Health minister confirms plans and calls on neighbouring countries to relax their laws.
Luxembourg has called on its EU neighbours to relax their drug laws as its health minister confirmed plans to become the first European country to legalise cannabis production and consumption.
“This drug policy we had over the last 50 years did not work,” Etienne Schneider told Politico. “Forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people … I’m hoping all of us will get a more open-minded attitude toward drugs.”
Residents over the age of 18 are expected to be able to buy the drug for recreational use legally within two years. The state will regulate production and distribution through a cannabis agency.
Draft legislation is expected to be unveiled later this year providing further detail on the types of cannabis that will be on sale and the level of tax that will be imposed.
Schneider said the legislation was likely to include a ban on non-residents buying cannabis in order to dissuade drug-tourism. Home-growing is also likely to be prohibited.
Minors aged between 12 and 17 would not be criminalised for possessing five grams or less of the drug, but those who break the more generous laws will be hit with harsh penalties under the plan.
Schneider said he was keen to encourage other EU countries to follow Luxembourg’s path.
A government coalition agreement between the Liberals, the Social Democrats and the Greens provides for legalisation within five years.
If put into action, Luxembourg would join Canada, Uruguay and eleven US states in flouting a UN convention on the control of narcotic drugs which commits signatories to limit “exclusively for medical and scientific purposes the production, manufacture, export, import distribution, trade, employment and possession of drugs” including cannabis.
Luxembourg has already legalised the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Possession of small amounts for recreational use has also been decriminalised, but its purchase, sale and production remains illegal.
Schneider and Luxembourg’s justice minister, Félix Braz, visited a greenhouse in Smith Falls, Canada, last year to witness the mass production of cannabis by the Canopy Growth Corporation.
Uruguay became the world’s first country to create a legal national marijuana marketplace when it legalised the drug in 2013, and Canada followed suit in 2018.
Canadians are able to order marijuana products on websites run by provinces or regulated private retailers and have it delivered to their homes by post.
Luxembourg will follow Canada in legalising the possession of 30 grams of cannabis. Tax revenues will be reinvested in drug education and addiction treatment programmes.
Two representatives of the Consumer Choice Centre, a US-based NGO, travelled to Luxembourg in April to offer their advice on legislation.
One area of contention is whether to ban the use of cannabis in public, which risks discriminating against tenants and people of limited means. The officials recommended allowing use of the drug in specific public areas.
In the Netherlands, possibly the European country most associated with a relaxed attitude toward the use of cannabis, its recreational use, possession and trade is technically illegal. It has a ‘tolerance policy’, or gedoogbeleid, under which recreational use is largely accepted within bounds.
Cannabis remains illegal to possess, grow, distribute, sell or grow in the UK. Those caught with the drug face a maximum of five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Several police forces have said they will no longer target recreational users and those with less than an ounce (28 grams) can be given a warning or on-the-spot fine.
Legalise it: the status of cannabis around the world
Uruguay legalised the recreational use, production and sale of cannabis in 2013. Only pharmacies are allowed to sell the drug and there are fewer than 20 doing so in a country of 3.5 million people. Customers have to register with the regulator and then are limited to buying 10 grams a week. Four different strains are available.
Canada legalised the possession of 30 grams of cannabis, dried or fresh, for those aged 18 or over in 2018. The drug can be bought from a provincially-licensed retailer. In provinces and territories without a regulated retail framework, individuals are able to purchase cannabis online from federally-licensed producers.
Under the Netherlands’ gedoogbeleid, prosecutors turn a blind eye to the breaking of certain laws. Technically the possession, use and trade of the drug is illegal, but the authorities allow licensed coffee shops to sell cannabis from their premises, and to keep 500g on site at any time. The police turn a blind eye to those in possession of 5g or less. Because production remains illegal, however, cafes are often forced to do business with criminal gangs to source the drug.
