The Drug Reform Coordination Network
The DRCN is a concerned network of earthlings, who, rather than glorifying or condemning any particular drug, are using the net to inform people about the current drug policy catastrophe, and rally support to change the situation. Some very convincing arguments are presented here, which after reading may motivate you to join the mailing list or become more active in helping a global inconsistency which affects us all. The on line library is a wealth of information for anyone interested in the drug problem.
Verdict: A well organised and committed network. This resource won’t go away until the drug war does.
For those of us who like to ingest the very popular depressant, alcohol, here you will find your every wish come true when it comes to preparing the drug for consumption. Choose the glass, favourite ingredients, get a serving suggestion and rating of an almost limitless list of permutations (2575 so far!) for this glamorous muscle relaxant and icebreaker. If you like what you see, the friendly Webtender will gladly turn book store proprietor and you can mix these creations at your next party.
Verdict: Bookmark site, buy book, follow instructions, book caterers and band, and shout all your friends a cab home.
Employment Associates Group
9:15 Monday morning - Spit break! Have a big weekend, did we? At $25 a test, E.A.G. stand to benefit greatly if the work drug test craze catches on. The site is filled with plenty of drug information, reasonably unbiased and well-meaning with lots of drug support group contacts, but one gets the impression these people would like the whole world to miraculously cease the urge to get intoxicated, but just before they do, that their employers buy millions of drug testing kits to help talk them into it. Poor site construction with huge fonts on some pages.
Verdict: Those nasty illegal drugs are going, yet again to help make a few people - including EAG - indirectly very rich. Plenty of helpful info., though.
Partnership for a Drug-Free America
Now this is a friendly looking site, with plenty of down-home advice and information about every kind of drug imaginable. This site is good because it seems to not be so biased toward illicit drugs and acknowledges the severe impact of all the legally condoned ones. For parents you will find a host of tips on why kids use drugs, how to help them resist peer pressure and how your own actions influence you child’s drug-taking patterns. The mission of this organisation seems a little too idealistic, but you never know…
Verdict: Overall a useful and informative site with a noble albeit unrealistic mission. What’s next? www.CelibateAmerica.org ? www.MozartOnly.org ??
Acute Effects of Marihuana
A fact filled and at times entertaining page concerning the scientific study of the adverse effects of high dosages of THC, like the suicide attempt of a man who smoked 200 grams of hashish, and woke up a few hours later feeling “kinda weird”. The document describes many lab tests carried out to establish LD50. (The dose that would kill 50% of test subjects) It all sounds pretty cruel, but it’s all in the name of science and knowledge.
Verdict: After reading this, you will think twice before feeding your dog 3000 mg/kg of Delta 9 THC.
Official Big Bong Home Page
This strangely appealing site includes a complete download of the novella “The Big Bong” an underground cyber-punk science-fiction story. Whereas in the big bang theory, the whole universe was emitted from a single point, the author wishes to achieve world peace by building a single statue. The reviewer didn’t have time to read the entire thing, but it looks like a rollicking roller-coaster ride in a counter-culture theme park, with plenty of political agendas thrown in for good measure.
Verdict: In the words of the author, G J Gray -“There are many possible futures, this is just a happier version than others.”
Just when you thought that moving into the age of designer drugs was as simple as “popping an ekky”, this site discloses to you the complexity of the issues involved with any drug such as MDMA, the positive experiences and the potential dangers of boarding the “E” train. Impartially presented facts, figures, studies, reports, news articles, and feedback from you, the surfer, make this site a much needed source of information for a much publicised and criticised drug.
Verdict: Get informed, be warned, beware, then when the coast is clear…. pop that ekky, just like you were going to anyway! If pain persists, see your doctor.
Mind Books - Psychedelic Titles
This on-line book store will sell you legal paper representations of everything psychedelic and beyond. Books, yes, books, those original mind-expanding devices are available by the truckload here. Categorised by subject with cover art and brief descriptions, every kind of drug and drug-related topic is dealt with here. There are many links to outside sources and reviews cleverly marked with a little “bye” icon, so you know you are leaving the server. A free dead-tree catalogue is available, and ordering is easy.
Verdict: You definitely won’t find this range of books at your municipal library, so start your own, and tell your friends.
Dark Alliance - The Story Behind the Crack Explosion
Read the column, the epilogue, the time line of the big crack conspiracy. Sacramento journalist, Gary Webb exposes an evil web of control and power who’s epicentre was a couple of dudes and a ghetto kid thinking those little rock’s look pretty cool and marketable. Seems this thing goes all the way to the top. And we let their burger chains and movies in?
Verdict: America’s motto - “In God we trust”? The lord works in mysterious ways.
