19-Year-Old Rescued From Drug-Fueled Doomsday Sect in Peru

The Local:

According to José Antonio Capa, head of the anti-trafficking police unit, sect leader Félix Steven Manrique considered himself an envoy of God and called himself "Prince of Gurdjeff." 

He managed to groom Aguilar and other women through a Facebook group he set up, painting himself as a messiah on a mission to repopulate the world and one who would save his followers from the apocalypse.

In fact Manrique ran a harem of women who submitted to him. He forced them to have sex and consume Ayahuasca, an indigenous drink that causes hallucinations and anxiety attacks.

Absolutely horrific. This is the first time I've heard about an ayahuasca doomsday sect having been formed, but it's reminiscent of the murderous cult Charles Manson led in the 60s. However, instead of brainwashing his followers with "sex, LSD, Bible readings, repeated playing of the Beatles’ White Album and rambling lectures about triggering a revolution," Capa used Facebook to find his followers and held them captive by raving about the impending apocalypse and drugging them with ayahuasca.


Caffeine Use Disorder

Csilla Ágoston, Róbert Urbán, Mara J. Richman & Zsolt Demetrovics, writing for Science Trends:

According to our results, one of the most important aspects of caffeine use disorder is suffering from the symptoms, which was the most capable in discriminating people with lower and higher level of caffeine use disorder, and it was also the third most severe criterion. The two most severe symptoms were failure to fulfill obligations (e. g.  work, school or home responsibilities) and social/interpersonal problems because of caffeine consumption; these symptoms mostly occurred on the higher end of caffeine use disorder continuum. This means that although caffeine consumption is a socially acceptable habit, caffeine use can interfere with social or occupational functioning for some individuals.

In contrast, the significant amount of time spent with consuming or obtaining caffeine was the least discriminating criterion, which means that the probability of a positive response at lower levels is nearly the same as it is at higher levels. This low level of discriminative value can be the consequence of the high and legal availability of caffeine compared to other substances. The presence of consumption of more caffeine or longer than intended and craving were likely even in case of lower levels of CUD, therefore, these are considered to be less severe symptoms and do not indicate problematic caffeine consumption. Tolerance (which means that the user have to consume more caffeine to reach the same effect or the same dosage cannot induce the same effect anymore), unsuccessful quitting attempts, caffeine use despite negative consequences and attempts to avoid withdrawal symptoms were moderately severe symptoms and had moderate discriminative values.

For many years I've noticed that most people drastically misunderstand their beloved daily stimulant and rush to downplay its negative effects, so it's great to see that caffeine's abuse potential is being studied now.


Caribbean Nations Agree to Consider Marijuana Legalization

Tom Angell, writing for Marijuana Moment:


The heads of Caribbean nations have agreed to “review marijuana’s current status with a view to reclassification,” noting “human and religious rights” issues stemming from criminalization as well as “the economic benefits to be derived” from legalization.

Another base hit for the cannabis team—people everywhere are finally starting to listen to those of us that have been advocating for the reform of marijuana laws for generations.


