psychedelics

Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane's lead pilot, flies on...

Posted on January 29th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Paul KantnerPaul Kantner, co-founder of the Jefferson Airplane and a pioneer of the San Francisco music scene in the 1960s, died Jan. 28 at the age of 74. He had suffered a heart attack earlier in the week, according to his longtime publicist and friend, Cynthia Bowman. As singer, rhythm guitarist and song-writer as well as political visionary, Kantner guided the band from its folk-rock origins through its period as a pre-eminent symbol of the counterculture and youth rebellion, climaxing with the Monterey Pop festival that kicked off the 1967 "Summer of Love," its classic early-morning performance at the utopian-spirited Woodstock festival in August 1969—and that December's disastrous and violence-plagued Altamont Speedway free concert. The band had a rebirth in the 1970s, with a new line-up and more radio-friendly sound, as the Jefferson Starship, including fellow Airplane hold-overs Marty Balin and Grace Slick, Kantner's flamboyant and contentious lover. He continued to perform with various outfits in later years, including a re-formed version of the Starship and a briefly reunited Airplane in 1989. Kantner and his Airplane bandmates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. He continued to be a vocal advocate for political causes, from cannabis legalization to support for the Nicaraguan revolution during the 1980s. 

Native American church schism sues for right to cannabis

cannabisA seemingly schismatic Oregon branch of the Native American Church claims the US government illegally seized its sacramental cannabis—and is fighting in court to get it back. Oklevueha Native American Church leaders James "Flaming Eagle" Mooney and Joy Graves brought the case Jan. 15 in a US district court in Portland. Graves says she mailed five ounces of cannabis to a church member in Ohio on Dec. 10, but it never arrived. The Postal Service tracking website reported that the package had been seized by law enforcement. A postal inspector in Portland told her cannabis is illegal under federal law and was unimpressed by her claim that she sent the herb to a church member with esophageal cancer for use in healing rituals, according to Courthouse News Service. Oregon legalized medical marijuana in 2007 and approved recreational cannabis through a ballot measure last year. Both remain illegal in Ohio, although small quantities are decriminalized there. Sending cannabis through the mails is a federal crime.

UK drug bill to ban church incense?

Posted on September 28th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

EuropeThe British tabloids are having a field day with this one. The Daily Mail warns that the UK's pending Psychoactive Substances Bill—aimed at closing the loopholes that permit "legal highs"—could outlaw incense and criminalize priests. Under the proposed law, it would become a criminal offense to sell "any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect," with a seven-year prison term. Two church groups, the Association of English Cathedrals and the Churches' Legislation Advisory Service, are urging lawmakers to make a "specific exemption" for incense. In testimony to a parliamentary inquiry, the Association warned: 'Cathedrals regularly make use of incense during worship services, especially celebrations of the Eucharist. Incense has been used for worship purposes for millennia, and by the Christian church since its foundation."

China: officialdom hypes drug scare

Posted on May 12th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

ChinaHong Kong's South China Morning Post reports May 12 that Chinese authorities are warning of a rapid rise in abuse of synthetic drugs. The number of "registered abusers" of synthetic drugs—a whopping 1.46 million who get high on methamphetamine, ketamine and ecstasy—for the first time overtook that of registered heroin addicts last year, according to the National Narcotics Control Commission. In total, there were said to be 2.95 million registered abusers of all drugs, but the NNCC estimated the real figure—including those not registered—was over 14 million. NNCC deputy chief Liu Yuejin said cross-border trafficking was also rising because of the increasing demand for drugs in the People's Republic—but also that internal production is rising, wth drug laboratories shifting from coastal areas to inland provinces.

Three books reveal underground press roots of counterculture

Posted on July 4th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

FugThree recent books each provide a prism on the matrix of the American counterculture in the 1960s underground press movement—with a particular focus on the germinal scene on New York's Lower East Side. Following the interlocking characters that passed through such institutions as the East Village Other bi-weekly and affiliated Underground Press Syndicate opens a window on a moment whose influence and significance have never received the recognition that the parallel scene across the continent in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury won.

Steve Ben Israel, NYC counter-culture legend, dead at 74

Posted on June 5th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Steve Ben Israel, legendary thespian, veteran of the ground-breaking Living Theatre troupe, and pioneer of what he called "performance life" (as opposed to performance art), died June 4 of lung cancer at his home in New York's Greenwich Village. He was 74.

Media coverage smears LSD in face-eating episode

Posted on May 30th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

"A Miami man fatally shot by police after he refused to stop gnawing on another man's face may have been under the influence of a new form of the 1960s hallucinatory drug LSD, a top police officer said on Wednesday." So reads the Reuters account of the ghoulish May 29 incident that made national headlines—most of them inaccurate. The account quotes Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police saying: "We've had at least two incidents in the past couple of months with people claiming they took a new form of LSD and complained of feeling a burning sensation that forced them to take their clothes off and led them to become very violent." This is all nonsense. LSD is an acronym for a chemical formula; there is no such thing as a "new form" of lysergic acid diethylamide. So what is going on here?

UCSD student sues DEA over "torture"

Posted on May 3rd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

DEAA UC San Diego student left in a federal holding cell for days without food and water has filed a $20 million lawsuit against the government. Daniel Chong, 23, was picked up in a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raid April 21. After questioning him, agents told him that he would not be charged and to wait in the holding cell until they finished the paperwork to release him. He spent four days alone in the cell, apparently forgotten.

Who's new

  • Baba Israel
  • Karr Young
  • John Veit
  • YosephLeib
  • Peter Gorman