‘Super Cartel’ Controlling Third of Europe’s Cocaine Trade Sacked by Police

Spanning across six countries in Europe and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Europol and multiple law enforcement agencies launched Operation Desert Light and took down one of the world’s largest suppliers of cocaine.

According to a press release, Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, took out a 49-person “super cartel” and confiscated over 30 tons of drugs amid Operation Desert Light. Police say the cartel was headed by six main drug lords—the only ones considered “high-value targets”—in Dubai, with 43 lower-level henchmen.

“A total of 49 suspects have been arrested during the course of this investigation,” Europol stated. “The drugpins considered as high-value targets by Europol had come together to form what was known as a ‘super cartel’ which controlled around one third of the cocaine trade in Europe.”

Europol posted a YouTube video showing police agents and dogs searching homes filled with luxury sports cars, pools, and piles of unopened iPhones.

Nearly every drug enforcement agency around was called in: The massive operation enlisted Spain’s Guardia Civil; France’s Police Nationale; Belgium’s Federal Judicial Police Brussels and Federal Judicial Police Antwerp; the Netherlands’ National Police National Criminal Investigations Division and Police Unit Rotterdam; United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Interior and Dubai Police Force; and the DEA from the United States.

“These arrests are the culmination of parallel investigations run in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UAE with the support of Europol into the activities of this prolific criminal network involved in large-scale drugs trafficking and money laundering.”

“The scale of cocaine importation into Europe under the suspects’ control and command was massive and over 30 tonnes of drugs were seized by law enforcement over the course of the investigations.”

Vice reports that a Dutch-Bosnian trafficker Edin Gacanin, 40, aka “Tito” is allegedly one of the 50 largest cocaine traffickers in Europe, according to a leaked DEA report. Tito was a “big fish” suspected drug kingpin, with alleged links to high-profile Dutch crime boss Ridouan Taghi, who was also arrested in Dubai in 2019, and is currently on trial. Zouhair Lamchachti, 39, aka “Beertje”, who is both Dutch and Moroccan, was also arrested as a high value target.

The operation requires a bit of coordination: Last September, Europol and the Ministry of Interior of the United Arab Emirates joined forces. They signed a Liaison Officer Agreement, thus allowing UAE law enforcement liaison officers to be deployed to Europol’s headquarters in the Netherlands, the report explains. 

Europol said they’ve been planning to take down the super cartel for two years.

In Europe, data shows that during the past 10 years, access to cocaine in Europe is increasing yearly, according to The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction’s European Drug Report. “Overall, indicators suggest that the availability and use of cocaine in Europe remains high by historical standards,” analysts wrote. “In 2020, a record high of 213 tonnes of cocaine was seized. Increases in the number of cocaine laboratories dismantled in 2020, seizures of raw materials imported from South America and associated chemicals, together indicate large-scale cocaine processing in Europe.”

Cocaine is a problem in the U.S. as well, especially when it involves corrupt law enforcement. An off-duty Pentagon police officer was arrested last month with at least 2.5 kilos of cocaine. In that case, the Arlington County Police Department charged the officer with two counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance, and Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance while Armed. 

Read Europol’s announcement for more details about the police approach to Operation Desert Light.

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Belgium Says It Needs Even More Incinerators To Destroy Seized Cocaine

A record amount of cocaine seized by law enforcement in Belgium has the government in the market for some additional incinerators. 

Agence France-Presse reports that authorities there have “seized so much cocaine from smugglers operating through the port of Antwerp that it needs more incinerator space to destroy it.” 

“There’s a problem with incinerator capacity,” Belgian customs service spokesperson Francis Adyns told Agence France-Press, saying that the government has “a structural solution is on the way.”

According to Agence France-Presse, “Belgian authorities are on course to seize more than 100 tonnes in 2022, a new record after 89.5 tonnes was seized last year.”

Adyns told Euronews this week that the “main issue for the customs administration is to destroy all as quickly as possible all the cocaine.”

“If we have a huge drug bust, in terms of 5 to 8 tonnes, not everything can be immediately destroyed because of the capacity of the incinerators and in terms of environmental restrictions on the destruction of large amounts of drugs,” Adyns told the outlet. “But in the meantime, agreements were made with the incinerators who will provide us with more capacity to incinerate them.”

According to Euronews, “details of the plans to incinerate it and the schedule of incinerations are being kept secret due to fears that criminal organisations could now strike at those locations in an attempt to recover some of the seized narcotics.”

“We have to deal with a lot of money (in terms of its street value),” Adyns said. “The cost of the price on the street of a gramme of cocaine is about €50. So one can imagine if we have seized a few tonnes, what amount that represents. Due to these organisations that are not afraid of using violence, as we’ve seen in the Netherlands, and the large amount of money that is at stake, one can imagine that there is an enormous issue when it comes to the security (of the operation and) of our agents.” 

According to Euronews, Antwerp prosecutor Franky De Keyser in October described the seized contraband as a “mountain of cocaine.” 

The Brussels Times reports that “so much cocaine is being seized at the port of Antwerp that the confiscated drugs have to be stored at Customs.”

“That could give drug gangs ideas, prompting them, for example, to raid the customs warehouses … The approved incineration plants are not getting the seized cocaine processed,” according to the Brussels Times. “Antwerp prosecutor Franky De Keyser raised the alarm with Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne a few weeks ago. Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever also knocked on Van Quickenborne’s door for the same reason. The offices of Van Quickenborne and De Wever said a solution was being sought jointly. The Public Waste Agency of Flanders, OVAM, said Saturday that there is sufficient capacity in the incinerators, and that the problems are logistical.”

Agence France-Press reports that the country’s “latest problem stems from the astronomical quantities of cocaine from Latin America that are intercepted in Antwerp, Europe’s main port of entry for the illegal trade,” noting that Belgian authorities “are concerned that depots used to store the drugs could become targets for robberies by powerful gangs seeking to recover their lucrative cargoes.”

“According to local media reports, suspected gang members have been seen using drones to scout around customs depots housing seized cocaine worth millions of euros,” Agence France-Press reported this week. “Authorities are working quickly to destroy the seizures but, Adyns said, to incinerate cocaine ‘there are environmental standards to be met.’”

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Off-Duty Pentagon Police Officer Arrested With at Least 2.5 Kilos of Cocaine

An undercover investigation in Virginia ended with the arrest of an off-duty Pentagon police officer by the Arlington County Police Department last Friday.

