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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Rare 'hippy' drug seized by police in raid on city shop

    POLICE have seized tens of thousands of pounds' worth of a rare "hippy" drug following a raid on a city shop.

    The powerful hallucinogenic mescaline – relatively unheard of in recent years – was allegedly discovered on sale at the Apothecary store on Clerk Street in Newington.

    The class A drug, which is derived from cactus plants, was made famous by the "Gonzo" writer Hunter S Thompson and Aldous Huxley, who both wrote works while under its influence. But it has all about disappeared in the UK, with experts estimating only a few hundred users remain.

    The confiscation this week followed a joint operation between police and the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, with 3.5kg of mescaline, worth an estimated £35,000, taken away for analysis.

    A 31-year-old man and 27-year-old woman appeared in court yesterday on drugs charges. They made no plea and were released on bail.

    It is not known whether it was the first time that mescaline had been seized in the Capital.

    A police spokeswoman said: "We are committed to removing drugs from our communities and we are continuing to target organised crime and bring those responsible to justice. We encourage any members of the public to tell us about suspicious activity in their neighbourhood immediately."

    Mescaline produces vivid psychedelic hallucinations for up to 12 hours after ingestion, but can cause dizziness, vomiting and, in some cases, psychotic reactions.

    Popular in California in the 1960s among the hippy community, mescaline is so rare that both the Home Office and Lothian and Borders Police have no separate category to record any seizures.

    A spokeswoman for the Scottish Drugs Forum said: "Mescaline is a hallucinogenic drug, similar to LSD and magic mushrooms. It is expensive to produce illegally and is not often available in the UK."

    Steve Rolles, the head of research at drug policy foundation Transform, added: "It is possible to extract the drug from cactuses legally sold in garden centres in the UK, but it involves a lot of effort. They have to be boiled and then you are left with a very unpleasant green sludge to take.

    "Because of this difficulty, and the fact that similar drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms are available, mescaline has never really had a place on the drugs scene. Its availability is almost non-existent, which is why I'm surprised a relatively large amount has shown up in Edinburgh.

    "The plant itself is not illegal but the powder form is. The law is quite ambiguous so the legality can depend on how much it has been prepared for sale."

    Mr Rolles said the number of mescaline users in the UK would "probably only run into the hundreds". He added: "The only demand for mescaline you might see is among 'psychonauts' – a group interested in exotic psychedelic drugs.

    "Using mescaline is not addictive and the risk of overdose is marginal, but there can be the danger of psychotic episodes."

    When the Evening News contacted Apothecary, a man describing himself as "a friend of the shop" said no-one involved with the business wished to comment.

    MESCALINE has been used for more than 3,000 years by Native Americans, who often ingest the drug as part of religious rites.

    It occurs naturally in members of the cactus family in South America.

    Author Aldous Huxley took mescaline in 1953 and wrote a book about his experiences, The Doors of Perception, which inspired the name of the 1960s band The Doors.

    Many art experts believe mescaline may also have played a part in the development of the Cubist school of abstract art.

    Journalist Hunter S Thompson, recounted his use of mescaline in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which details his hallucinogenic adventures. He was played by Johnny Depp, right, in a film of the book.

    Published Date: 10 April 2010



  1. Desertfox
    In the same article they say its rare but also state you can get it from your local cactus nursery!? Psychedelics are every in nature, there's no getting away from them
  2. NeuroChi
    It's rare to find in its pure form - it's a lot of work to extract from a large amount of cacti material. One pound of mescaline might take 100 pounds of raw plant matter in extraction, or maybe even a lot more.

    I also don't think there's a market for it, drugs of profit are often used often and something like mescaline isn't. Magic mushrooms and LSD would also be main competitors, which are easier to produce and easier to smuggle, respectively, and which are both more potent by weight than mescaline.

    Not to mention that cacti also grow pretty damn slow compared to mushrooms and cannabis.
  3. echoes
  4. xenos
    hmm. thats A LOT of mescaline. sounds like someone wanted to adulterate some "ecstasy" moreso than distribute a rare extracted form of an entheogen. Sell an E pill and say it has mescaline, and get the person to actually believe them, thats some expensive "ecstasy":thumbsdown:
    If not, that sucks!
  5. Thirdedge
    I wouldn,t be surprised if it turns out to be cactus powder ie: impure mescaline. Time will tell.
  6. Zentaurus41
    I am going say its cacti powder, I doubt anyone is able to produce 3.5kg of mescalin.
    You would only get around 10-20g for 1kg of chips, so thats what 175000g + of cacti to process, that would be a proper mission, as for the price WTF !!!!

