Bluelight.org

Sasha Shulgin has passed away

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Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin, pioneer, pharmacologist, author, and medicinal chemist, passed away this evening at the age of 88. According to the Erowid Center, Shulgin "died peacefully surrounded by friends and family."

It is with a heavy heart that I relay the news of Alexander Shulgin's passing. He was a figure like no other in the psychedelic movement. A great inspiration to many, a professor to those who studied his works and a loyal and loving friend to those blessed to have known him personally.

On behalf of the Bluelight community I send our deepest condolences to Ann and the rest of team Shulgin. Safe passage to the next life, professor and thank you for the wonderful legacy you've left with us.

-All of us

Update on Sasha Shulgin's health

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I'm providing an update from the Shulgins regarding Sasha's health:

"To All Our Friends,

The time has come for me to tell you what none of us wanted to say or hear. Sasha has moved into a new phase, beginning just four or five days ago, characterized by great weakness (he can barely lift his head), loss of weight (he's somewhere around 130 lbs.), and reluctance to utter more than single words at a time.

We are still blessed in that he has no pain -- or when he does have a twinge or even a needle-strike, it's over immediately, and we haven't had to give him any of the strong pain medicines which Hospice has available. We hope it continues that way.

But everything else is not good news. He's holding on to life, or at least his body is fighting the good fight (he was always extremely strong and healthy, until a few years ago), and it's possible that he may live to see his 89th birthday, but we can't be sure. For that matter, he may stay with us for several months more, but...

An update on Sasha Shulgin

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I'm providing an update from the Shulgins regarding Sasha's health:

"To All Our Friends,

The time has come for me to tell you what none of us wanted to say or hear. Sasha has moved into a new phase, beginning just four or five days ago, characterized by great weakness (he can barely lift his head), loss of weight (he's somewhere around 130 lbs.), and reluctance to utter more than single words at a time.

We are still blessed in that he has no pain -- or when he does have a twinge or even a needle-strike, it's over immediately, and we haven't had to give him any of the strong pain medicines which Hospice has available. We hope it continues that way.

But everything else is not good news. He's holding on to life, or at least his body is fighting the good fight (he was always extremely strong and healthy, until a few years ago), and it's possible that he may live to see his 89th birthday, but we can't be sure. For that matter, he may stay with us for several months more, but...

Cops Like Me Say Legalize All Drugs. Here’s Why.

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Who exactly is prohibition supposed to be helping? After many years of enforcing drug laws as a police officer, my experience with an addicted family member changed my attitude for good.

I was a police officer for 20 years, enforcing drug laws in California and thinking I was doing my part for society. But what made me think properly about drug use for the first time was my experience with my older brother, Billy. I had watched him struggle with a lifelong problem with drugs. But I still did not understand what it meant to be Billy until my husband convinced me to open up my heart and our home to save him in 2002.

It was in this intimacy of watching Billy try, during the year he lived with us, to live up to the expectations of society and those he loved that I realized that our society’s portrayal of people with chronic drug problems was both damaging and morally flawed.

Major bug called ‘Heartbleed’ exposes Internet data

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April 9 at 12:30 am
By Lindsey Bever / The Washington Post - Morning Mix

Please note: bluelight was not affected by this security breach, as we run on a dedicated server with ssl disabled. Thus there is no need to change your password here, however, our intention in posting is to alert you that other sites you frequent might have been endangered.
A newly discovered security bug nicknamed Heartbleed has exposed millions of usernames, passwords and reportedly credit card numbers — a major problem that hackers could have exploited during the more than two years it went undetected.

That’s why some experts were calling Heartbleed the worst bug yet, something that should worry everyone who frequents the Internet or does business on it.

FDA approves new hand-held auto-injector to reverse opioid overdose

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April 3, 2014
By Sandy Walsh / FDA NEWS RELEASE

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a prescription treatment that can be used by family members or caregivers to treat a person known or suspected to have had an opioid overdose. Evzio (naloxone hydrochloride injection) rapidly delivers a single dose of the drug naloxone via a hand-held auto-injector that can be carried in a pocket or stored in a medicine cabinet.
It is intended for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose, characterized by decreased breathing or heart rates, or loss of consciousness.

Drug overdose deaths, driven largely by prescription drug overdose deaths, are now the leading cause of injury death in the United States – surpassing motor vehicle crashes. In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the number of drug overdose deaths had steadily increased for more than a decade.

Naloxone is a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of opioid overdose and is the standard treatment for overdose. However, existing naloxone drugs require administration via syringe and are most commonly used by trained medical personnel in emergency departments and ambulances.

“Overdose and death resulting from misuse and abuse of both prescription and illicit opioids has become a major public health concern in the United States,” said Bob Rappaport, M.D., director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Addiction Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Evzio is the first combination drug-device product designed to deliver a dose of naloxone for administration outside of a health care setting. Making this product available could save lives by facilitating earlier use of the drug in emergency situations.”