The ACPD issued a press release on Halloween which said their detectives had been investigating Welch for possibly selling drugs based on evidence for which they did not offer specifics. The investigation is still active so it’s not uncommon for law enforcement agencies of any kind to keep information limited until the investigation is complete. Thus, not much detail was offered in general about this case other than the following:

“He was taken into custody on the afternoon of October 28 in the 1300 block of S. Scott Street (Arlington, VA) after detectives observed him purchase narcotics for distribution. A firearm was recovered at the scene. A search warrant was subsequently executed at the suspect’s residence in Alexandria which resulted in the recovery of additional quantities of narcotics and firearms. As a result, City of Alexandria Police charged Welch with Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance (x2) and Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance while Armed,” – Arlington County Police Department.

Courtesy of the Arlington County Police Department

Those charges indicate Welch was arrested with anywhere from 2.5 to five kilos of cocaine. Naturally, I emailed the Pentagon to ask them how in the Sam Hell an officer of theirs managed to get his hands on that much coke when my guy has been dry for weeks. They sent me the following statement:

“The Pentagon Force Protection Agency is aware that an off-duty Pentagon Police Officer was arrested by the Arlington County Police Department on October 28, 2022. The officer was placed on administrative leave.”

I asked if this was the first time Welch had been reprimanded for conduct in or outside of the workplace.

“We don’t comment on individual personnel matters,” said Jacqueline Yost, director of the corporate communications office at the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.

Welch was arrested at least once prior in Arlington County as well. Court records show Welch pleaded guilty to charges of destruction of property of value greater than $1,000 as well as disorderly conduct. A separate charge of failure to pay for a rental vehicle or animal was also entered but no other information was immediately available. I did a cursory search of court records for neighboring Virginia counties and a search of Washington D.C. court records and found no other entries for an Eric Michael Welch. 

When asked if they were aware if Welch has a prior criminal history, or if it’s common to allow police officers to work with criminal records, the Pentagon did not wish to comment. 

As of Wednesday morning, an inmate query with the Arlington County Detention Facility showed Welch was still incarcerated and being held without bond. 

Courtesy of @welch_fit / Instagram

Interestingly enough, Welch maintained a moderately active Instagram presence dedicated to bodybuilding and fitness of all things prior to being arrested. His handle is @welch_fit but, in the interest of complete transparency, I’m saying that based on basic image and name comparison as I could not verify directly with Welch that it was the same guy. 

He is downright ripped, like eats a bowl of nails for breakfast ripped, and lists a company called MSF Supplements as a sponsor in his Instagram bio. I reached out to them to see if Welch is still a sponsored athlete or if they were aware of the charges and they did not get back to me in time for publication. 

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Australian Capital Territory Decriminalizes Small Amounts of Drugs Including Heroin, Cocaine

The social experiment of decriminalizing drugs and providing a health-based program instead of locking up drug users is taking hold in Australia’s capital.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT)—home of capital city Canberra—passed legislation on October 20 to decriminalize small amounts of drugs, according to an announcement. It’s the first jurisdiction to do so in Australia.

The Drugs of Dependence (Personal Possession) Amendment Bill 2022, introduced by MP Michael Pettersson of the Labor party, decriminalizes just very small amounts of drugs. Punishments will be reduced to warnings, small fines, or a drug diversion program.

The bill was approved in a 13-6 vote. There will be a 12-month transition period beginning in October 2023.

“From late October 2023, the possession of small amounts of certain illicit drugs will be decriminalised,” the announcement reads. “This means people will no longer be exposed to potential prison sentences and instead may be issued a $100 fine or referred to an illicit drug diversion program. If the matter proceeds to court, the person will face a maximum $160 fine, reduced from 50 penalty units and/or two years in prison.

“This reform will reduce the stigma and fear for people who are using drugs to access health services,” the announcement continues. “By diverting people to a drug diversion program, people who use drugs will be offered the health services and support they need while providing a pathway away from the criminal justice system.”

That means Canberrans will no longer face potential prison sentences and instead will be given a slap on the wrist: either only a caution, an AU$100 fine (about $63 USD), or they will get referred to an illicit drug diversion program.

Over the next 12 months, the government will begin to implement oversight arrangements, deliver training to frontline workers like police, and develop public communications with police, the alcohol and drug sector, academic experts, and people with lived experience.

Maximum limits apply specifically to different drugs: Cocaine at 1.5 grams, heroin at 2 grams, MDMA at 3 grams, methamphetamine at 1.5 grams, amphetamine at 2 grams, psilocybin at 2 grams, lysergic acid at 2 milligrams, and finally LSD at 2 milligrams.

ACT officials who supported the bill believe a more health-focused approach to addiction is more effective than locking them up.

“The ACT has led the nation with a progressive approach to reducing the harm caused by illicit drugs with a focus on diversion, access to treatment and rehabilitation and reducing the stigma attached to drug use,” ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said. “This sensible reform is based on the expert advice that a health-focused, harm-reduction approach delivers the best outcome for people using drugs.”

The Guardian reports that the deputy leader of the Canberra Liberals, Jeremy Hanson, slammed the law, calling it “radical.” 

“It wasn’t taken to the community. It’s going to lead to more crime. It’s going to lead to more carnage on our roads,” he told ABC. “It’s not going to change the number of people going into the criminal justice system, and it’s not going to fix the problem that we have now, which is not enough people being able to access treatment.”

Pettersson said that people who use meth are often the ones who are actually in the most need of assistance from health services.

“People that use recreational drugs are taking a risk, and certain drugs cause more harm than others,” he said. “If people are using a substance like methamphetamine, we need to make sure that we do not continue to criminalise them and make it even easier for them to come forward and access the support that they might need.”

In the ACT, weed has been decriminalized already for nearly 30 years.

In America’s capital Washington, D.C., psilocybin, ayahuasca, and mescaline are decriminalized, and efforts to decriminalize all drugs are ongoing.

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The 5 Best Drug Tourism Destinations

There was a time when leaving your home nation was unlikely, when getting a plane and flying halfway across the globe was an impossibility and when exploring the world’s wonders was something you’d only read about in books – am I talking about the old days, or am I talking about covid? Who knows. Either way, with summer in full force, it’s time to start thinking about holidays and destinations. If you’re someone who likes to visit somewhere with a little magical twist, then why not try a drug tourist hotspot?

The world is full of amazing countries, with amazing substances. But it isn’t always easy to know where to look. That’s why we’ve filtered down the ideal places to go if you’re looking for a certain type of drug or experience. 

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What is Drug Tourism?

