Prison Officials Are Blaming Inmate Letters Soaked in K2 for Making Guards Sick

Tess Owen, writing for VICE News:

All 25 of Pennsylvania’s state prisons are indefinitely on lockdown after nearly 30 employees became ill following exposure to an mysterious narcotic substance in the last month, officials said. [...]
Most of the employees have since been cleared to return to work, and toxicology reports from the state police lab are just now trickling back in. One report from a patient who got sick on Aug. 13 had come into contact with a synthetic cannabinoid, also known as K2 or spice, according to Susan McNaughton, communications director for Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
But officials say the employees hadn’t actually consumed the drug. “Starting a few weeks ago, we saw an uptick in employees who were feeling sickened after touching inmates' property or escorting inmates,” said McNaughton. [...]
“It’s very unlikely that someone would touch a piece of paper with their hand and absorb any clinically significant amount of synthetic cannabinoid,” said Mark Neavyn, director of the fellowship in medical toxicology at the University of Massachusetts. “Unless the law enforcement officer was sucking on the piece of paper, I highly doubt it.”

I haven't ever heard of anyone getting high by placing synthetic cannabinoids onto their skin, but some psychoactive research chemicals are capable of being absorbed topically. So maybe there's something to this after all.

However, cops have also been claiming recently that they're overdosing (and dying) from accidentally touching fentanyl, which is impossible. It's certainly plausible that these officers in Pennsylvania (and elsewhere) are really just intentionally experimenting with the drugs they confiscate.


US Lawmakers Discuss Marijuana Legalization With New Mexican President’s Team

Tom Angell, writing for Marijuana Moment:

Two U.S. House members and one senator who participated in a recent congressional delegation to Mexico discussed marijuana legalization with officials from that country’s incoming presidential administration.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was elected in July and is set to take office on December 1, is expected to seriously considering ending cannabis prohibition as well as broader drug policy reforms, one of his key advisors has said.

America may soon find itself surrounded by countries that have legalized cannabis.


This Week in Psychedelics - 8.24.18

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Cannabis

  • Study: 1 in 7 Canadian cannabis users admits to high driving (The Mercury News)
  • Cory Booker Bill Would Let Students With Drug Convictions Keep Financial Aid (Marijuana Moment)
  • Wells Fargo Closes Florida Politician's Account Due To Marijuana Donations (Forbes)
  • Senate Amendment Requires Feds To Study Marijuana Legalization’s Impact (Marijuana Moment)
  • Here’s How Much Marijuana Costs on the West Coast vs East Coast (Priceonomics)
  • Marijuana ‘Farmers Markets’ Won’t Happen In California Yet After Bill’s Failure (Marijuana Moment)
  • North Texas Academy Offers First Cannabis Science Class (NBC Dallas-Fort Worth)
  • New Jersey Could Legalize Weed Next Month (Reason)
  • Baker Who Denied Same-Sex Couple Now Complaining About Marijuana-Themed Cake Requests (Marijuana Moment)
  • Cannabis Is Creating A Boom For Biological Pesticides (Forbes)
  • Pennsylvania Lawmaker Launches Online Petition To Promote Marijuana Legalization Bill (Marijuana Moment)
  • Proximity Of Dispensaries To Schools Not Linked With Teen Use (NORML)
  • Ohio Police Plan To Ignore Marijuana Ballot Measure (Marijuana Moment)
  • The Next Big Thing In Cannabis: Tourism (Forbes)
  • Israeli and Swiss Companies Team Up to Breed Better Cannabis for Patients (High Times)
  • Cannabis stocks soar to new highs (CNN)
  • Amid Primary Challenge, Democrat Senator Now Supports Marijuana Bill (Marijuana Moment)
  • Why you shouldn’t dismiss the risk of marijuana addiction (Vox)
  • America’s Invisible Pot Addicts (The Atlantic)
  • How Federal Housing Policy Excludes Poor People From Legal Pot (Rolling Stone)
  • We Fact Checked an ER Doctor Who Said Weed Edibles Can Kill Kids (VICE)
  • U.S. Border Agents Gear Up for Canada’s Marijuana Legalization, Vowing to Enforce Federal Law (Newsweek)
  • How Tech Will Drive The Next Stage Of Cannabis Regulation (Forbes)
  • Alaska Could Be The First State To Legalize And License Marijuana Lounges (Marijuana Moment)
  • The Dark Star of Doobage (Seattle Weekly)
  • Meet Bend And Blaze: A Cannabis-Infused Yoga Class You Need To Take (Forbes)
  • California: Marijuana Expungement Measure Awaits Governor’s Signature (NORML)
  • Big Majority Of Connecticut Voters Support Legalizing Marijuana, Poll Finds (Marijuana Moment)
  • California Cannabis Goes Luxury, Plans Appellations Just Like Wine (Forbes)
  • Poll: Huge Majority Of Wisconsin Voters Want Marijuana Legalized (Marijuana Moment)
  • Meet The Tattooed Branding Bigwig Who Gave Up Couture For Cannabis (Forbes)
  • Cannabis Now CEO Says Beer And Marijuana Mergers Are Good For Business (Forbes)