The UK outlawed cannabis in 1928. Possession comes with a maximum of five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Those who are successfully prosecuted for producing and supplying the class-B drug face up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Police can issue an on-the-spot fine or a warning for those caught with less than an ounce if it is deemed for personal use, but several forces have said they will not target recreational users.
Source: The Guardian.
Summary: DMT, an active compound of the psychedelic Ayahuasca, is naturally occurring in the mammalian brain, researchers have discovered. The study revealed DMT levels increased significantly in the rat visual cortex following cardiac arrest.
Source: University of Michigan
In the past few years, thrill-seekers from Hollywood, Silicon Valley and beyond have been travelling to South America to take part in so-called Ayahuasca retreats. Their goal: to partake in a brewed concoction made from a vine plant Banisteriopsis caapi, traditionally used by indigenous people for sacred religious ceremonies. Drinkers of Ayahuasca experience short-term hallucinogenic episodes many describe as life-changing.
The active ingredient responsible for these psychedelic visions is a molecule called dimethyltryptamine (DMT). For the first time, a team led by Michigan Medicine has discovered the widespread presence of naturally-occurring DMT in the mammalian brain. The finding is the first step toward studying DMT– and figuring out its role — within the brains of humans.
“DMT is not just in plants, but also can be detected in mammals,” says Jimo Borjigin, Ph.D., of the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. Her interest in DMT came about accidentally. Before studying the psychedelic, her research focused on melatonin production in the pineal gland.
In the seventeenth century, the philosopher Rene Descartes claimed that the pineal gland, a small pinecone-shaped organ located deep in the center of the brain, was the seat of the soul. Since its discovery, the pineal gland, known by some as the third eye, has been shrouded in mystery. Scientists now know it controls the production of melatonin, playing an important role in modulating circadian rhythms, or the body’s internal clock. However, an online search for notes to include in a course she was teaching opened Borjigin’s eyes to a thriving community still convinced of the pineal gland’s mystical power.
The core idea seems to come from a documentary featuring the work of researcher Rick Strassman, Ph.D. with the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. In the mid-1990s, he conducted an experiment in which human subjects were given DMT by IV injection and interviewed after its effects wore off. In a documentary about the experiment, Strassman claims that he believed the pineal gland makes and secretes DMT.
“I said to myself, ‘wait, I’ve worked on the pineal gland for years and have never heard of this,'” she said. She contacted Strassman, requesting the source of his statement. When Strassman admitted that it was just a hypothesis, Borjigin suggested they work together to test it. “I thought if DMT is an endogenous monoamine, it should be very easy to detect using a fluorescence detector.”
Using a process in which microdialysis tubing is inserted into a rat brain through the pineal gland, the researchers collected a sample that was analyzed for — and confirmed — the presence of DMT. That experiment resulted in a paper published in 2013.
However, Borjigin was not satisfied. Next, she sought to discover how and where DMT was synthesized. Her graduate student, Jon Dean, lead author of the paper, set up an experiment using a process called in situ hybridization, which uses a labeled complementary strand of DNA to localize a specific RNA sequence in a tissue section.
“With this technique, we found brain neurons with the two enzymes required to make DMT,” says Borjigin. And they were not just in the pineal gland.
“They are also found in other parts of the brain, including the neocortex and hippocampus that are important for higher-order brain functions including learning and memory.”
The results are published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Her team’s work has also revealed that the levels of DMT increase in some rats experiencing cardiac arrest. A paper published in 2018 by researchers in the U.K. purported that DMT simulates the near death experience, wherein people report the sensation of transcending their bodies and entering another realm. Borjigin hopes to probe further to discover the function of naturally occurring levels of DMT in the brain — and what if any role it plays in normal brain functions.
“We don’t know what it’s doing in the brain. All we’re saying is we discovered the neurons that make this chemical in the brain, and they do so at levels similar to other monoamine neurotransmitters.”