So, what actually is this phenomenon? Well, someone should probably think of a better term than ‘drug tourism’, it doesn’t really have much of a ring to it, does it? Nonetheless, drug tourism is a simple enough idea and is pretty self-explanatory. Put simply, it is when someone travels to another location in the hope to enjoy specific substances. This could be either because these drugs are better there, more easily available or simply accepted by the nations’ government.

In some cases, these substances are illegal and thus do not benefit the government. In others, these have been made legal and public. In the Netherlands, the government makes around 400 million euros a year from their cannabis tourist sector, and around 2 million from their drug sector as a whole. Also, in Thailand, they have recently legalized cannabis in the hope that it will increase the worth of their sector like other countries. But drug tourism isn’t a new thing. Gateway writes:

“Drug tourism dates back centuries ago when spice traders would go to other countries to get the spices unavailable at home. With the advancement of technology and transportation, tourism is more popular than ever, reaching around 1.46 billion travelers in 2019. With the increase in travel comes a rise in event, restaurant and drug sales.”

For some, drug tourism is now becoming as respected as food tourism or activity tourism. It’s as good a reason as any to travel the world to find the perfect substances. But where are the main hotspots? Let’s find out. 

The Top Drug Tourism Hotspots

Peru: Ayahuasca

Peru in South America is the perfect holiday destination if you’re looking for a psychedelic trip like no other. Thousands of tourists are now trekking to the jungles of Peru to experience ayahuasca. What is it? Well, Heathline writes:

“Ayahuasca — also known as the tea, the vine, and la purga — is a brew made from the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub along with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, though other plants and ingredients can be added as well”

It is a native vine of the Amazonian basin, which is why Peru is the ideal location. The drink was and is used for spiritual purposes by ancient Amazonian tribes. Places like the Ayahuasca foundation in Peru offer retreats to tourists who want to experience the psychedelic drug safely. Those who have taken ayahuasca describe it as a religious experience. The psychedelic makes you feel at one with the Earth, as well causing some incredible hallucinations and euphoric emotions. Some naturally vomit due to its potency. But don’t worry, this is all part of the experience. The shamans will take care of you through it all. 

Netherlands: Cannabis

Another location – whilst perhaps the most obvious one – is the capital of Holland: Amsterdam. Amsterdam has decriminalized cannabis and has a booming weed culture. Within the city there are around 160 coffeeshops, all of which sell a variety of strains and products. Plus, the city is gorgeous. The canals, cobbled streets and wonky buildings are captured only by Van Gogh’s paintings. As a recommendation, getting high and going to the Van Gogh museum is a must do. As a bonus, Amsterdam also sells truffles, a derivative of the magic mushroom. These odd-looking things give an awesome psilocybin trip. Sit in Vondelpark and watch as the colorful hallucinations go by. 

Colombia: Cocaine

It wasn’t too long ago that Colombia was too dangerous to visit with very high crime and death rates. In fact, still now it’s considered a ‘reconsider travel’ nation. But, alas, for many people it’s a beautiful country, with great culture and the beginning of a South American tour. Plus, it may just be the easiest and cheapest place to get high quality cocaine. In the 90s, Colombia became the main producer of cocaine, as well as heroin. Supposedly the value of the trade is worth around 10 billion dollars a year. Colombia is the source of 43% of the world’s coke. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it’s easy to get and very cheap. The Partying Traveller writes:

“The trick for the dealers is to give it as a “gift” with another purchase. For example, 30,000 Colombian pesos is pretty steep for a single can of beer, but you’ll get a complimentary gift for that. That “gift” is worth a couple hundred per gram in big cities like New York City or London, so it’s no surprise why Colombia gets a lot of tourism solely for cocaine”

Some parts of Colombia will give you a gram of cocaine for the price of a frozen pizza, at around 3 dollars. The average price of a gram of cocaine in London or New York is about 100 pounds or dollars. It’s no surprise that people travel halfway across the world for cheap prices like that. Plus, it’s supposed to be far more potent than the meddled-with and cut-stuff in America or Europe. 

Thailand: Magic Mushrooms

Thailand is just about one of the most picturesque places out there. You have jungles, you have bustling cities, you have islands, and you have some of the most stunning beaches on the planet. Tourism has boomed in Thailand, which does mean it can be hard to get off the beaten track. But, if you’re looking for peace, searching for magic mushroom shakes might just be the right place to start. Travel Freak writes:

medical cannabis thailand

“It was now 4pm and the sun was well on its way to bumping heads with the horizon. We drank our shakes, sat in big comfy chairs and lazed in hammocks by the beach. We went swimming, told stories, talked nonsense, laughed uncontrollably and bonded over this incredibly unusual experience.”

In Thailand – and especially the island of Koh Phangan – there are many high bars on the top of mountains or on beaches that sell shroom shakes. These shakes are hugely popular and easy to get hold of. But, fortunately, they’re usually sold in peaceful areas where you can properly enjoy the wonders of psychedelics. When I was in Thailand, I had probably my greatest ever drug experience watching the sunset from a bar on the top of a mountain. I remember talking to a cloud for about 4 hours. It was great. 

Germany: Ecstasy

It isn’t often spoken about but the ecstasy in Germany definitely deserves a mention. Berlin is the capital of techno music, and as such, has some of the greatest drugs to go alongside this culture. It’s not only easy to get pills in Berlin, but they’re also extremely potent. The capital has some of the livest clubs in the world, and the electronic music is crazy. However, it can be hard to get in, so don’t be surprised if the bouncer turns you away. Nonetheless, ecstasy is incredibly popular. DW writes:

“Of Berlin’s partygoers, more than half (50.3 percent) admitted to using amphetamines and almost half ecstasy/MDMA (49.1 percent) within the last 30 days.”

Taking this drug in a Berlin club is a bucket list event. Simply stand on the street and someone will try and sell you something. It’s easier to get than water. Although, make sure you’re not being taken advantage of. 

Conclusion

There are many drugs in the world, and many great countries where you can enjoy them. Drug tourism is a real phenomenon and shouldn’t be undermined. There are concrete reasons why thousands of people travel to certain places every year to experience certain substances. Technically, people’s obsession with exploring wine in the south of France is as respectable as travelling to Mexico to take Toad Venom. It’s all a drug after all. So, where do you plan on visiting this year?

Hello readers! We appreciate you joining us at Cannadelics.com, a top choice news platform for independent coverage of the growing cannabis and psychedelics landscapes of today. Come by the site whenever possible for updates on current and world-changing events, and head over to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always up on what’s going down.