Why not find out about drugs from the experts? Qualified and certified physicians. You’ll only get legal stuff here, but it’s quite a range. A-Z pharmaceutical descriptions like that slip of paper you get with your medications are both informative and scary, making some illicit prescriptions look positively tame in comparison. Check all the other health and medical info on the site.
Verdict: You’ll never subscribe to one of those weekly medical encyclopaedia collections again! Slick front page design and nice background, but light on the web whiz bang from there on in.
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
This green-text filled front page is the jump in point for the massive NORML network. Tirelessly fighting the draconian laws invoked earlier this century just about when nylon was invented, NORML not only gives you real power to affect change through their channels, but an incredible wealth of political, historical and medical information about this popular but controversial herb. Changing laws is not a cheap and easy thing to do, so sign up with a membership (regular $25-, lifetime $2,500-) and make a difference. Along with DRCNet, this is a big gun in the real drug war, the war of law reform.
Verdict: An essential bookmark, information heavy, but leading you into the marijuana minefield with experience and expertise.
Vintage Video's Drug Den
Even though most people would assume that drug-taking is a thing one would do to oneself, it could also be argued that it might be fun to watch other people doing it in the comfort of your favourite TV chair. These video’s are either classic romps through the sex and drug-crazed 60’s and 70’s, or entertaining propaganda films, like “Reefer Madness”, that the US government utilised to help “educate” their nation. It’s probably worth emailing them first before you order any of these “classics” just in case they’ve been busted. The video’s would most likely have to be converted to Australian standard as well.
Verdict: Quite a selection of curiously-titled gems. LSD seems to be the main inspiration here, probably why the site hasn’t been updated in a while.
Flue-Cured Tobacco Co-operative
Direct from the heart of tobacco county comes this web-marketing vehicle for the world’s number one preventable killer. Unfortunately, these poor farmers’ ancestors got into the business way before the health risks were known, thereby forcing their descendants to keep trying to off load their produce on the market. One assumes that the creators of this site have taken as a given the multitude of health risks associated with tobacco, since they don’t seem to mention it too often here. It’s an attractive and informative presentation extolling the comparative virtues of U.S. tobacco over the “substandard” overseas product, and upholding the claim that this particular leaf variety is the backbone of the US economy.
Verdict: Grab yer spitoon and pipe and start a’chewin’ and a-smokin’, the terbackie industry is a-fightin’ on back! Yee haa!!!
North Florida Shroom Guide
If you don’t like foraging through the fields looking for psychedelic fungii, and running the risk of killing yourself by eating the wrong ones, try following these growing instructions. Apparently, you can get spores legally in some countries, and all you have to do is get them going, and you’ve got yourself a psychedelic garden that Don Burke would never feature! The graphics are definitely psilocybin inspired.
Verdict: Handy home grown hints from a do-it-your-selfer’s personal diary of mushie-madness.
Right from the start, this site presents as a psychedelic realm, with freaky pictures and the names of a few brain-triggering substances that only an expert would have even heard of. We are talking ethnopharmacology, the science of tribal drug-taking. Once you delve into this field, you will wonder what all the fuss is about the few mild narcotics our society seems so hung up on. There are some pretty esoteric hallucinogens out there, and here’s the place to find out all about them. Plenty of cool links, too.
Verdict: It’s different, it’s refreshing, it’s completely mind-bending. You may have to relinquish your belief systems first, though. This is the world of shamans and ancient magic.
The Shroom Room
Here you will find everything you need, legally available to cultivate and cook the world’s most favourite natural hallucinogen. Instructional video’s, books, even a complete kit with a lifetime supply of spores are available for quite reasonable prices. You could spend the same money on a bottle of expensive champagne, but you wouldn’t have any where near as much fun in the garden.
Verdict: Buy. Try. Fly. It’s a ‘shroom boom!
So, you are feeling a little ill, perhaps stricken with one or more of a thousand different diseases. No problem, just order up your supply of medicine from these dudes. Somehow, it seems a little spurious that these supposedly authorised dope dealers are prescribing smoking as a health option. It kind of gives away the game that they really just want to legalise pot for everyone, since smoking the stuff ought to be a big no-no on the medical front. You don’t smoke paracetamol or aspirin, do you? This is a loophole that needs mending and a real solution found to the issue. Capsules? Vaporisers?
Verdict: Tell your doctor to check it out, you may be in dire need of smoking a big joint to cure your emphysema.
The Psychedelic Underground Philez
Type in a few key words into a search engine, and you never know what you’ll find. This collection of downloadable .txt and .zip files, among other things, contains recipes, handy hints, a list of psychedelic organisations, freaky pictures and faq’s. A serious drug user’s site worth checking out for the odd bit of info you might not find elsewhere.
Verdict: For users, of users, by a user, this could be just the ticket for that trip you’ve been planning.
