Book Review - Fran


This was the third book in the Frank series of unpredictable wordless comics that I have had the chance to read so far. It’s a bit newer compared to almost all the other books in the series, which cartoonist Jim Woodring started pumping out more than 25 years ago. Fran was published in 2013, and it features Frank’s soulmate (named Fran), who was a new character to me. Allegedly, it is somehow simultaneously both the prequel and the sequel to Woodring’s 2011 book Congress of the Animals, but I haven’t read that one yet.

A typical Frank comic takes the reader along for one of Frank’s kooky misadventures after another. The books are usually set in the Unifactor, which is the alien landscape that Frank inhabits. However, Frank apparently left his home in Congress of the Animals for uncharted lands, where he ended up finding and wooing Fran.

In Fran, the two lovebirds start their day with ample cordiality, but they end up getting into a heated lover’s quarrel and Fran sets off to have some alone time. She embarks on a hair-raising solo adventure, seemingly untouchable by an array of dangers, even though she comes across several would-be threatening and intimidating creatures and situations.

Heartbroken and regretful for his actions during the fight, Frank and his two adorable pets Pupshaw and Pushpaw follow Fran’s tracks in an effort to find her. Along the way, Frank travels through time and space to otherworldly locales and ends up confronting a mirror version of himself in a random house. While all of this is happening, Fran is off lackadaisically enjoying herself in her own happy-go-lucky way.

As I found in the other books of his, Woodring’s unique sense of humor is quirky and playful in Fran, with an spiritual undercurrent running throughout every page of the book. I love this funny quote from the inside of the dust jacket:

So do yourself a favor and take the plunge. You can’t stay cooped up on the outside of this book forever!

I got a good chuckle out of that. And it’s not too often that I laugh even before I start reading a book!

So what did I think about Fran? Worry not—it’s another mindbending Woodring masterpiece and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride it took me on. However, I didn’t like it quite as much as the other Frank comics I have read—Weathercraft and The Portable Frank. In fact, if you’re considering taking a plunge into this world, I’d suggest you start with one of those two instead. Similar to Weathercraft (and Congress of the Animals), Fran features one long narrative instead of several vignettes.

Aside from comparing it to other books in the series, Fran is an awesome story and definitely worth checking out. No matter which one you start with, you can’t go wrong—there’s nothing quite like Jim Woodring’s Frank series.

3/5 stars. 120 pages.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy my reviews of Weathercraft and The Portable Frank.

How to Microdose Mushrooms Without Having a Connect or Breaking the Law

Reilly Capps, writing for Rooster Magazine:

There are two known ways to secure mushroom microdosing material without having any sort of connection, and without breaking the law — or, actually, without breaking the law so much that you risk ending up in the Big House with a new girlfriend named Bruce.

There are some solid microdosing tips here. Just about anyone can figure out a microdosing option that will work from them, even if they don’t know an illegal drug dealer personally.

The only people who can tell the difference between shrooms and 4-AcO at low doses are probably currently following Tipper on tour in a van. 

This cracked me up because it’s almost exactly what I’ll be doing next week. Can’t wait to see ‘ole Dave Tipper again.

High Court Orders Thousands More Drug Cases Dismissed

Wheeler Cowperthwaite, writing for Cape Code Times:

The state Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday ordered that thousands of tainted drug cases be dismissed because a chemist tampered with samples at the state’s Amherest [sic] testing lab and prosecutors with the attorney general’s office withheld evidence. […]

The case is a result of multiple lawsuits over testing by former chemist Sonja Farak, who stole and tampered with drug samples for her personal use and covered up her misconduct in the lab’s computer system.

She pleaded guilty in 2014 to charges of tampering with evidence, stealing cocaine from the lab and unlawful possession.

She also had testified in court cases between 2005 and 2013 while intoxicated on cocaine, LSD, ketamine and other drugs.

A drug sample testing lab that offers easy access to high quality psychoactives must be an incredibly difficult place for some chemists to work. This particular chemist ended up giving into temptation and broke the rules. Even though she’ll be punished for her actions, the bright side in this case is that a lot of other drug users are going to get off scot-free.