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Sao Miguel: The Rise and Fall of Cocaine Island

What would happen if a small, island community – with roughly 140,000 inhabitants – found 290kg of grade-A cocaine that had washed up on their shores? This amount would roughly be worth around 35 million dollars. Well, this is exactly what happened in 2001 to the tiny Portuguese island of Sao Miguel, when a drug smuggler accidentally lost his millions worth of cocaine parcels.

The island people may not have known it then, but the positive and negative effects left after this event would last for decades. Although this drug brought with it a great deal of wealth, it also brought with it addiction and despair. But what really happened? Let’s hear the true story of how half a ton of cocaine changed a small island forever. 

To stay current on everything important happening in the industry, subscribe to The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!


Sao Miguel 

Sao Miguel is referred to as the ‘green island’, and rightfully so. This gem is another one of Europe’s under-appreciated beauties. Sao Miguel may be a small island around 740 miles off the west-coast shores of Portugal but It is actually the largest of the Azores archipelago of Portugal and it is situated in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is 40 miles long and 9 miles wide, with a 293 square miles area. Due to its beauty, with stunning beaches and incredible greenery, It has become a major tourist spot. Sao Miguel is also known for its tasty fruits, such as pineapples – and its wine and meats. Portugal writes:

“A vibrant garden in the middle of the Atlantic. It is no coincidence that the island of São Miguel in the Azores archipelago is also known by the nickname “Green Island“… The scenery that São Miguel offers, so diverse, is a pleasant awakening for visitors, thanks to the beautiful lakes, sandy beaches, hills, high mountains, green plains and blue ocean. São Miguel still retains that unique charm of yesteryear, when life passed serenely and unhurriedly.”

The capital city of Sao Miguel is Ponta Delgarda, which is also the capital of the entire azores region. This region is made up of 9 islands, Sao Miguel being the largest. It is believed that the island was discovered in the early 1400s by Goncalo Velho Cabral, and after centuries of wars and tidal waves (which destroyed the capital) the island has stayed strong. Although modestly inhabited, the place has a real sense of pride and unity. But then, in 2001, that was all about to change. In a youtube video, a traveller Naomi Mikleova emotionally says: 

“Before all of the drugs came to the island, people just kind of lived their lives, they were raising cattle and making cheese and dedicating themselves to agriculture and fishing. And then, in 2001, the arrival of all of this cocaine, kind of turned the life on the island upside down”

An island that had once been so green and modest, was about to become white and rich. In other words, half a ton of 80% pure cocaine from a drug smuggler was about to wash ashore and change the island forever. 

The Story of the Missing Cocaine 

Picture this: you’re living in the tiny fishing village of Rabo de Peixe on the island of Sao Miguel. You’re one of 7,500 inhabitants in the village and the most eventful thing that ever happens there is a good catch. Life is pretty dull. However, one day, you see a large ship passing by. This isn’t normal, but you decide that perhaps it’s an ambitious sailor that has got lost. Nevertheless, after a few hours, unidentified packages begin washing up on the shore. By the end of the day, around 300 of these UFP’s (unidentified floating packages) have washed up. Many have been taken into the police and many have also been kept. What would you do? Would you call the authorities? Or would you keep hold of yours, thinking perhaps that this random substance could be worth more money than you’ve ever seen before? 

In June 2001, this is what occurred. For once, in the small village of Rabo de Peixe, something actually happened and it changed the entire island significantly. A Sun Kiss 47 yacht, carrying over 500kg of highly pure cocaine, was about to drop its load on the shores of Sao Miguel. The drug boat, which had already completed a few trips to Venezuela from the Canary Islands, was now en route to Spain to also drop off some cocaine. However, the boat was not doing well, and the yacht’s mast had been damaged by some rough weather. It would be impossible to make it to Spain, so they needed to stop somewhere: Sao Miguel was the chosen destination.

The issue was, they were unable to anchor into the port as their boat would be checked by authorities, so instead they decided to hide the drugs under water in a nearby cave. Using fishing wire and misjudged planning, they tied the packages together and anchored them below sea level inside the cave. There were over 300 packages of cocaine, worth around 40 million euros. Due to continued bad weather and rough seas, the packages untied themselves and were released into the murky waters. El Pais writes:

As they bobbed ever closer to the pier in Rabo de Peixe, news of their arrival tore through the town, prompting a frenzied treasure hunt. According to witnesses, dozens of people, from teenagers to grannies, ventured out onto the treacherous quay that night to fish for the goods.The police managed to confiscate 400kg of the powder in the first-ever operation of its kind on the archipelago. The remainder was commandeered by locals, many of whom were both poor and uneducated.”

The police tried to convince the public and the world that the yacht was only carrying 500kg of cocaine, when actually the boat itself could have carried up to 3000kg. Eventually people began to acknowledge the value of these findings and those who did get their hands on a parcel began trying to use them in all manner of ways. The issue was, no one knew the price or the market. Therefore, newly pronounced dealers were selling people a beer glass full of cocaine for 20 euros. This, as many will know, is far far too cheap. Nonetheless, people wanted to make money as quickly as possible. This led to a large increase of overdoses among the island. In fact, women selling mackerel were even beginning to coat the fish with cocaine instead of flour and men began using it on their coffee instead of sugar. Nuno Medes, the journalist covering the case said:

“We had 20 deaths and an untold number of overdoses in the three weeks following the landing. But these are unofficial statistics that we cobbled together with the help of doctors and health workers”

For those selling this cocaine, their lives were changed forever. Despite selling it for extremely cheap, they were able to make a good amount of money from it, after finding a random parcel on the shore. Nonetheless, this was probably where the good fortune ended. In reality, Sao Miguel had been cursed by these parcels. The drug smuggler, Antoni Quinzi was found and arrested, and although he helped the authorities find some of the remaining parcels, the damage had been done. The police and the media tried to send out warnings to the public, to stop the misuse of the newly discovered cocaine but it didn’t work. Ultimately, in a world of wealth divisions, it’s no surprise that the poorer people would take advantage of a step up if they were given it – even if it was fueled by illegal and dangerous substances. Unfortunately the 80% cocaine was far more pure than anything usually bought on the streets, making it highly addictive and appealing. People got hooked quickly and those who could afford it went to rehab, those who couldn’t turned to cheaper drugs when the cocaine ran out like heroin. A journalist from the Guardian wrote:

“Outside Rabo de Peixe, I waited with a group of drug users for the local methadone van, which travels around the island treating people for heroin addiction. That morning, about 20 addicts clustered near a kennel of snarling Azorean cattle dogs. Most of the addicts were gaunt with jaundiced eyes, rotting teeth and grey, wrinkled skin. Small children accompanied a few of the users, while most came alone and spoke to no one, smoking and staring at the tarmac.”