After taking just a few too many of the old intoxicants, it may be time to seek help for your endless craving for that chemical high. This is the world H.Q. of N.A. and will tell you the contact info for your local chapter. The site, for a world centre, is quite straight forward and basic in it’s presentation, no doubt because if you really want their help, you are going to have to get off line and go to a meeting. Maybe in a few years time they will be able to sort you out form the comfort of your desktop. But until then, this is just info only for those that are ready to take the big step, or twelve.
Verdict: Check the number of local help-lines, this has got to be working! If you think it’s all a load of hogwash, it’s probably time you gave them a call…
Sovrana Trading Corporation - Lavazza Coffee
The legal drug manufacturers always seem to have more money to spend on presenting their product to the market. Sexy images, paraphernalia and historical information of this 100 year old stimulant manufacturer all affirm the general acceptance we have of this drug into our culture, and the marketing and packaging that comes with legitimacy. If you are a real coffee addict, Sovrana has put up a few coffee links to follow once you finished here.
Verdict: Drink up, surf’s up! Caffeine is here to stay.
Recreational Drug Futures
(no longer operational)
Corner41 presents us here with what looks like a real stock-market report of drug prices in Australia. It’s quite amusing, with prices fluctuating because of rain, war and harvest times. Visitors from overseas could be fooled into thinking there was some major drug trading going on in this country, which, of course, there is. At the bottom of the page there are some links to some fictitious magazine style marijuana ads you might like to have a chuckle at. Brand names like “Bent”, “Suck” and “Skunk” appear realistic enough.
Verdict: Look into the crystal ball. It’s only a matter of time and this stuff could be serious.
Addiction Research Foundation
This site contains a vast supply of information about all drugs of addiction. An agency of the Ontario Ministry of Health and founded in 1949, the ARF’s mission is to use it’s resources to reduce the impact of addiction on the Ontario community. They have done so well that their efforts can now help the entire planet via this most comprehensive web site. After all this time, it must be clear that drug problems can’t be eliminated, but with the right focus, the damage can be significantly abated. ARF has put in the effort in a caring and thoughtful way. Those lovely Canadians!
Verdict: Bookmark, and before you begin spiralling down that dark tunnel of addiction, take a look at a few facts here. There may just be some light at the end of the tunnel.
The Vaults of Erowid
Talk about a comprehensive drug site! The creators of Erowid seem to view chemical stimulation of the mind as a spiritual experience, almost inseparable from the condition of being human. Armed with their beliefs and about a million hours of spare web programming time, they present us with all things chemical in a sometimes dark and psychedelic, sometimes clean and clinically informative arena where the mind can expand beyond all measure, unless, of course you are measuring in milligrams. Links are excellent, as well, with both pro and anti-drug addresses represented.
Verdict: Check this site out now, before they all get arrested and burnt at the stake along with their evil computers.
Hyperreal Drug Archives
This is an invaluable drug resource. No “stone” has been left unturned here as you click away and discover an entire universe of psycho-active chemicals, both natural and man made. Hyperreal is an alternative culture zenith in the cybercelestial galaxy, and the drug department leaves many a stand-alone drug site for dead. The emphasis is on the newer rave party drugs, but you will still find your opiates, depressants and nootropics. There is even a city by city price report!
Verdict: Here’s the deal, Hyperreal is unreal. It’s appeal, and all it reveals, is making the DEA reel.
High Times Magazine
From the latest in drug law reform news to pot jokes and bong shops, this on line version of the popular magazine has it all when it comes to cannibis and other recreational narcotics. You can even order collectors’ back issues as far back as the mid 70’s. A commercial publishing concern, the site is smooth, attractive and loaded with stuff that most non-profit sites couldn’t dream of competing against.
Verdict: Another essential bookmark for the narcotic oriented web surfer.
Claiming to be the world’s largest entheogenic library and community, with 8,255 HTML pages and 21,128 public files, they could be fairly close to the mark. Chat rooms, on line store, member services, drug war archives, they certainly seem to have a lot of bases covered here. They even host users personal and business pages. Anyone would think, upon viewing this site, that drug laws had been reformed years ago. Until they are, with an offering like this, the owners must sleep fairly lightly, and be ever-expectant of the big knock on the door by the Fed’s.
Verdict: Visit it, join it, contribute to it, the Lycaeum is your very own world of the ever-expanding mind.
The Assembly of IaHUShUA MaShIaChaH
These highly spiritual people regard hemp as the “sacred herb” given to us by God to uplift us to realms of consciousness unknown by the uninitiated. If that means sitting around all red-eyed and talking drivel while craving chocolate biscuits, then they might have something here. After much exaltation of what most people call “dope” this site will then take you to the ancient scriptures and go on to prove that we are all evil sinners breaking all ten commandments every day of our lives and contributing to the damnation of the world, unless, of course, we subscribe to the lifestyle and philosophy “the assembly” is promoting.