    Swim has been there and done that for 2kg, though they didn't slap the 20K worth of drugs on him. So dose this mean the end for cacti chip ?

    I think swim is just going to grow his cacti from now on.
  7. Alfa
    This is surely about ground san pedro cacti, not mescaline. This is not illegal in the UK the documents in our archive clearly show. Its basically the same as with magic mushrooms some years ago. The court then rules that it is abuse of the court system to reason that processed plants are the same as their active compounds. Even those compounds are controlled substances.
  8. Terrapinzflyer
    hmm- my assumption was that this was actually synthetic, though ground cacti is probably more realistic. The turtles aardvark says he has not seen a lab producing the synthetic in bulk in over 20 years. But my oh my...
  9. EyesOfTheWorld
    Bulk synthetic was available on the East coast of the USA maybe 4-5 years ago, but it came and went in a period of a couple months. No idea if there's any connection to labs/synthetic in Scotland, as we all know the psychedelic trade is built on lies and bullshit stories by legal necessity, just wanted to point it out.
  10. Zentaurus41
    Does any one know how to get in contact with them ?
    It may be possible we could all help.
  11. 10outof10
    SWIM works in Edinburgh and has had some dealings with Apothecary in the past. The local police have been out to get them since they were one of the first vendors to sell mephedrone in the area before the media frenzy. There's actually a fairly big psychedelic scene in Edinburgh so if mescaline was to turn up anywhere in Scotland this would be the place. Easy to find their contact details via your favourite search engine, they have a website and are based in Clerk Street Edinburgh..
  12. Zentaurus41
    Thanks swim has found them, he can help if they need it.
    Swim has been and saw and kicked there ass when the police tried it on him.
    Another swimmer on here has beat them too, as long as they keep it quiet
    they may be ok.
  13. 10outof10
    They are good guys SWIM says, it would be a shame to see them go under. They are one of the more responsible vendors, they were very quick to stop selling mephedrone when they saw potenial issues. SWIM does harm reduction work in the area and they always let us swimmers in the shop to display information and came into train SWIM's staff on new products etc. Couldn't believe it when I saw the article!! Be interesting to hear whether it's legit or not! SWIM will surely hear more at work tomorrow.
  14. Routemaster Flash
    That's your opinion based on your subjective experience, not a hard fact. "Hallucinogens" (by which I guess you mean psychedelics - mescaline is not really a hallucinogen) can be fantastic or utterly nightmarish. Same as many other drugs.

    It's not "bullshit propaganda" to say that psychedelics can lead to horrible experiences, it's just true. (Though it is propaganda to use this argument in favour of banning something, clearly.)
  15. Zentaurus41
    Well in swims case it IS legal, as the cacti are not specifically mentioned by law.
    They would have to make cacti chips illegal just like they did with dry mushrooms.
    So it comes down to abuse of process.

    That`s the short version, there should be lots of Google stuff about Saul Sette there may be stuff about zim but it could all be hidden.
  16. vantranist

    I don't see how this could be considered propaganda. Thats what the common effects are of mescaline.
  17. Zentaurus41
  18. Subvert
    SWIM has sampled their cuttings once amongst other things and Is quite sad to see this happening, It's not pure mesc they are selling.
  19. enquirewithin
    I somehow doubt that this will be a successful prosecution. I hope not!
  20. xudface
    Hi guys,

    I was pretty shocked to read about this one as the guy in question here is a friend of mine... but more because there was 3.5Kg of mescaline in Edinburgh and nobody told me!?!? (just kidding of course) Anyway I gave him a call to find out what the story was and here's what has happened...

    The police rolled up into the shop last week (not a flat as the newspapers said) and for no reason whatsoever took his big jar of ground up san pedro that he sells to customers legally on a regular basis, dragged him and his girlfriend down to the station and arrested them on the most serious drugs charge the law has to offer (yes seriously). I might add at this stage that the image the papers used, that one with the powder next to the bag, isn't even the stuff in question, it's just a stock image someone found somewhere! So yeah he had to appear in court on friday where they read out the charges to him and now he has to go back to defend himself next week I think it is. I don't know if they're planning on pushing it through to try and set a new precident or something like that, I mean this is the same stuff that shops have been selling year in and out all over the country, we'll just have to wait and see.

    Frankly I'm not sure whether I'm more appalled by the the unprovoked/unfair action of the police or the hilariously juvenile/inaccurate reporting of the newspapers.

    I'll keep you posted on what's going on. Oh and just in case you were wondering I'm not blabbing anything super secret here - he was more than happy to talk about this openly and I think the publicity would be good, especially if things don't pan out well in court.
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