Final Thoughts

Many lives were ruined instantly and in the long term due to the random event that took place in 2001. What seemed like a dream come true – a lottery win – soon became a trigger for drug addiction and despair. What is evident with this story is how little the capitalist structure caters for people’s needs. What island in the world would not take advantage of this amount of cocaine randomly finding itself on their shore? When money is scarce and opportunities are little, what choice do people have? Nonetheless, the fact remains that Sao Miguel is a breathtakingly beautiful place and if you ever have the chance to go – you should.

Hello readers! We appreciate you joining us at Cannadelics.com, a top choice news platform for independent coverage of the growing cannabis and psychedelics landscapes of today. Come by the site whenever possible for updates on current and world-changing events, and head over to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always up on what’s going down.

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Drugs and Intelligence: Famous Geniuses and Their Substances of Choice  

Recreational drug use is not generally regarded as a benchmark of intelligence; but maybe it should be. In addition to your everyday intellectuals, many notable, brilliant minds in science and technology have experimented with all sorts of illicit drugs – from marijuana to psychedelics, and even amphetamines. But what is the reason behind this? Do drugs breed intelligence, or are already intelligent people more likely to use drugs? Let’s dive deeper into this phenomenon, as well as explore a short list of famous geniuses who were very open about their love of psychoactive substances.  

Scroll down to check out our list of famous geniuses who dabbled in drugs, and to stay current on everything important happening in the industry, subscribe to The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!


Drugs and the mind  

According to a 1970 British Cohort Study that reviewed data on nearly 8,000 people, there is a link (however indirect) between intelligence and recreational drug use. Verbatim, the results of their research stated that: “High childhood IQ may increase the risk of illegal drug use in adolescence and adulthood”. To reach this conclusion, the sample population had their intelligence quotient (IQ) tested at ages 5 and 10, then again at ages 16, and once more at 30. 

As per the results, the individuals with the highest IQ scores were more likely to use cannabis, cocaine and other stimulants, alcohol, psychedelics, ecstasy, or a combination of some or all of the above. This was especially true for female participants. When it came to women, those with IQ scores in the top 33% were more than twice as likely to have tried various drugs than those in the bottom 33%. Other studies over the years echoed these results, like this one from 2009.  

In addition to an obvious correlation between intelligence and drug experimentation, other studies have found that drugs and creativity are also connected. Creativity is often thought of as artistic only, but inventive and scientific innovation also falls under the umbrella of creativity; and one of the bedrocks of creativity is divergent thinking.  

Divergent thinking is a key factor in the ability to take creative thoughts and apply them practically, outside the mind. A handful of studies (although each of them small), paired with decades of anecdotal evidence, suggest that numerous different drugs can improve divergent thinking such as cannabis, LSD, ayahuasca, psilocybin, and cocaine.  

The next logical question, is whether there is a connection between intelligence and creativity, since both have a link to higher risk of drug use. The answer: yes, but only to a certain degree. Psychologist J.P. Guilford mentions that, “A high IQ alone does not guarantee creativity. Instead, personality traits that promote divergent thinking are more important. Divergent thinking is found among people with personality traits such as nonconformity, curiosity, willingness to take risks, and persistence.” 

The general consensus is that IQ and creativity correlate positively up to a score of around 120, after which point that seems to level out. Meaning, a person with an IQ of 110 might be more creative than someone with an IQ of 90, whereas a person with an IQ of 130 or above would likely exhibit similar levels of creativity to someone with a slightly lower IQ, in the 110-120 range. As a hypothesis, I would suggest that those with higher IQs tend to see more possibilities, therefore increasing their odds of producing something original and useful (i.e., creative). But people with extremely high and genius level IQs are often thinking more analytically (convergent thinking).  

The Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis 

There aren’t too many theories as to why this is, but the one that makes the most sense to me is the Savanna-IQ interaction hypothesis. Savanah-IQ was introduced by psychologist and writer, Satoshi Kanazawa. His ideas are based on natural evolutionary adaptations. All life evolves to become better adapted to certain environments, this is true in humans and animals and it’s what has helped us not only survive, but thrive, for thousands of years.  

The Savanna hypothesis maintains that intelligence evolved as an adaptation to solve new and unfamiliar issues related to survival. While this is still incredibly beneficial to us, we don’t need to use our problem-solving skills in the same way our ancestors did. This leaves the people with higher intelligence and creativity with a need to generate their own novel intellectual and sensory experiences, and one of the easiest ways to do this is with drugs.  

According to Kanazawa, “Humans who leave their ‘savanna’ – or their natural environment, would be both intelligent and inclined to try new things, like alcohol and drugs. This link and hypothesis would be the reason why intelligent people do drugs; the mere fact that drugs are unhealthy would be less relevant than the fact that drugs are a more novel scenario for which we have a hard-wired response to want to try.” 

LSD and Francis Crick’s discovery of the double-helix DNA structure  

Francis Crick (along with James Watson) was responsible for discovering the double-helix structure of DNA in 1953; and he claims to have made this discovery while under the influence of LSD. He told numerous friends and colleagues about his experimentation with psychedelics, and said that during one trip he spent hours working to “determine the molecular structure that houses all of life’s information.” 

During a 2004 Daily Mail interview between Gerrod Harker and Dick Kemp, a close friend of Crick’s, Kemp mentioned that many of Cambridge University’s researchers at the time were using “small doses” of LSD as a “thinking tool”. He also stated that he is one of the friends Crick confided in about his double-helix discovery while using the drug.  

Thomas Edison and his cocaine elixirs  

Edison is best known for his inventions in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. Less known is the fact that he enjoyed nightly cocaine elixirs to help him unwind. Now, let’s backtrack a little bit. In 1863, French chemist Angelo Mariani invented a drink that he aptly named “Vin Mariani”. The drink consisted of a Bordeaux wine infused with coca leaves. The ethanol from the wine would extract cocaine from the leaves in concentrations of roughly 7 mg per fluid ounce.  

Edison, who, aside from being a prolific inventor, was also a notorious insomniac – claiming to sleep no more than 4 hours per night. Knowing that he consumed Vin Mariani on a regular basis, it’s not hard to see why he suffered from lack of sleep. Edison claims the cocaine wine gave him energy and helped him focus.  