This Week in Psychedelics - 7.6.18

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Cannabis

  • Luxembourg Is Latest EU Country to Legalise Medical Cannabis (Talking Drugs)
  • Vermont: Law Legalizing Adult Marijuana Use Takes Effect Sunday, July 1 (NORML)
  • Here’s what’s next now that the FDA has approved a cannabis drug for seizures (The Verge)
  • Up in smoke: new California law could send $350m worth of cannabis to incinerator (The Guardian)
  • Marijuana Dispensaries Don’t Increase Crime, Study Finds (Marijuana Moment)
  • Defying Congress, Jeff Sessions Keeps Blocking Medical Marijuana Research (Reason)
  • Toke Up and Chow Down on Netflix’s Pot-Infused Cooking Competition (Reason)
  • The US Stopped Other Countries from Legalizing Weed for Generations (VICE)
  • Jeremy Corbyn calls for cannabis to be decriminalised for medical use 'as soon as possible' (Mirror)
  • The Canadian Conundrum: Legalizing Cannabis Is One Thing, Marketization Is Another (Forbes)
  • ‘Keep California Safe’ initiative fails to make the November 2018 ballot (The Orange County Register)
  • It Didn't Have To Be This Way: Policy Decisions Led To Delays In Massachusetts' Cannabis Market (Forbes)
  • Billy Caldwell licensed for cannabis oil use in Northern Ireland (The Guardian)
  • Weighing The Legal Cannabis Industry's Catch-22 Problem (Forbes)
  • South Australia's cannabis crackdown based on 'nonsense', experts warn (The Guardian)
  • How police are preparing to catch drivers under the influence of cannabis (CTV News)
  • If Sacramento's cannabis industry goes corporate, these three men will be to blame (The Sacramento Bee)
  • Major study reveals cannabis is not a miracle pain reliever (New York Post)
  • The first cannabis lounge in Southern California is coming to Palm Springs, and neighbor isn’t pleased (The Press-Enterprise)

LSD

  • Millions in Cryptocurrencies Seized in Biggest LSD Bust in European History (Gizmodo)
  • Man found dead in Mississippi River had bad LSD trip during concert, friend says (FOX13)
  • Michael Pollan: Why I started taking LSD and what it helped me to do (The Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Revisiting the Beatles’ Cartoon LSD Utopia Yellow Submarine (Vulture)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

  • Can Magic Mushrooms Treat Cocaine Dependency? (AlterNet)
  • Psilocybin and Mental Health–Don't Lose Control (Frontiers)
  • Magic Mushroom May Have Cure for Depression (Colorado Daily Ledger)
  • Do Magic Mushrooms Work Better Than Prozac? She Aims to Find Out (OZY)

MDMA/Ecstasy

  • MDMA strengths surge to 'potentially fatal' levels (BBC)
  • Both my sons died after taking ecstasy – that's why I want to legalise it – video (The Guardian)
  • Party drug MDMA is likened to 'Russian roulette' after 18-year-old died after taking the Class A on a night out (Daily Mail)
  • Cops seize orange ecstasy pills shaped like Donald Trump (New York Post)
  • Mum releases shocking photos of her son’s final hours after taking MDMA (Metro)
  • How MDMA is leaving a trail of tragedies in Devon and Cornwall (Plymouth Herald)
  • ‘MDMA gave me anxiety, depression and panic attacks’ (Zloto News)

Ayahuasca/DMT/5-MeO-DMT

  • Amazonian psychedelic ayahuasca may ease severe depression (The Brazilian Report)
  • Ayahuasca: The Spiritual Journey Hollywood Is Talking About. (NewsGram)

Iboga/Ibogaine

  • An Almost Unknown Psychedelic to Kick the Habit (ThirdAge)

Dissociatives

  • Cops Are Telling Paramedics To Inject Arrestees With Ketamine. Worse, EMS Crews Are Actually Doing It. (Techdirt)
  • Minneapolis Investigates Police Use Of Ketamine On Suspects (WHQR)

Opiates/Opioids

  • Searching For The Next Naloxone (The Fix)
  • Investigation Shows How Florida Sparked U.S. Heroin Crisis (WLRN)
  • Overdoses Can Happen Anywhere, So Naloxone Becomes A Part Of First Aid Kits (WESA)
  • Link Between Heroin Addiction And Narcolepsy Examined (The Fix)
  • Chicago’s Black Communities Hit Hardest In Opioid Overdoses (WBEZ)
  • Where Did $8.2 Billion in US Aid to Fight Opiates in Afghanistan Go? (Sputnik International)
  • Heroin may be Mozambique’s second largest export—and it’s being disrupted by WhatsApp (Quartz)
  • OxyContin, Heroin and the Opioid Crisis (Pain News Network)
  • The Opium War and the Humiliation of China (The New York Times)