This Week in Psychedelics - 10.12.18



  • U.K. to Allow Prescriptions for Medicinal Cannabis (The New York Times)

  • Pew Poll: 62 Percent Of Americans Want Marijuana Legal (NORML)

  • Pennsylvania Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Decriminalization Bill In Committee Vote (Marijuana Moment)

  • Support For Marijuana Legalization Grew Again In 2018, Pew Poll Finds (Marijuana Moment)

  • 'Women have been saying it works for 10,000 years': 400 women will use marijuana-infused inserts in a groundbreaking study from a Harvard Medical School professor (Business Insider)

  • U.S. Government Loosens Border Policy For Canadian Marijuana Industry Workers (Marijuana Moment)

  • Trump Plans To Back Legal Medical Marijuana After Midterms, GOP Congressman Says (Marijuana Moment)

  • High Schoolers Are Growing More Tolerant Of Peers Who Use Marijuana, Study Shows (Marijuana Moment)

  • Survey: Cannabis Use Becoming Common Among Older Adults (NORML)

  • Study Reveals How Older People Use And Obtain Marijuana In Colorado (Marijuana Moment)

  • New California Law Bans Bars, Liquor Stores from Selling Marijuana-Infused Drinks (Reason)

  • Fight To Legalize Medical Marijuana In Missouri Intensifies As Groups Battle Over Tax Rates (Marijuana Moment)

  • Walmart Canada Explores Selling Cannabis-Infused Products (Forbes)

  • Shopify 'confident' on pot e-commerce because 'cannabis isn't Kylie Cosmetics' (CBC)

  • Trump Administration Seeks Public Comments On Marijuana Reclassification (Forbes)

  • Toke Up, Eh? Canada Readies for Marijuana to Become Legal Nationwide (TIME)

  • Canada’s Liquor Stores Will Heavily Outnumber Marijuana Stores On Legalization’s Launch (Marijuana Moment)

  • Marijuana Stores Will Be Hard To Find For Most Canadians On Day One Of Legalization (Marijuana Moment)

  • The jury is in on cannabis legalization in North America: it’s been a success. (LSE USAPP)

  • WestJet bans staff in 'safety-sensitive' jobs from off-duty cannabis use (CBC)

  • THC amounts identical in most cannabis strains, study finds (

  • Celebrity Endorsements and Cannabis (The Stranger)

  • Cannabis In Space Is Just Around The Corner (Forbes)

  • I'm Just a Middle-Aged House Dad Addicted to Pot (The New York Times)

  • This Is Where Arizona’s US Senate Candidates Stand On Marijuana (Marijuana Moment)

  • The Marijuana Midterms are Heating Up in Nevada (NORML)

  • Corporate America is investing in pot because people want to eat and drink it (CNN)

  • Why retail is so important to the burgeoning cannabis beauty and wellness market (Glossy)

  • Marijuana Licensing Bill Has ‘Negligible’ Fiscal Impacts, Congressional Budget Office Says (Marijuana Moment)

  • Coral Cove Cannabis Retreat Is Jamaica's Best Kept Secret (Forbes)

  • The Quest to Make California’s Weed the Champagne of Cannabis (WIRED)


  • A Team of European Researchers Is Crowdsourcing the World’s First ‘Self-Blinded’ LSD Microdosing Study (Psychedelic Times)

  • ‘The CIA introduced LSD into American society. They weaponised it’ (The Irish Times)

  • Nick Kroll Saw The Pattern Of The Universe During An LSD Trip At Burning Man (Marijuana Moment)

  • A Playwright's LSD Trip Becomes a Psychedelic Journey (The New York Times)

  • That time a legendary Batman editor was dared to put LSD in Stan Lee’s coffee (Polygon)

  • From ‘problem child’ to ‘prodigy’? LSD turns 75 (Arab News)

  • People Are Microdosing LSD To 'Make Them More Productive' (LADbible)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

  • Psilocybin Initiative Moves to Signature-Gathering Stage for May 2019 (Westword)

  • Mushroom legalization effort polling at 39 percent (Rooster Magazine)

  • A team of Johns Hopkins researchers is calling for magic mushrooms to be made legally available as medicine (Business Insider)

  • “Magic Mushrooms” May Be an FDA-Approved Drug for Anxiety and Depression in the Near Future (Vogue)

  • Iceland’s Richest Man Invests in Magic Mushrooms (Guide to Iceland Now)


  • $57 million worth of MDMA discovered in sausage-making machines (Mixmag)

  • Superstar DJ David Morales 'arrested at Japanese airport over MDMA smuggling claim' (Mirror)

  • Use of higher purity ecstasy on the rise among young Australians (The Sydney Morning Herald)