Therapeutics and cocaine, Sigmund Freud 

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for evaluating and treating pathologies in the psyche through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Freud used cocaine regularly, and not just for recreational aims – he believed it was a legitimate miracle drug that could be used for many things.  

In a letter he wrote to his then-fiancee Martha, Freud stated: “If all goes well, I will write an essay [on cocaine] and I expect it will win its place in therapeutics by the side of morphine and superior to it … I take very small doses of it regularly against depression and against indigestion and with the most brilliant of success.” 

And he went on to do just that. In 1884, he published a review titled “Uber Coca”, which suggested the used of cocaine as a drug substitute in therapeutic treatment for morphine addicts. While now know that methodology can be problematic, his ideas of drug substitution therapies are still used to this day. 

Paul Erdös: Mathematics and amphetamines 

Erdös, who was born in Hungary, was perhaps one of the most well-known mathematicians who ever lived. He had a reputation for being a hyperactive insomniac who worked 19-hour days and would show up unannounced at his friends’ and colleagues’ doorsteps telling them to “open their minds” to mathematical concepts.  

According to him, the secret to his success was amphetamines, which he claims to have used on a regular basis. Nothing really explains his relationship with drugs better than the following excerpt from a book published in 1998 by Erdös’ biographer, science writer Paul Hoffman, titled “The Story of Paul Erdös and the Search for Mathematical Truth” 

“Like all of Erdös’s friends, [fellow mathematician Ronald Graham] was concerned about his drug-taking. In 1979, Graham bet Erdös $500 that he couldn’t stop taking amphetamines for a month. Erdös accepted the challenge, and went cold turkey for thirty days. After Graham paid up — and wrote the $500 off as a business expense — Erdös said, ‘You’ve showed me I’m not an addict. But I didn’t get any work done. I’d get up in the morning and stare at a blank piece of paper. I’d have no ideas, just like an ordinary person. You’ve set mathematics back a month.’ He promptly resumed taking pills, and mathematics was the better for it.” 

Carl Sagan on cannabis, creativity, and space  

Carl Sagan – astronomer, planetary scientist, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, and science communicator – was also a somewhat well-known proponent of cannabis use. He claimed that he smoked it regularly and that it helped substantially in his intellectual endeavors. He even contributed to an essay that was published in the 1971 book “Marijuana Reconsidered” in which he highlighted some of cannabis’ many attributes under the pseudonym, Mr. X.  

In his essay, Sagan wrote: “[T]he illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.” 

LSD was a “big deal” for Steve Jobs 

On numerous different occasions, Steve Jobs has mentioned how significant LSD was to him. As a matter of fact, he claims that experimenting with LSD in the 1960s was one of the “two or three most important things he has done in his life”. Interestingly, he added that he often kept these experiences to himself because he feared that many of his friends, who weren’t experienced with psychedelics, simply would not understand.  

This sentiment is highlighted in his recent biography, in which Jobs even claims that Bill Gates’ lack of imagination is likely due to not having experimented with psychedelics. “Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas,” Jobs says about Gates. “He’d be a broader guy, if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.” 

Final thoughts 

The connection between drugs and intelligence is still poorly understand, but one thing is proving relatively consistent: intelligent people are more likely to experiment with recreational drugs than those with below average intelligence. In addition to the people on this list, plenty of other well-known thinkers are reported to have used drugs throughout their lives and careers including Kary Mullis, Richard Feynman, and Albert Einstein (although I could not find any solid sources to back up the latter).  

It’s hard to pinpoint an exact reason for this, and there could be many, but overall it seems related to the fact that intelligent individuals tend to get restless with mundane, day-to-day situations. The yearning for new and unorthodox experiences is very human, and one of the most convenient (and honestly, one of the safest, if done correctly… big “if” there) ways to do this is by experimenting with drugs.  

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UN Reports Cannabis Use Up Amid Legalization and Covid-19 Lockdowns

The legalization of cannabis and lockdowns imposed to control the coronavirus pandemic have led to an increase in marijuana use around the globe, according to a United Nations report on drug use worldwide. Around the world, 209 million people used cannabis in 2020, the most recent data available, according to an annual global report was recently released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. In the UNODC report, the Vienna, Austria-based organization notes that cannabis has long been the most widely used illicit drug in the world. The authors of the drug report estimate that 284 million people, or approximately 5.3% of the world’s population, used drugs including cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines or ecstasy.

Cannabis Legalization Leads to More Use

The UNODC report cites the legalization of cannabis in countries such as Uruguay, Canada and parts of the US as one of the causes of the increase of use the drug in those nations in 2020. Since then, other countries including Germany, Thailand, Malta, Spain and Mexico have taken steps to liberalize their cannabis policy laws or have plans to do so, portending the prospect of even higher levels of marijuana use in the years to come.

“Cannabis legalization appears to have accelerated the upwards trends in reported daily use of the drug,” the report said. The jump appears to be fueled by an increase in marijuana use by adults, with the authors of the report writing that the use of cannabis among teenagers “has not changed much.”

The UNODC report warned about the increase in potency of marijuana products as legalization spreads and new technologies and production methods are developed by the regulated industry. The authors cautioned that the younger generation of cannabis users appears to have an affinity for products with higher and higher levels of THC, noting that there has been “a pronounced increase in reported frequent use of high-potency products among young adults.” Although a definitive link between cannabis and the cause of mental health problems hasn’t been established, the drug report warned that the higher levels of THC found in marijuana products today could be associated with serious mental illness. The authors maintain that the increased potency of marijuana and hashish coupled with regular consumption had led to an increase in psychological illness in Western Europe.

“The proportion of people with psychiatric disorders and suicides associated with regular cannabis use has increased,” the authors of the UNODC report wrote.

Covid-19 Pandemic Drives Uptick in Cannabis Use

The UNODC report also cites the global COVID-19 pandemic for the increase in cannabis use. In many of the states in the US that have legalized cannabis commerce, licensed industry retailers, particularly medical marijuana dispensaries, were designated as essential businesses and allowed to remain in operation despite mandatory lockdowns put in place to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Last year, the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s annual Monitoring the Future study on substance use trends found that cannabis use rose to record levels among adults aged 19 to 30. The jump in cannabis use was particularly high among college students, with 44% reporting that they had used marijuana in 2020, a spike of six percentage points from 2015 and an increase of 14 points from the low of 30% recorded in 2006. With the jump, the incidence of cannabis use among college students rose to its highest level since 1983.