Kratom

  • FDA commissioner says kratom not worth the Salmonella risk (Food Safety News)
  • 3 Best Kratom Strains for Opiate Withdrawal In 2018 (Kratom Guides)
  • Kratom Supplements Won’t Make You Healthier — They’ll Probably Just Make You Sick (The Cheat Sheet)
  • Kratom use spreads in Phuket (Pattaya Mail)
  • Kratom And Moisture: What To Do When Kratom Gets Moisture? (Kratom Guides)
  • How Can You Mix Kratom And Cranberry Juice? (Kratom Guides)

Kava

  • Kava Bar Places "God Hates Beer" Signs in Front of Saltwater Brewery (Miami New Times)

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • Suicide is on the rise. Depression therapy is limited. Let’s try psychedelics. (The Washington Post)
  • First-of-Its-Kind Conference Brings Psychedelics Into the Mainstream (High Times)
  • White House lawyer expected to be named new head of DEA (The Washington Post)
  • Could psychedelics transform mental health? (BBC)
  • Duterte is Assassinating Opponents Under the Cover of the Drug War, Philippine Rights Groups Say (TIME)
  • Reclaiming Your Identity As A Drug User (Psymposia)
  • Use of ‘smart drugs’ on the rise (Nature
  • Psychedelics And Cancer (Psychedelic Heaven)
  • Hallucinogens and Depression (Psychology Today)
  • How To Cope With Anxiety And Paranoia During A Trip (The Third Wave)
  • Psychedelics And Schizophrenia (Psychedelic Heaven)
  • Drug abuse: how China is fighting the problem (The Telegraph)

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.

This Week in Psychedelics - 6.29.18

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Cannabis

  • Oklahoma voters approve medical marijuana measure (CNN)
  • FDA Approves First Marijuana-Based Prescription Drug (TIME)
  • U.S. Senate Votes To Legalize Hemp After Decades-Long Ban Under Marijuana Prohibition (Forbes)
  • Schumer introduces bill to federally decriminalize marijuana (CNN)
  • Cannabis oil: what is it and does it really work as medicine? (New Scientist)
  • Legalising cannabis 'would raise £1bn in tax for the UK' (BBC)
  • Get Too High? 'Undoo' Inventor Wants to Take Cannabis Consumers Down (Phoenix New Times)
  • Mexico opium poppy growers see price drop, turn to marijuana (Tampa Bay Times)
  • Durham police chief calls for legalisation of cannabis in UK (The Guardian)
  • Meet Colorado’s New Single-Issue Voters: The Cannabis Community (The New York Times)
  • For Medical Marijuana, Is it the Whole Plant That Matters? (Undark Magazine)
  • Rite Aid poised to sell its first cannabis-derived drug (CNN)
  • Medical-Cannabis Extracts Like Vape Pen Oil Are Illegal, Arizona Appeals Court Rules (Phoenix New Times)
  • My 10-Year-Old Daughter Takes the First FDA-Approved Marijuana Drug. It's Changed Our Lives (TIME)
  • Cannabis growth is killing one of the cutest (and fiercest) creatures in the US (The Guardian)
  • Cannabis Businesses Hope To Shed Stoner Stereotype By 'Professionalizing Industry' (WBUR)
  • Oklahoma's hypocrites legalize cannabis after suing Colorado for the same (Rooster)
  • #PermitPatty Episode Blows Up on California Cannabis Company (Leafly)
  • What Recreational Cannabis In Mass. Means For Medical Marijuana (WBUR)
  • Cheap cannabis products available before new California rules kick in (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • I Want My Weed Coffeehouses (Seattle Weekly)

LSD

  • Microdosing with LSD vs. Psilocybin Mushrooms (The Third Wave)
  • Johnny Depp Wanted To Take Out Osama Bin Laden By Spraying LSD Over His Compound (Esquire)
  • LSD And 'Magic Mushrooms' Can 'Help People Deal With Serious Problems,' According to UC Berkeley Prof (Civilized)
  • Rampant LSD Use Sweeps US Colleges (Liberty Nation)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

