range from the mildly euphoric to "ecstasy-style" energy rushes and the full-on hallucinogenic experience.

    But these are not drugs where Britons have to break the law to sell, buy or consume them - they are all completely legal.

    Dozens of both new and ancient types of "legal highs" derived from herbs, plants and cacti from South America and Asia, and synthetic stimulants from New Zealand, are now available at often low prices from Internet-based companies and an increasing number of "head" shops around Britain.

    Ironically, the trade has been stimulated by the British government's decision last year to ban so-called "magic mushrooms," containing the hallucinogenic psilocin, which had been sold openly through the Internet and places like Camden Market in north London.

    The ban left a gap in the market, with both consumers and vendors looking for new products.

    Mark Evans, of everyonedoesit.com, one of the leading Internet-based mail order operations, said the increase in trade since last year had been "massive."

    He added: "There is a huge gap in the market. These consumers are not going to disappear, they are just looking for alternatives."

    Evans, whose company also sells cannabis seeds for growing, said there had been a change in the culture of people who consumed recreational drugs.

    "We do a lot of festivals and speak to people who say they are fed up with dealers and taking drugs - like ecstasy - where they cannot always be confident that they know what is in the pill. People want something, which will not poison them and they know what they are buying."

    Although many of the organic-based legal highs are, it is claimed, ones used by primitive communities for millennia, the biggest seller, Funk Pills with names like Flying Angel and Silver Bullet, have been in existence only for a few years; and sales have rocketed in the past six months.

    The Funk Pills, which sell for between $Cdn and $, come from New Zealand. They are made by companies licensed by the government there, after it decided that they were a less harmful substitute for illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine.

    It created a new category in its drug laws to cover "non-traditional designer substances."

    Also known as ..... pills, they contain the stimulant benzylpiperazine ( BZP ), which is banned in the United States, Denmark and Australia, together with other chemicals from the piperazine family, which are also used to create Viagra, although they have no effect on sexual performance.

    According to DrugScope, the independent advice body, while some users are keen on the pills, attributing genuine ecstasy style effects, others are more skeptical.

    The pills do come with warnings about dosage levels, driving or using machinery. Side effects can include those normally found with ecstasy or amphetamine use, such as dehydration, anxiety and insomnia.

    Other big sellers are Spice Smoking Blends, a new version of the herbal mixes, which have been around for many years, as legal alternatives to cannabis.

    "Herbal substitutes were always a bit of a joke, but many people say these are the closest thing to marijuana yet," Evans said.

    At the other end of the scale from Funk Pills are the $ peyote cacti. They contain the hallucinogenic mescaline and have a similar effect to LSD. It was the drug used by writer Aldous Huxley before he wrote The Doors of Perception, which influenced the growth in use of mind-altering drugs in the 1960s.

    Native American tribes have used it for centuries, as a shamanic plant that can create visions of an alternate world.

    "It is selling very well at the moment, a lot more in demand since the mushroom ban," said Chris Bovey, who runs a mail business firm in the south of England.

    As well as the traditional herbal mixes, both companies sell products like Salvia, a relative of sage, which provides a short, sharp "hit" of only a few minutes; and Kratom, a leaf from south-east Asia used as an opium substitute.

    More esoteric substances are Hawaiian Baby Woodrose Seeds, said to be more powerful than LSD. And there's the powdered Banisteriopsis caapi vine, the main ingredient in Ayahuasca or Yage. It's a sacred and ancient South American medicine said to have visionary qualities and "bought directly from Natives in the Amazon jungle under fair trade policies." It costs about $ for 50 grams.

    Bovey said consumers are broadly divided into two groups - older "hippie" types, used to smoking cannabis who were comfortable with smoking or ingesting exotic plants; and younger buyers seeking to replicate the "E" experience.

    He said there were some things he would never sell, such as Datura, or Thorn-Apple, both a poison and hallucinogenic, linked with several deaths in the United States, where it is a common plant.

    Despite all the exotic experiences attributed to the various substances, instances of addiction, abuse or harmful affects are almost non-existent.

    Britain's Home Office said yesterday that there was no present reason for the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to examine the legal status of any of the substances on the market.

    Nevertheless, DrugScope issued advice to students in London earlier this year cautioning that any drug that has a psychological effect can prove difficult to stop if used regularly.

    It added: "In general, very little is known about these substances. Proper controlled research is sparse, and therefore side effects and possible dangers when taken with other drugs, and even foods, is not known."

    Harry Shapiro, a spokesman for DrugScope, added: "The only real warning we would give is the same as that we offer to consumers of illegal drugs ... that people with mental health problems should not take them. That if you are anxious, worried or depressed, they may only make your condition worse, and that if you are going to experiment, do so in a safe and secure environment."

    Pubdate: Tue, 30 May 2006
    Source: Hamilton Spectator


    source mapt usa
  8. Abrad
    Yet another article about headshops and their piperizine pills. The beginning of the end?
  9. Alicia
    Well there gradually learning.
  10. Alfa
    Which newspaper was this in? It says mapt USA, but that is the news email service, not the newspaper. And what date?
  11. Abrad
    Did anyone see the the item on BBC News last night? It had an interview with one of the owners of the company making the "Funk" range of piperizine products as well as a video diary of some guy on PEP pills. The media are definetely getting in on this story now.
  12. turkeyphant
    Just shows once again that criminalisation does not work. People demand and the supply is created. I don't care what the media thinks about piperazines - they deserve some scrutiny and will probably survive as the government don't actually care.

    What bothers me is that since mushrooms were outlawed people are looking toward synthetic drugs such as phenethlyamines and tryptamines. Unfortunately, people are ordering these things off the internet with little or no knowledge and no incentive to research chemicals that have little history of human use. This will inevitably draw unwanted attention to chemicals with legitimate research uses.
  13. Abrad
    Here is the BBC news item from last night.
  14. Alfa
    Now the shit has hit the fan big time. I expect a lot of camera's to arrive in the Headshops in the coming weeks. Now it will be front page news. How long will it take before the Irish media will catch on?
  15. Lunar Loops
    Oh dear god, here we go again. It's like mushrooms all over again. How long before we get this sort of coverage here in Ireland? Our justice minister certainly won't be slow in banning anything he can (of course he has other problems of his own at the moment, but for how long?).

    Why would anyone who enjoys using 'legal highs' agree to appear on national TV news? Is it not obvious that this item is going to be negative in its' portrayal?

    Don't know whether I'm sad or angry really or just plain tired and emotional, ahh well I could always hit the auld bottle....the perfectly acceptable way to go....aaaaaaarrrrggggghhhhh.
  16. Alfa
    The board of the Ricoh Arena, Coventry has decided to cancel the UK Hemp Expo after the publicity about certain legal highs.
    The board was specificly unhappy with the attendence of an unnamed company.

    My guess is that this relates to the company which was the center of the media attention.
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