LSD

  • From Humble Chemist to Father of the Psychedelic Trip (OZY)
  • How To Take LSD (The Third Wave)
  • Can LSD help solve mental health issues? (CBS News)
  • LSD liberated me from the prison I had built for myself (Psymposia)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

  • FDA Approves Psychedelic Magic Mushrooms Ingredient Psilocybin for Depression Trial (Newsweek)
  • ‘Microdosing’ is touted by ’shroomers and Reddit users. Science is starting to test their claims — and finding some truth (STAT)
  • Can Psilocybin Make People Feel More Empathy to Nature? (Chacruna)
  • Psilocybin Proponents Push Medical Benefits of Drug, Ballot Initiative (Westword)

MDMA/Ecstasy

  • Veteran Treated PTSD And Suicidal Thoughts With ‘Life-Altering’ MDMA Therapy (Inquisitr)

Ayahuasca/DMT/5-MeO-DMT

  • What To Expect When You Drink Ayahuasca (The Third Wave)
  • Psychedelic Medicine 101: DMT and the near-death experience (New Atlas)
  • Man sentenced to 11.5 years for bringing bottle of Peruvian Ayahuasca drink to Russia (Pravda)

Synthetic Cannabinoids/Psychoactive Research Chemicals

  • Strange Drug Overdoses Are Mystifying Hospitals (Discover Magazine)
  • Big Pharma Synthetic Marijuana Leaves 2 Dead, 89 Hospitalized In Illinois (UR Healthinfo)

Dissociatives

  • A Doctor Explains How Prescribing Ketamine For Depression Works (Psymposia)
  • Driver, 21, found at wheel by police after being more than twice over the limit for ketamine (The News)
  • Man high on PCP harasses woman, punches her dad and then slugs a valet at Playhouse Square (News 5 Cleveland)

Opiates/Opioids

  • Mexican poppy producing state pushes to decriminalize opium (Star Tribune)
  • Dan Bigg, who spent decades fighting heroin crisis in Chicago and saved scores of lives, dies at 59 (Chicago Tribune)
  • On fentanyl: Congress must avoid another drug war (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Trump Says Pain Pills Are 'So Highly Addictive.' He's Wrong. (Reason)
  • This is what happens to your body during a heroin overdose (Health24)
  • Poll: Most Americans Know About Opioid Antidote And Are Willing To Use It (NPR)
  • Why Every Connecticut Home Should Have Naloxone (Hartford Courant)

Kratom

  • American Kratom Association says forensic pathologist got it wrong in Arvada death (9NEWS.com)
  • More than 40,000 Americans Petition DEA in Support of Kratom (Markets Insider)
  • Failed NDIs, FDA's Opioid Concerns Don't Stop Kratom Supplement Sales (Rose Sheet)
  • FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb Tweets Controversial Statements on Kratom (Inverse)
  • FDA recalls Kratom products due to salmonella concerns (News4Jax)
  • Rep. Vernon Jones appointed to House Study Committee on Risks with Kratom (On Common Ground News)

Kava

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • Like Beer, There's Now 'Craft Cocaine' (VICE)
  • Proposal seeks to improve assessment of drug risks (Science Daily)
  • These Drug Users Don't Want Their Dealer Prosecuted if They OD (VICE)
  • Federal officers have established unconstitutional checkpoints on the road to Burning Man (Boing Boing)
  • Scientists Dosed an Artificial Brain With Meth (Motherboard)
  • Psychedelics Might Be Especially Effective in Treating Depression When Combined With Hypnosis (Tonic)
  • Safe injection sites were thought to reduce drug overdoses. The research isn’t so clear. (Vox)
  • The Healing Powers of Psychedelics Documentary Series: Interview with Mareesa Stertz (Psychedelic Times)
  • Top 3 drugs to use while watching the Trump scandals, and top 3 to avoid (Rooster)
  • Psychedelics And Partying (Psychedelic Heaven)
  • The Myth Of Good And Bad 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.