  • Psychedelic therapy for smoking cessation: Qualitative analysis of participant accounts (SAGE Journals)

MDMA/Ecstasy

  • ‘Storm Chasers’ Star Joel Taylor Died from MDMA, Ketamine Poisoning (The Blast)
  • MDMA strengths surge to 'potentially fatal' levels (BBC)

Synthetic Cannabinoids/Psychoactive Research Chemicals

  • New N-bomb hallucinogenic drug that can bring on ‘extreme paranoia’ sparks cop probe after death links (The Scottish Sun)

Dissociatives

  • Rat Study Shows How Ketamine Combats Depression (Psych Central)
  • Revisiting the Hallucinogenic Potential of Ketamine (Psychiatric Times)
  • Minneapolis Police Order EMS Workers To Sedate Suspected Criminals With Ketamine (Herb)
  • Man kills himself in Williamsport apartment after smoking PCP: police (PennLive)

Opiates/Opioids

  • Why SITSA Act Will Actually Move the Needle Backward on the Opioid Crisis (Inverse)
  • Needle exchanges have been proved to work against opioid addiction. They’re banned in 15 states. (Vox)
  • A Gallery Owner Was Arrested After Leaving a 10-Foot Heroin Spoon Sculpture Outside OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma (TIME)
  • Ontario Promotes Free Use of Opioid Antidote (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Mexican heroin cannot escape the law of supply and demand (New York Post)
  • Tech Companies Deflect Blame for Opioid Crisis Ahead of FDA Summit (WIRED)
  • Legal uncertainty surrounds overdose-fighting drug (The Gazette)
  • What we know about the crack-fentanyl outbreak in Philly (Philadelphia Weekly)
  • When an Iowa Family Doctor Takes On the Opioid Epidemic (The New York Times)

Absinthe

Kratom

  • More Kratom Products Recalled Owing to Salmonella Risk (Medscape)
  • Kratom Users In States That Ban It Discuss How Prohibition Has Made Life Worse (HuffPo)
  • This Bill Could Give Jeff Sessions the Power to Ban Kratom (Tonic)
  • FDA Seeks to Curb Kratom Sales (Blue Virginia)
  • How To Get Kratom Out Of Your System Fast? (Kratom Guides)
  • Meet The “Kratom Warriors” Who Say This Plant Will End The Opioid Epidemic (BuzzFeed News)
  • Which Kratom Strains For Sleep You Can Try in 2018? (Kratom Guides)
  • What you need to know about Green Thai Kratom before Use (The Bona Venture)
  • Can You Buy Kratom On Local GNC, Walmart, Walgreens, And CVS? (Kratom Guides)

Kava

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • A Microguide to Microdosing Psychedelic Drugs (WIRED)
  • The Dangers and Risks of Microdosing (The Third Wave)
  • It may take hallucinogens to get us through the Trump years (Raw Story)
  • If America wants to stop the migrant crisis, it should decriminalize drugs (The Week)
  • Psychedelics Are Going Mainstream, Because the Mainstream Needs Them (VICE)
  • Can Psychedelics Induce Flow States? (The Third Wave)
  • Groovy, baby! The renaissance in psychedelic science is here (The Globe and Mail)
  • Treating PTSD with a Psychedelic (ThirdAge)
  • Information Update - Drug Use During Festival Season (Markets Insider)
  • Paul Stamets’ Psilocybin Stories on Joe Rogan Podcast Will Blow Your Mind (Psychedelic Times)
  • Taking Psychedelic Drugs to Ease Anxiety Over a Terminal Diagnosis: It’s a Real Option (ThirdAge)
  • Study: Can taking a hallucinogen curb cocaine use? (UAB News)
  • Different Ways Of Using Drugs (Psychedelic Heaven)

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.