Scientists Drug-Test Whole Cities: community urinalysis

From the University of Washington:

Researchers have figured out how to give an entire community a drug test using just a teaspoon of wastewater from a city's sewer plant.

The test wouldn't be used to finger any single person as a drug user. But it would help federal law enforcement and other agencies track the spread of dangerous drugs, like methamphetamines, across the country.

Oregon State University scientists tested 10 unnamed American cities for remnants of drugs, both legal and illegal, from wastewater streams. They were able to show that they could get a good snapshot of what people are taking.


This is nothing new, I read about a similar experiment in Washington DC last spring and one in another in a large Italian city last year but having difficulty finding links to the articles. 

Stay tuned or post links in comments.


Fairfax, VA Takes Part in Unusual Wastewater Experiment 2006

Link to wtopnews

Link to Washington Post article 

Link to timesonline (Italian tests)

THE rivers of Italy are flowing with cocaine, say scientists who have adopted a new approach to measuring the extent of drug misuse. The biggest river, the Po, carries the equivalent of about 4kg (8lb 13oz) of the drug a day, with a street value of about £20,000.

Anyone got space to store 2 tons of marijuana?


PORT ST. LUCIE — The city has accumulated so much evidence from its 74 marijuana grow house seizures in the past year, it doesn't have enough room to store it.

The police department is using several empty city-owned houses, as well as the defunct Ravenswood Community Center, to store materials ranging from grow house lights, air-conditioning units, hydroponics gear and the green leafy stuff itself. But police say they need more space as the city grows. They want to shift money from planning the eastern substation at the future City Center to build a new evidence warehouse.

Link to article 

Cleveland Police say truck full of cookies also contained $1,000,000 in Mexican pot.


One stop shopping:

Another big cache of drugs off the streets…this time in a legitimate shipment of Chips Ahoy cookies!

634 pounds of marijuana were seized early Friday morning on Cleveland’s west-side. It represents the second $1,000,000 seizure of marijuana in as many weeks.

This latest bust resulted from a three-month joint Cleveland Division of Police, BCI&I and Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office investigation.

Cleveland Police Commander Gary Gingell says the pot was in the sleeper cab of a tractor trailer rig carrying Chips Ahoy cookies.

Gingell reports that the shipment originated in Mexico and was transported to Cleveland through McCallen, Texas.

Police are planning to take ownership of the big rig under drug laws. The driver and two others are in custody. The three Hispanic males have addresses in southern Texas.

Mayor Frank Jackson is praising the undercover work of his officers, and claims breaking the grip of organized crime is a top quality of life issue in Cleveland.

A few weeks ago, pot was nabbed in a shipment of frozen broccoli.

Arrested and facing aggravated drug trafficking charges are 34-year-old David Ponce and 33-year-old Abel Avalos, both of Edinburg, TX, and 40-year-old Ramon Luna of McCallen, TX.

Each is confined in Cleveland city jail awaiting formal charges.


Barney Frank Files Bill To Decriminalize Pot


A controversial law in Massachusetts could go national if Congressman Barney Frank gets his way.

Frank has filed a bill that would eliminate federal penalties for personal possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana.

It would also make the penalty for using marijuana in public just $100.

“I think John Stuart Mill had it right in the 1850s,” said Congressman Frank, “when he argued that individuals should have the right to do what they want in private, so long as they don’t hurt anyone else. It’s a matter of personal liberty. Moreover, our courts are already stressed and our prisons are over-crowded. We don’t need to spend our scarce resources prosecuting people who are doing no harm to others.”

Frank filed a similar bill last year, but it failed.

The law passed in Massachusetts last November.

Ten other states have also reduced penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana – in some cases they are a civil fine. These states include California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, and Oregon.


Puppies and Flowers : “Everybody must get stoned” or “How catnip gets cats high…”

Pot dealers are now terrorists…

Photo: Courtesy of the Operation Alesia Joint Information Center

From news article: 

California — The nation's top anti-drug official said people need to overcome their "reefer blindness" and see that illicit marijuana gardens are a terrorist threat to the public's health and safety, as well as to the environment.

John P. Walters, President Bush's drug czar, said the people who plant and tend the gardens are terrorists who wouldn't hesitate to help other terrorists get into the country with the aim of causing mass casualties. Walters made the comments at a Thursday press conference that provided an update on the "Operation Alesia" marijuana-eradication effort.

"Don't buy drugs. They fund violence and terror," he said.