Global Cocaine Production at Record Levels

The UNODC report also notes that worldwide cocaine production reached record levels in 2020. The authors state that drug trafficking by sea is on an apparent upswing, with seizure data from 2021 suggesting that drug smugglers are expanding outside the two primary illicit markets of North America and Europe into highly populated Africa and Asia. Opioids remained the world’s most deadly class of drugs, with drug overdose deaths from the powerful painkillers surging to a record 107,622 in the US in 2021, with much of the jump attributed to the increasing presence of fentanyl in the nation’s illicit drug supply.

“Numbers for the manufacturing and seizures of many illicit drugs are hitting record highs, even as global emergencies are deepening vulnerabilities. At the same time, misperceptions regarding the magnitude of the problem and the associated harms are depriving people of care and treatment and driving young people towards harmful behaviors,” said UNODC executive director Ghada Waly. “We need to devote the necessary resources and attention to addressing every aspect of the world drug problem, including the provision of evidence-based care to all who need it, and we need to improve the knowledge base on how illicit drugs relate to other urgent challenges, such as conflicts and environmental degradation.”

The UNODC report warned that Russia’s war with Ukraine could allow illicit drug production in the area to prosper. The drug report cites evidence that conflict zones in the Middle East and Southeast Asia have served as a “magnet” for the illicit production of synthetic drugs, which can be manufactured almost anywhere.

According to the UNODC report, the number of dismantled amphetamine laboratories in Ukraine rose from 17 in 2019 to 79 in 2020, the highest number of seized laboratories reported in any country that year.

“You don’t have police going around and stopping laboratories” in war zones, said UNODC expert Angela Me.

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UN Report Dramatizes Uptick in Global Cannabis Use

The UN has just issued a report about cannabis that will no doubt in the near future look as alarmist as it is dated. Namely, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has issued its annual world drug report.

Here are the high level takeaways—which are hard to read with a straight face.

  1. Legalizing cannabis appears to increase regular use of the drug. No kidding. When someone can buy something legitimately rather than risking criminalization via black market purchases, chances are that they will buy more of it. That said, even the UNODC had to admit that the prevalence of cannabis use among teenagers “has not changed much.” In fact, legalization (in Canada and the U.S.) not to mention the semi-legit markets in places like Holland, have not suddenly seen an uptick in use by underage individuals.
  2. The Pandemic (unsurprisingly) also increased usage. The world has just gone through an unprecedented shock the likes of which had not been seen in a century. It is no surprise that the use of a drug that lowers anxiety and alleviates many kinds of mental stress and illness might increase.
  3. Cannabis is “getting stronger” with regards to THC content. This is a bugbear. Yes, there are some strains available in the new commoditized market that might have a higher level of THC than outdoor guerrilla grown skunk by hippies back in the day. There are also widely used strains of cannabis with deliberately lower levels of THC. This is another aged spectre of prohibition that long ago outlived its shelf life.
  4. Both cocaine production and U.S.-based opioid deaths hit new records. This may be true, but it has little to do with cannabis legalization or use. In fact, the association in the UNODC report is what is alarming. Cannabis is increasingly being seen in legitimate medical circles as a gateway drug off of other, more harmful substances. Not a gateway to them.
  5. “The proportion of people with psychiatric disorders and suicides associated with regular cannabis use has increased.” Don’t let this kind of anti-cannabis propaganda scare you, even if it is emanating from the UN. There is no link between mental illness, much less suicides from regular cannabis use. In fact, for many people suffering from both physical and psychiatric disorders, like depression and PTSD, cannabis use considerably relieves the stressors that lead to self-destructive behavior.

The most recent study to examine such issues, emanating from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) last year had to concede that they could not “establish that cannabis use caused the increased suicidality we observed in this study,” and that “these associations warrant further research.” The same study also noted that cannabis use by adults more than doubled in the United States between 2008 and 2019—precisely the years that normalization became a multi-state campaign politically.

It is also worth noting that one of the most recent studies about cannabis and PTSD, which includes episodes of depression leading to suicide, found that cannabis use dramatically decreased PTSD symptoms to the point that many patients no longer met the diagnostic criteria for the condition.

Veterans are perhaps the population most at risk for suicide, even in the best of times. According to most national estimates, there are 22 veteran suicides a day in the U.S. Deployed veterans serving in either Iraq or Afghanistan had a suicide risk 41% higher than the average population. Even more intriguingly, non-deployed veterans had a 61% greater risk of committing suicide than the average person.

It is also worth noting that economic and other conditions since 2008 have actually worsened for many people—from the overhang of the global recession to a flat recovery.

COVID-19 was just a piece of icing on an already overburdened cake.

Using cannabis to help relieve some of these symptoms seems like a very sane, logical, and increasingly legal option.

Global Scare Tactics and Propaganda

While it is unsurprising that UNODC would produce this kind of report, even after the UN moved cannabis to a list of less dangerous drugs, including an apparent parroting of highly suspect U.S. government data, it is a telling development. This is the same kind of distortion and misapplied association that dragged prohibition out as long as it has.

Using a drug’s legalization combined with a disastrously disconnecting event like a global Pandemic to make unfounded associations about cannabis use is disingenuous to say the least.

To appear to parrot a U.S. national study which reached similar conclusions while being equally light on the data and association front is just another sign that the UN is still overwhelmingly influenced by U.S. policymakers—and anti-reform ones at that—who will stop at nothing to try and halt the green tide of change.

The post UN Report Dramatizes Uptick in Global Cannabis Use appeared first on High Times.

Drug Combos: What is Calvin Klein?

When most people think of Calvin Klein, they think of the famous clothing brand. They think of the well-known words poking out, on someone’s boxers, and the societal power that seems to give them. When did someone’s name on your T shirt suddenly make you better than everyone else? Anyway, today we’re not talking about that kind of Calvin Klein. Instead, we’re discussing the drug phenomenon. Calvin Klein, or C.K, is a combination of cocaine and ketamine that many party goers and drug lovers swear by.

When a stimulant and a depressant meet in harmony, there’s a sensation that many people adore. But what makes this combination so great? Or is it dangerous? And why is Calvin Klein so popular? Today we’ll be delving into the sub-culture of drug taking. 

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Drug Combinations

It’s often assumed that drugs should be taken independent of one another. This is because the assumption is that, if not, the specific drugs will either not work correctly, or you could get seriously ill. In a lot of ways this is true. For instance, the famous rhyme comes to mind about the dangerous combination of cannabis and alcohol:

“Beer before grass, you’re on your arse.