University of Michigan
Kelly Malcom – University of Michigan
The image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Open access
“Biosynthesis and Extracellular Concentrations of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in Mammalian Brain”. Jon G. Dean, Tiecheng Liu, Sean Huff, Ben Sheler, Steven A. Barker, Rick J. Strassman, Michael M. Wang & Jimo Borjigin.
Scientific Reports. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-45812-w
Biosynthesis and Extracellular Concentrations of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in Mammalian Brain
N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychedelic compound identified endogenously in mammals, is biosynthesized by aromatic-L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) and indolethylamine-N-methyltransferase (INMT). Whether DMT is biosynthesized in the mammalian brain is unknown. We investigated brain expression of INMT transcript in rats and humans, co-expression of INMT and AADC mRNA in rat brain and periphery, and brain concentrations of DMT in rats. INMT transcripts were identified in the cerebral cortex, pineal gland, and choroid plexus of both rats and humans via in situ hybridization. Notably, INMT mRNA was colocalized with AADC transcript in rat brain tissues, in contrast to rat peripheral tissues where there existed little overlapping expression of INMT with AADC transcripts. Additionally, extracellular concentrations of DMT in the cerebral cortex of normal behaving rats, with or without the pineal gland, were similar to those of canonical monoamine neurotransmitters including serotonin. A significant increase of DMT levels in the rat visual cortex was observed following induction of experimental cardiac arrest, a finding independent of an intact pineal gland. These results show for the first time that the rat brain is capable of synthesizing and releasing DMT at concentrations comparable to known monoamine neurotransmitters and raise the possibility that this phenomenon may occur similarly in human brains.
‘The current distinction between legal and illegal substances is not unequivocally based on pharmacological research but in large part on historical and cultural precedents’
Illegal substances such as ecstasy and cocaine can be less harmful to individuals and societies than tobacco and alcohol and should be reclassified to reflect their actual risk, a report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy has concluded.
Calling for a review of the classification of drugs, the body comprising 14 former heads of state or government criticised the “incoherence and inconsistencies” of laws based on “unreliable and scientifically dubious” methods that punish the use of some substances while ignoring others.
“This de facto prohibition is arbitrary,” the group wrote. “The current distinction between legal and illegal substances is not unequivocally based on pharmacological research but in large part on historical and cultural precedents.
presumed ‘good and evil’ distinction between legal and illegal drugs.”
They argue governments must now regulate the market of illegal substances, establishing a new system for classification “adapted to the dangerousness of each drug and based on solid scientific assessments”.
A major study of the overall dangers of the entire spectrum of drugs both to the consumer and wider society ranked alcohol as the most damaging.
The 2010 research, carried out by the former government chief drugs adviser, Professor David Nutt, put it above heroin and crack cocaine.
Tobacco was also deemed to be more harmful than a list of drugs including ketamine and mephedrone.
However, this did not correlate with the scientific consensus around the dangers of these drugs.
For example, LSD and ecstasy are among the lowest scoring drugs for levels of harm, yet globally are subject to some of the strictest prohibitions.
The Global Commission’s report said the “only responsible answer to this complex topic is to regulate the market of illegal drugs, starting by establishing regulations and a new scheduling system adapted to the dangerousness of each drug and based on solid scientific assessments”, as is currently done for food, medications and other products that can pose a risk to health.
“While the international community continues to struggle to find a new consensus, countries should move forward with designing and implementing a more rational policy of scheduling, controlling and regulating psychoactive drugs,” the group said.
When working on a standard clean and restore project, you don’t expect to accidentally get super high on 50-year-old LSD. But that’s exactly what happened for one repairman working on a vintage Buchla Model 100 modular synthesiser.
Eliot Curtis was recently given the job of restoring the vintage synth, which had been stored in a dark room at Cal State University East Bay since the 1960s. But after cracking off the front of the unit to give it a clean, he began to majorly trip out.
A Californian repairman cleaning a 1960s synth went on a mega nine-hour trip after accidentally ingesting vintage LSD through his skin.