This Week in Psychedelics - 8.17.18

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Cannabis

  • Study: Medical Cannabis Access Laws Associated With Fewer Workplace Fatalities (NORML)
  • Massachusetts Cannabis Activists Warn Against Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Worker Behavior in Industry (Psychedelic Times)
  • 5 Reasons Why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Are Essential in the Cannabis Industry Business (Entrepreneur)
  • Seed-To-Sale Tracking And Compliance: If Coffee Was Regulated Like Cannabis (Forbes)
  • New UMass Medical School study on mice helps explain why cannabis reduces symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (MassLive)
  • UN Launches First-Ever Full Review Of Marijuana’s Status Under International Law (Marijuana Moment)
  • Multiple sclerosis patient calls medical cannabis trial 'a miracle' (Montreal Gazette)
  • Can Article V Federally Legalize Cannabis? (Forbes)
  • Employers In Medical Marijuana States Can Still Drug Test Employees, Federal Judge Rule (Marijuana Moment)
  • Trump Tariffs Set To Hit Cannabis Industry (Forbes)
  • Marijuana Emerges As Key Issue In Nevada U.S. Senate Race (Marijuana Moment)
  • Legalization Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot in North Dakota (NORML)
  • More Americans want legal medical marijuana than legal alcohol or cigarettes, polls say (Rooster)
  • Marijuana Policy Project Welcomes New Executive Director (Marijuana Moment)
  • Texas Medical Marijuana Ad Launched (NORML)
  • New Congressional Bill Would Automatically Seal Marijuana Records (Marijuana Moment)
  • 'I don't think I look like a stoner': the women changing the face of the cannabis industry (The Guardian)
  • Scientists Discover You Can Use Espresso Machines To Make Marijuana Extracts (Marijuana Moment)
  • Working With Pot: Marijuana Job Searches Spike in Canada Ahead of National Legalization (Newsweek)
  • Marijuana-Friendly Gubernatorial Candidates Win Big In Tuesday’s Primaries (Marijuana Moment)
  • Cannabis Now Magazine CEO Eugenio Garcia Talks Marijuana, Publishing And The Future Of It All (Forbes)
  • Anti-Marijuana Group Wants Campaign Finance Transparency, Kind Of (Marijuana Moment)
  • Canadian Cannabis Debut Delayed In Ontario (Forbes)
  • Marijuana Ballot Measures Could Affect Key U.S. Senate Election (Marijuana Moment)
  • Utah’s medical marijuana ballot measure would violate Mormons’ religious beliefs, opponents say in new court filing, which initiative supporters call a ‘Hail Mary’ (The Salt Lake Tribune)
  • One In Four Young Americans Consume Marijuana, Survey Finds (Marijuana Moment)
  • A New Way of Getting High Is as Easy as Applying Deodorant (Tonic)
  • Dogs With Arthritis Benefit From Cannabis Oil, Study Says (Marijuana Moment)
  • Legal Weed: How Republicans Learned to Love Marijuana (Newsweek)
  • DEA Wants More Marijuana Grown And Fewer Opioids Produced In 2019. Really. (Marijuana Moment)
  • Policing of cannabis possession is largely accidental – and many officers don’t think it makes a difference (Policing Insight)
  • Cypress Hill Rapper Who Opposed California Legalization Opens A Marijuana Store (Marijuana Moment)
  • At Weed for Warriors, Military Veterans Harness the Healing Powers of Marijuana (MERRY JANE)
  • South By Southwest Fans Choose From Dozens Of Marijuana-Themed Panels For 2019 (Marijuana Moment)
  • Cannabis Mega Deal Sets Stage for Global Weed Empire (Bloomberg)
  • The Company Behind Corona Beer Is Investing Nearly $4 Billion in Legal Pot (TIME)
  • I’m Mandela not Al Capone — my cannabis speakeasy helps the sick (The Times)

LSD

  • Pro jiu-jitsu fighter says LSD helps him whoop ass (Rooster)
  • 9 Facts About LSD Everyone Should Know (Psychedelics Daily)
  • Microdose Acid in 7 Easy Steps (Psychedelics Daily)
  • Naked man high on LSD pees on security vehicle, fights officers in east Lincoln, police say (Beatrice Daily Sun)
  • Student who took LSD, cocaine and alcohol before being found nude outside shopping centre 'mortified' at video, court hears (Independent.ie)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

MDMA/Ecstasy

  • Ecstasy dealer faces jail after selling deadly dose to schoolgirl, 14, who fell ill after taking two tablets (Mirror)