  • Breaking News: The first two ayahuasca convictions in the United States (Chacruna)

  • Sexual Seduction in Ayahuasca Shaman and Participants Interactions (Chacruna)

  • What ayahuasca — Silicon Valley's latest drug of choice — does to your brain and body (The Hour)

  • The DMT drug is not a drug, its much stranger (Kahpi)

  • In the mighty jungles (Deccan Herald)

  • Multiple (and Subtle) Bodies: Entheogenic Incorporation in the Santo Daime Tradition (Part 1) (Reality Sandwich)

  • Nathalie Huerta on Founding The Queer Gym and What Ayahuasca Taught Her (Bon Appetit)

Peyote/San Pedro/Mescaline

  • American Indians gather near El Reno to celebrate peyote traditions (Tulsa World)


  • Ibogaine Clinics and their Role in Addiction Treatment (The Urban Twist)

  • The dangerous hallucinogen opioid addicts use to get clean (Big Think)


  • As ketamine clinics spread, so do start-your-own-business courses, sparking concern (STAT)

  • Ketamine infusion for depression requires opioid receptors to be effective (Medical News Bulletin)

  • Hope for Victims of Resistant Clinical Depression Now Comes in Pill Form (Breaking Israel News)

  • My ketamine infusion for chronic pain (The Fix)

  • Police: Naked man possibly on PCP arrested after throwing chairs off Dumfries balcony (WJLA)

  • Expert: Teen 'whacked out' of his mind from PCP night of police shooting (Chicago City Wire)


  • Addiction Treatment Gap Is Driving A Black Market For Suboxone (NPR)

  • Surgeon General Talks About Need To 'Normalize' Naloxone At N.H. Opioids Forum (NHPR)

  • Funeral Homes Stock Overdose Antidote Drug Naloxone Amid Opioid Epidemic (The Inquisitr)

  • Mexico defense chief says legalizing opium 'way out' of violence (The Gazette)

  • Opioid Bill Shows Congress Can Still Work Together (TIME)

  • Prisons Crack Down On An Opioid Treatment Drug, Endangering Lives (The Appeal)

  • Medicaid Expansion and the Opioid Epidemic (Penn LDI)


  • A Czech Distiller Is Resurrecting Pre-Ban Absinthe, Returning the Green Fairy to Rightful Glory (VinePair)


  • Get holes burned into your body as sacred tree frog ceremony comes to Cornwall (Cornwall Live)


  • Ohio Pushes Kratom Ban With Disputed Claims About Deaths, Use Trends (HuffPost)

  • Do Drug Addicts Really Shoot Kratom? (Pain News Network)


Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • A Big Win – DOJ Affirms Free Water and Drug Education Not a Violation of the RAVE Act! (Amend the RAVE Act!)

  • Fingerprint drug screen test works on the living and deceased (ScienceDaily)

  • Hospital Data Shows How Britain's Drug Problem Is Getting Worse (VICE)

  • Decriminalise drugs, Plaid Cymru says (BBC)

  • Philadelphia Pushing Forward with Safe Injection Site Plans (Reason)

  • 'Just say no' to drug legalisation: WHO chief (Yahoo!)

  • The Psychedelic Film and Music Festival Announces Inaugural Award Winners (Broadway World)

  • Can US overdose deaths be stopped? (Drug WarRant)

  • Introducing Chacruna’s Psychedelic Therapy Music Forum (Chacruna)

  • Reality Is Just a Bunch of Hallucinations We Collectively Agree On (Motherboard)

  • Successful Constitutional Case Against Death Penalty Works For War on Drugs, Too (Marijuana Moment)

  • Magic Medicine: A Trip Through the Intoxicating History and Modern-Day Use of Psychedelic Plants and Substances by Cody Johnson (Psychedelic Press UK)

  • Treating mental disorders with psychedelic psychotherapy (Particle)

  • The Business Of Addiction Treatment (INSCMagazine)

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychedelics" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

Image by Dahtamnay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

What About the Future of the Psychedelic Industry?

Katie Stone, writing for Chacruna:

Medical-only and medical-first approaches might be palatable to prohibitionists, but there is no liberation from the Drug War until all drug users are free. Period. Psychonauts are not morally superior to people who use meth, or alcohol, or heroin. Anyone leading drug policy reform conversations from a platform that suggests otherwise needs to pass the talking stick to a drug policy reformer who leads with compassion. After the war is over, you’ll be free to exercise your superiority complex.