After opening the Buchla, Curtis discovered a crystal-like substance that he attempted to clean off. Spraying it with a cleaning solvent, he then tried to dislodge it with his fingers. Then, around 45 minutes later, the fun really started. His body began to tingle, which then quickly dissolved into an epic nine-hour acid trip.
After testing, it was discovered that the substance was indeed vintage LSD. A researcher also revealed that LSD can lay dormant and potent if stored in a cool, dark place, and that it is possible to ingest it through the skin. So apparently Buchla synthesisers make the perfect storage for your psychedelics. Who knew?
The synth has since been thoroughly cleaned of all LSD and is back on track for its restoration. No say on where the drugs ended up though…
“There’s incredible potential here,” Johns Hopkins University researcher Matthew Johnson told Inverse. “So far, it’s a good bet that these tools will be broadly applicable to a number of disorders.”
For the study, which was published Tuesday in The Journal of Psychopharmacology, the researchers used social media and drug discussion websites to track down 343 people who reported a minimum of seven years of problematic drinking prior to having a psychedelic experience.
They then asked the participants — 72 percent of whom met the criteria for alcohol use disorder — to complete anonymous online surveys.
From the surveys, the researchers learned many participants had dramatically decreased the number of drinks they consumed a year after their psychedelic experience. In fact, 83 percent of participants no longer met alcohol use disorder criteria, and 28 percent credited their psychedelic experience for the change in lifestyle
It’s hard to demonstrate a direct link between the psychedelic experience and the decrease in alcohol consumption. However, Johnson thinks it makes sense that mind-opening drugs could have a positive impact on the lives of people battling alcohol dependence.
“When you talk to someone who has managed to overcome addiction, they often talk about [how] they had to answer big picture questions that connect to what’s important in life,” he told Inverse. “Psychedelics prompt those kinds of questions.”
Why 'Microdosing' LSD & Other Hallucinogens May Be The Saving Grace For People With Severe Depression & Anxiety
What if your brain on acid, 'shrooms and Molly isn't such a bad thing after all?
Many might consider lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), also known as "acid", taboo (and possibly even passé), yet the currently illegal and unregulated drug is rapidly gaining popularity, as well as media scrutiny and attention within the medical community.
The widespread illegality of these substances means little scientific data exists regarding their potential short and long-term positive or negative effects on either mental of physical health, but this time around, the trendy way of dropping acid and other hallucinogenics such as psilocybin "magic" mushrooms and 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, aka "Molly" or "ecstasy") involves a practice called "microdosing."
"Microdosing involves taking roughly one-tenth the 'trip' dose of a psychedelic drug, an amount too little to trigger hallucinations but enough, its proponents say, to sharpen the mind. Psilocybin microdosers (including hundreds on Reddit) report that the mushrooms can increase creativity, calm anxiety, decrease the need for caffeine, and reduce depression."
Georgia (not her real name) was nine years old when her father was murdered.
Even at that young age, she says, “I hit a really hard trauma wall and I never really came out of it.”
She was consumed with anger, went four months without speaking, and had a severe depressive episode at 13.
The now 29-year-old, who works at a Washington, D.C. nonprofit, was diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) — defined as a "continuous, long-term (chronic) form of depression" — four years ago.
At the time, she was prescribed the antidepressant Wellbutrin, a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), which was effective in treating her depression. But after she left her job and lost her health insurance, she could no longer afford prescription medication.
Read the full article here: YOURTANGO.COM
Chewing up blotters of powerful synthetic hallucinogens for breakfast could actually be beneficial, scientists have concluded after dosing some rats. ‘Microdosing’ – taking small doses of LSD in the morning – is popular among Silicon Valley types, who claim it boosts creativity. But the new rat study is the first to show that microdosing could have ‘beneficial’ effects on anxiety and depression, researchers from UC Davis say.
David Oldson of UC Davis said, ‘This is the first time anyone has demonstrated in animals that psychedelic microdosing might actually have some beneficial effects, particularly for depression or anxiety.’ Olson and his team dosed rats with the powerful hallucinogen DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine), which is found in ayahuasca tea.