After touring gardens raided this week in Shasta County, Walters said the officers who are destroying the gardens are performing hard, dangerous work in rough terrain. He said growers have been known to have weapons, including assault rifles.

"These people are armed; they're dangerous," he said. He called them "violent criminal terrorists."

read more at Redding.com 

Absinthe – legal, delicious, and on a stick

…or so the site claims. One other flavor available, Maple-Bacon.


Link to lollyphile.

Legal, intense hallucinogen raises alarms. Woohoo!

From the 'Chronic' article:

Salvia divinorum is a bright, leafy green plant from Mexico that when chewed or smoked causes intense hallucinations comparable to LSD or "magic mushrooms."
And it's legal in California.
The drug is available all over the Bay Area, mostly in smoke shops and herbal stores. It's also sold over the Internet. For $15 to $50 a hit, users get a high that sends them into a dream-like state for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or two.

Link to article. Thanks to Brady for turning me on to this.

Snoop Dogg Live — What could possibly go wrong?

Online video chat by Ustream

…the animated tale of Dock Ellis’ legendary LSD no-hitter…

Google map of medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco and Oakland


80% are within a mile of my place, woo hoo!


9 Spanish anti-drug ads

9 ads from Ramón Rubial – Fundación Españoles en el Mundo, the Foundation for Spanish people all over the world. The campaign warns Spanish tourists about the dangers of doing (and getting busted for) drugs abroad. Beautiful work. Links to higher rez versions can be found here.





El Salvador

El Salvador 











United States

United States 

Links to higher rez versions can be found here.

Do BIG Cats like catnip?

Texas cops mistake actual weed for marijuana, spend hours doing yard work

From The Raw Story:

Like the old song goes, one of these things is not like the other…
However, remind a police officer in Corpus Christi, Texas of those famed Cookie Monster lyrics and they’re likely to give you an annoyed look.That’s because a recently discovered cache of plants, initially pegged by officials speaking to local news as “one of the largest marijuana plant seizures in the police department’s history,” turned out to be a relatively common prairie flower of little significance.Texas officers ultimately spent hours laboring to tag and remove up to 400 plants from a city park, discovering only after a battery of tests that they had been sweating over mere Horse Mint, a member of the mint family — effectively turning their ambitious drug bust into mere yard work.The plants, which bear very few aesthetic similarities to cannabis, were reported by an unnamed youth who came across them while riding a bike in the park around 8 p.m. on Thursday. Upon visual inspection, police apparently agreed that the inoffensive plants had to go. Continue reading…

Glastonbury 2009














Link to rest of Boston Globe collection.

More good news about mushrooms…

A Swiss researcher said Thursday he had hit on an unlikely way of recreating the unique sound of a Stradivarius violin — by treating the wood of a replica instrument with mushrooms. 

Francis Schwarze of the Zurich-based Federal Materials, Science and Technology Institute (EMPA), made a replica of a violin by the Italian master Antonio Stradivari from the year 1698, which was presented this week at the "Swiss Innovation Forum" in Basel.

Schwarze found that treating the maple wood used for the violin with "Xylaria longipes" mushrooms — which grow on the bark of trees — meant the sound quality was akin to an original Strad.

This mushroom lightly "nibbles" away at the wood's surface, thus reducing its density and improving the sound of the violin as a result.

"It has a very good sound and also carries well," violin maker Michael Rhonheimer said of the replica.

"I am convinced that the wood treatment at the EMPA has made an audible improvement."


Photo Essay — Weed growing on window sills in Geneva


So it’s been about a week that I landed in my birth place of Geneva Switzerland. I realized something funny popping out of a lot of windows and balconies: WEED. A lot of it. In deed the law are pretty sweet in Switzerland as far as weed. You can’t go to trial or get fines anymore if you get busted with small quantities of weed or if you get busted smoking a L. You are also allowed to grow your own material.

Link to photos 

“How can we dispose of 237 ton of cannabis?”


From The Sun:

RAF Top Guns have blown up the world’s biggest drug haul – in desert trenches in Afghanistan.

Harrier jets dropped three 1,000lb bombs on almost 237 tons of cannabis unearthed by Britain’s Special Boat Service and local commandos.

The haul – weighing more than 30 double-decker buses and spread over a site the size of two football fields – had a street value of at least £225million.

Last night a delighted Whitehall source said: “It was unbelievable – truly staggering.”

Link to full story with more pictures. 

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