Verdict: Must be about time to roll another joint, God. Make it a big one, we are going straight to heaven!
Wet Planet Beverages
Creators of the famed “twice-the-caffeine” Jolt Cola, now produce a range of power drinks and “caffeine delivery systems”, each with their own web domain and snazzy style. Wet Planet want to soak the web with the marketing of products that do little more than what a vitamin tablet, a glass of water and a no-doze could easily manage. These drinks make you feel so goooood. “XTC”, “Krunch -2 - 0” and “Blu-Botol”, water in a blue bottle!! How far can product creation go?
Verdict: Hyper-Drinks, with the emphasis on the “Hype” - pour these drinks into rose-coloured glasses.
On your way to the jolt cola home page, at drop on by this amusing little collection of historical figures indulging in the power drink revolution. Simple superimposed cans of Jolt into the hands of Mona Lisa, Lennon, Bogart, Becker etc. might raise a chuckle. Not much else here, though, is there?
Verdict: This site has got about as much content as a thimbleful of Jolt, but it is amusing.
For anyone who wants a glimpse into the reality of living a life directly in touch with the consumer end of the heroin market, this site will provide you with incredible detail and insight. This is basically someone’s home page who, along with her friends, have so much to say about so many things, you can’t help but wonder what kind world these people inhabit. Neo-Nazi-s, Speed Metal heads, Hippies, astrologers. The site is an incredible documentary of American street life. Here is heroin - deglamourized and demystified. Links galore if you are researching this most powerful of painkillers.
Verdict: Quick, someone bus in a team of therapists! Not to help these people, but to learn from them.
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
A research and educational organisation devoted to the understanding of mind altering substances. The intention is to reduce ignorance and expand the useful potential of psycho active drugs. There are 1400 members, so the knowledge and skills base is broad. They even hold conferences! Imagine the cocktail party and dinner on day 5. With all this collective research, MAPS is making inroads into harm-reduction and law reform with it’s sheer weight of credible effort.
Verdict: Throw away your bongs, the vapourizers are coming.
National Families In Action
With the belief that prevention is the best solution to the drug problems of our world, NFIA are using awareness and education to reduce the devastating effects of drugs on our society. Unfortunately, the “no-use” message they would like to get to young adults and children seems a little unrealistic. It’s a case of ‘it’s bad for you, don’t do it’ which, as we all know as we gobble down another chocolate, is a tough rule to follow. The information is clear and accurate on the whole, and between the lines you can feel the sadness some of these families have probably felt as their own members succumbed to drugs. Legal drugs don’t get off very easily here, either.
Verdict: Get the picture, it isn’t that pretty. A counterbalance to the counterculture.
Cures Not Wars On Line
Another drug activist page from the “take ‘em” side of the fence. We all want safer healthier ways to get smashed, and we don’t need to be arrested too often for it, either. The focus of the drug problem for this organisation is the structure of the market, and the way the profiteers are using the highly addictive drugs to pervade society, while other just as enjoyable, but non-addictive drugs remain out of reach, even unheard of.
Verdict: There are many ways to escape reality, and one of them shouldn’t really, for the user at least, be a jail cell.
Without condemning or condoning drugs, Crew 2000 run a web site and shop to inform and reach out to young people who may use drugs. The idea is to create realistic profile of what drugs are to help people choose to use or not to use. If they decide to use, the Crew are there to help you piece your brain back together the next day. This is one of the first sites I have seen to mention solvents. The information is concise and easy to follow, which is a change from some of the more scientific and esoteric stuff that’s out there.
Verdict: The simple, impartial and realistic approach is certainly admirable. A practical handy hints site for young potential statistics.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Since kicking off in the mid 70’s NIDA has grown to become a mega-hub of help for the world in response to the problems of drug abuse. Publications, committee’s, organisational units, research programs, NIDA is so big, it has probably grown a little sluggish with bureaucracy, but still has the resources to enact a few initiatives. This is the government’s red cross tent in the middle of the drug war which it started.
Verdict: For all the effort, there are probably many other places you would turn to first. They might come to you, though, after your 15th arrest.
After you have ingested, inhaled or imbibed your favourite intoxicant, you may want to freak yourself out with sound and vision, and maybe get into the whole mind expansion trip, find out where it’s coming from and where it gets off. Most of this stuff would probably never come to your local video store, but there is so much material here it will only be a matter of time before it becomes a cable TV channel. Meanwhile, if you just can’t wait, you might have to start ordering.
Verdict: In their own words “a unique audio video archive”. That’s exactly what it is. Go check it out.