Ayahuasca/DMT/5-MeO-DMT

  • DMT Models the Near-Death Experience (Frontiers)
  • The Connection Between Ayahuasca, Your Stomach, and Your Mind (Tonic)
  • Ayahuasca Healed My Autoimmune Disorder and Depression (Reset.me)
  • The fatal thirst for Peru’s Ayahuasca drug (Channel 4 News)

Peyote/San Pedro/Mescaline

  • Huachuma– The Healing Visionary Cactus From Peru (Reset.me)
  • Carlos Castaneda Was Right: High Dose Peyote Initiation (Medium)

Salvia Divinorum

Synthetic Cannabinoids/Psychoactive Research Chemicals

  • The Truth About 'Monkey Dust', UK Media's Latest Drug Obsession (VICE)
  • In hours, about 20 people overdosed in same park. Police say they found the culprit (Miami Herald)
  • New batch of MDMA and ecstasy pills being made with potentially lethal chemical (Metro)
  • Federal Drug Cops Conflate Synthetic Cannabinoids With Marijuana (Deliberately?) (Marijuana Moment)
  • Microdose 4-AcO-DMT in 7 Easy Steps (Psychedelics Daily)

Dissociatives

  • Ketamine shows potential in teens with treatment-resistant depression (Healio)
  • Lufkin police: Man possibly high on PCP said white wolves chased him, his family (KTRE)

Opiates/Opioids

  • Fentanyl Used to Execute Nebraska Inmate, in a First for U.S. (The New York Times)
  • Does Smoking Heroin Really Cause Brain Damage? (Tonic)
  • Norway to test free heroin for drug addicts (Channel NewsAsia)
  • Bleak New Estimates in Drug Epidemic: A Record 72,000 Overdose Deaths in 2017 (The New York Times)
  • Facebook cracks down on opioid dealers after years of neglect (TechCrunch)
  • Sending Your Kid to College? Send Them With Fentanyl Testing Strips and Naloxone. (Slate)
  • New report shows increasing trend of EMS-administered naloxone for overdoses (Medical Xpress)
  • Nevada’s Opioid Task Force Continues to Explore Options (NORML)
  • The Western War on Afghan Farmers (Beckley Foundation)
  • Could a Name Change Increase Support for Safe Injection Sites? (Pacific Standard)
  • Ignoring the benefits of supervised injection facilities isn’t just callous. It’s deadly (The Boston Globe)
  • What the media gets wrong about opioids (Columbia Journalism Review)
  • How law enforcement is taking action on the opioid crisis (The Boston Globe)
  • Man dies after swallowing heroin following raid targeting gang with Chicago connections (Chicago Tribune)
  • 81-year-old Woman Tried to Smuggle 92 Lbs. of Heroin Across US-Mexico Border: Police (People)

Kratom

  • Kratom Association Calls FDA Review of Drug ‘Junk Science’ in Scathing Report (Rolling Stone)
  • New Kratom Death Reports Still Leave More Questions Than Answers (HuffPost)
  • How Often Can You Take Kratom (Kratom Guides)
  • Salmonella scare prompts Kratom recall (Washington Examiner)
  • Herbal supplement sold at gas stations and smoke shops kills Arvada man (9News)
  • What Is Kratom? (Civilized)
  • List of 5 Best Kratom Capsules: Benefits, Dosage & Legality (Kratom Guides)
  • Who Sells The Best Kratom Capsules – 20 Top Kratom Vendors Online (Kratom Guides)

Kava

  • Kava Business Launched In Canada (Fiji Sun)
  • Kava Demand Creates Trade Opportunity Between Fiji, Madang (Fiji Sun)

Khat

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • How America Convinced the World to Demonize Drugs (VICE)
  • These Psychedelic Drugs Show Promise for Treating Mental Health Disorders (Live Science)
  • People With Depression and Anxiety Could Benefit From Hallucinogens (Teen Vogue)
  • The Long Burn: A 30-Day Sananga Challenge (Psychedelic Times)
  • The New Wave of Psychedelics in Buddhist Practice (Lion's Roar)
  • Beyond Psychedelics 2018: Listening, Talking, Filming – Review Of A Psychedelic Forum in Prague (Maps Of The Mind)
  • The War on Drugs Is Inseparable from US Imperialism (VICE)
  • Psychedelic Drugs Shown To Promote Neural Plasticity (Psychedelics Daily)
  • Psychedelics Reduce Violence Against Intimate Partners (Psychedelics Daily)
  • Top 5 Myths About Psychedelics You Need To Know (Psychedelics Daily)

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.