Grass before beer, you’re in the clear”

The concept here is that alcohol and cannabis are not the best of combinations, if done in a specific order. This is usually because being intoxicated on alcohol will make cannabis’ effects stronger. Thus if you drink first, and then have a hit of weed, you may be surprised by how quickly you get high. However, if you get high first, then everyone sip on their beers, you’ll know better whether you should carry on or stop. In other words, it’s a more manageable order. Nonetheless, people know that these two substances don’t always go well together. Healthline writes:

“Occasionally mixing alcohol and weed — also known as crossfading — likely won’t lead to major health problems. But there are a lot of variables to consider, including which one you use first and how you consume them. If you aren’t careful, the duo can lead to a case of the spins or a green out, two reactions that can turn a fun night out into a nauseated night in.”

However, there’s far more fatal drug combinations out there. I want to preface all of this first by saying that any drug, if taken irresponsibly, may lead to negative effects. However, the idea behind drug combinations is that these effects will be worsened and made more extreme. Yet, if done correctly, it also means that the positive effects can also be greater than if you had done each drug individually. In other words, there’s a lot to lose, and a lot to gain. Defining the word ‘synergistic’ is important here. 

“In medicine, it describes the interaction of two or more drugs when their combined effect is greater than the sum of the effects seen when each drug is given alone.”

Again, this could mean negatively or positively. As you can imagine, due to the dangers of overdosing, a lot of doctors thoroughly recommend avoiding poly-drug use. This is because different drugs do different things to your body. For instance, some are stimulants and some are depressants. Or uppers and downers. The effects of one drug may be magnified by another substance. Or, conversely, they may balance each other out, meaning you will be less aware of how much of one substance you may need to overdose. This may sound technical so let’s use examples. If you drink lots of alcohol, it will take less heroin to cause you to overdose than if you hadn’t drank alcohol. The same with alcohol and cannabis as we’ve previously mentioned. However if you consume both an upper and a downer (say cocaine and ketamine), the effects of both will be quelled by the other. This will make it harder for you to tell when you may be having too much of one of the substances. This is an example of this very scenario, in the context of alcohol (depressant) and amphetamines (stimulant):

“Stimulant drugs such as amphetamines… may mask some of the usual effects of alcohol…, such as feeling relaxed or sleepy, and the person may become more at risk of alcohol-related harms, particularly alcohol poisoning.”

Is It All Bad?

When discussing drug combinations, it’s first important to note why they can be dangerous – like any use of drugs. However, that’s not to say that drugs can’t be combined in a crazy, beautiful and euphoric way. In fact, I once knew a guy who took 5 ecstasy pills, a gram of coke, a gram of ket, and a tab of acid all in one night. And guess what? He turned up at his banking job the next day and probably made a few thousand quid. The point is, there are some drug combinations that many experienced party goers swear by and they deserve recognition, especially if they’ve stood the test of time. Tripsit recently made a ‘Guide To Drug Combinations’ table, which clearly states whether two drugs together sit in 1 of 5 categories: 

Low Risk & Synergy 

The drugs, when combined together, offer a low risk and actually improve the effects of both. 

Example: DMT & LSD.

Low Risk & No Synergy 

The drugs, when combined together, offer a low risk but don’t cause much as a pairing. 

Example: Caffeine & Mushrooms.

Low Risk & Decrease

The drugs, when combined together, offer a low risk but actually decrease the effects of both. 

Example: Alcohol & Cannabis.

Caution

The drugs, when combined together, need to be taken with caution. 

Example: Ketamine & Cocaine.

Unsafe

The drugs, when combined together, are unsafe and may cause some undesired effects.

Example: Cocaine & Alcohol.

Dangerous

The drugs, when combined together, are dangerous and should not be combined. 

Example: GHB & Benzos.

This table makes it clear how to approach using certain drug combos. Interestingly, the famous Calvin Klein unity has been placed in the caution section. Yet, to this day, people swear by it. Let’s understand more. 

Calvin Klein: Ketamine & Coke

Calvin Klein is a street name given to the drug combination of cocaine and ketamine. It originates from the initials of both substances: C and K. The poly-drug has been given some well-deserved stick after a famous violinist died taking it. However, with the utmost respect, it’d be hard to find any hard drugs that haven’t caused the death of someone. Therefore, let’s first understand why people are enjoying these combined substances. Well, it’s important to understand the difference between the two.

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that makes you feel chatty, confident and awake. On the other hand, ketamine is a downer. In fact, it’s literally used as a horse tranquiliser. Ketamine makes users feel euphoric, slow and relaxed. In a sense, they couldn’t be more different. When combined to perfection, Calvin Klein makes users feel the alertness and chattiness of cocaine, without the anxiety. It allows users to feel the slowness of ketamine, with the stimulation of cocaine. It’s a hard feeling to describe because there isn’t one individual drug out there that makes you feel that specific way. Some liken it to the effects of MDMA but, for me, this is far too simplified. Vice writes:

“Individuals who do CK will say they get a profound rush where they feel very, very good, very pleasurable,” Giordano told VICE. He said the combination has the swift onset of a cocaine high, “and with the ketamine on board, it lasts longer.”… “Cocaine, it’s the dopamine gas pedal. Ketamine takes the brakes off the dopamine system,”… that means it makes you feel really… good, thanks to a flood of dopamine, the neurotransmitter commonly linked to pleasure and excitement.”

How and Where?

Calvin Klein is usually taken in separate lines, one after the other. The ketamine line is usually smaller than the cocaine line as it is more potent. Sometimes people mix the substances in one bag and do individual lines of the concoction, but this can be slightly more risky. Calvin Klein has become popular because – when done to perfection – it basically eradicates any of the negative parts of each substance in the combination. Plus, it is the perfect party drug. You’re able to feel euphoric, whilst also being able to socialise. MDMA can often cause levels of euphoria that make it hard to have natural conversations with people – and will usually lead to you just hugging everyone. This is all well and good, but perhaps a little odd if everyone else is on a different level to you. That is why Calvin Klein is often taken at small social events, as well as clubs and nights out. It is multi-purpose.=

Conclusion

Poly-drug use, or combining two or more drugs, definitely brings its risks. The consequence usually means that it enhances the effects of both substances. However, a good experience with Calvin Klein almost feels like it does the opposite. It sort of chills both the substances out, and makes for a more endurable experience. There’s definitely a reason why Calvin Klein has stood the test of time, and why many people still love to do it. However, as always, proceed with caution. 

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