The researchers say that DMT’s molecular structure is embedded within the structures of popular microdosing drugs such as LSD and psilocybin. The rats were dosed with a tenth of a ‘trip’ dose every three days – and the researchers found that the animals overcame their ‘fear response’ in tests, and also seemed to be less immobile in a test related to antidepressant effects. Olson said, ‘Prior to our study, essentially nothing was known about the effects of psychedelic microdosing on animal behaviors.
Olson said, ‘Our study demonstrates that psychedelics can produce beneficial behavioral effects without drastically altering perception, which is a critical step towards producing viable medicines inspired by these compounds.’ The team documented some potential risks: the dosing regimen significantly increased bodyweight in male rats, for example. It also caused neuronal atrophy in female rats. Olson said, ‘‘It’s exciting, but the potentially adverse changes in neuronal structure and metabolism that we observe emphasize the need for additional studies.’
Canadian scientists investigated people who ‘microdose’, and found they actually score higher on mental health and well-being measures. Thomas Anderson of the University of Toronto and Rotem Petranker of York University, Canada say, ‘We found that microdosers scored higher on measures of wisdom, open-mindedness and creativity. The researchers say, ‘Microdosers also scored lower on measures of dysfunctional attitudes and negative emotionality, which is very promising.’ The researchers recruited ‘microdosers’ from Reddit communities – and point out that further research (in the form of trials using placebos) is needed to fully validate the result. But psychological tests on the microdosers (and a group of non-users) found that people using the drugs were more creative, wiser and less vulnerable to stress and depression. The researchers write, ‘As promising as they seem, we don’t know whether microdosing actually caused any of these differences. ‘Maybe people with better mental health were more likely to experiment with microdosing, or perhaps there is some unknown cause that made people both more likely to microdose and to be creative.’
Artist: Miles Toland
These accounts from group members and names are not mentioned for legal purposes.
- 1P is amazing. I got a batch of it several months ago from one of the guys behind it to test out and was very suprised how similar it is to pure-L. Only differences i noted are a *very* slightly heavier bodyload on the come up, which quickly fades, and a duration of about 10 hours. Other than that, it seemed practically 100% indistiguishable. I know what you mean by the "wanting to keep it a secret, yet also want everyone to know" lol. Truly the best RC i've ever tried. I expected it to be closer to AL-LAD, but was very suprised by how close to pure it is. Very clean experience! Would definitely recommend to anyone that enjoys their pure-L
- 1p and LSD arent different. 1p is a prodrug of LSD25 - You're feeling LSD25. Whether Jason is 100% sure about it or not, its science. You could be not 100% sure if gravity was real, but it is.
- The only thing i dislike about it being so extremely similar, is i feel many people will start buying it in crystal form and laying their own sheets with it; selling it off as pure LSD for profit. And while it's not neccessarily a "bad" thing to do, it's still false advertising and not giving the person what they paid for. Though atleast it's something much safer, and close enough to the real thing as opposed to what RC's people are currently selling off as LSD; it's still not right to do. Getting it on blotter from a lab, the tabs come with a picture of the chemical on the front, and has '1P-LSD' in bold black font printed all across the backside, so it can't be passed off as the real thing.
- 100ug of 1p hit me and a group of friends like 150-175ug of good fluff. Very euphoric and visual for the dose but still clear headed compared to the rest of the trip that was going on.
- 1p LSD is very comparable to high purity LSD, just a bit shorter in a lot of people's experience. Not mine though, that shit had me going for 16 hours before I came down enough to chill lol. It's fantastic stuff and a good bit cheaper than actual needlepoint/GDF grade acid. Get it while it lasts lol.
- Finally got round to trying some 1P-LSD, was pretty good! Nice and clean, come up was quick, fairly similar to normal L i reckon, although maybe only lasts about 8-10 hours. 300 mics was pretty visual