Bluelight has gone black in memory of those we've lost

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Thirteen years ago this Wednesday, Bluelight lost one of our own.

For those who don't remember Ryan Haight, AKA "Quicksilver," he was an extraordinary young man. An honors student with an intellectual curiosity about the world, and perhaps most memorably, Ryan was a wonderful person and friend. He was found dead the morning of February 12th from an overdose of prescription pain medication.

The list of those we’ve lost never grows any shorter. Some of their names are listed in the Bluelight shrine while others have simply stopped posting. In the past two weeks we’ve said goodbye to one of our moderators, Qwe, while the entertainment world mourns the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman. In times like these we must reflect on our mission of harm reduction and the importance of the work we do at Bluelight.

As a community built upon open and frank discussion, Bluelight neither condemns nor condones drug use. While we emphasize there is no truly safe way to use drugs, we also...

Ex-officer: War on drugs 'far worse' than a failure

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February 6, 2014 11:35 PM
By Robert Zullo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The war on drugs, Jack Cole said, has been "far worse" than a failure.

Speaking to about 75 students Thursday afternoon at Slippery Rock University, Mr. Cole, a retired New Jersey State Police narcotics detective and a co-founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, called it "a self-perpetuating and constantly expanding policy disaster."

Mr. Cole, who will be speaking in Pittsburgh at noon today at the Rotary Club of Pittsburgh's Northside, 701 N. Point Drive, said 43 years of drug prohibition, millions of arrests and an estimated $1 trillion spent on law enforcement and incarceration have failed to put a dent in drug supplies or their purity, price and rate of use or the explosion in associated crime.

"Once we start treating drug abuse as a health problem instead of a crime problem, we won't have to arrest and sacrifice on the altar of the drug war 1.7 million people a year who we arrest for nonviolent drug offenses, which is what we do today," said Mr. Cole, whose international nonprofit, composed partly of former police officers, prosecutors and judges, supports drug legalization.

He added that the nation's drug policy has also helped to make the United States the world's leader in per capita incarceration, a phenomenon disproportionately affecting blacks.

"The war on drugs has also been the most devastating single destructive social policy since slavery," Mr. Cole said.

bluelight featured in vice.com article on web resources for drug users

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Vice magazine recently interviewed bluelight owner, Sebastians_Ghost for as piece on how internet communities are increasingly serving as sources of information for a wide spectrum of drug users: In a World of Opiate Addicts, the Internet Plays Doctor and Therapist

Introducing, Bluelight.org!

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"We would like to introduce everyone to Bluelight's new home, Bluelight.org!

It’s with great pride that we launch our new domain, which puts us in the same realm as notable nonprofits such as MAPS.org and Erowid.org. As the largest harm reduction site on the Internet, we are excited to establish a permanent domain that reflects our organization’s standing in the greater Harm Reduction community.

Bluelight has come a long was since its humble beginnings on MDMA Clearinghouse in 1997. In 1999, the Bluelight.nu domain was registered to accommodate rapid growth, and in 2005, Bluelight changed its domain again to Bluelight.ru. Despite our various iterations, Bluelight’s commitment to “harm reduction through educating the individual” has remained the core of our mission. I hope you agree, Bluelight.org represents the perfect home for all that we’ve achieved and an ideal foundation on which to build the future of our community.

As we kickoff Bluelight.org and celebrate the...

ANNOUNCEMENT: FUNDRAISER UPDATE!

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Dear Bluelight friends and family,

It is with overwhelming excitement, pride and gratitude that I announce we have officially met our 2013 fundraising goal! :D

Since launching our matching contribution fundraiser we have succeeded in raising precisely $2001.00 USD for Bluelight. In doing so, we have maximized the generous $2000 matching gift provided by a key benefactor (let's just call him Steve) and secured Bluelight's fiscal stability well into 2014.

From all of us on staff, I want to thank each and every one of you who made a donation of any size. We know all too well that this is a difficult time for many among us, and we deeply appreciate everyone who answered this important call to action. As has always been the case, Bluelight is a success because of our community. I know I speak for everyone when I say it's been inspiring to see our community step up to meet this challenge.

Furthermore, I also want to extend a very special thank you to our staff. You all...

Bluelight's future: Exciting developments and a call to action

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Dear Bluelight Family:

We write to you with something we find uncomfortable to address, but requires your attention nevertheless - yours, mine, everyone's.

In short, Bluelight needs your help. Today.

As Bluelight has grown, so has the need for better servers and bandwidth, improved software, and a proper domain name. In fact, every penny that comes into Bluelight goes right back out in the form of site maintenance (server fees, software and server upgrades).

We've assessed Bluelight's needs and are ready to upgrade our servers with advanced hardware and software capable of supporting us well into the future. However, these upgrades are not cheap and will increase our monthly operating costs. As it stands, Bluelight costs approximately $8000 a year to run before we factor in the upgrades. As mentioned, we run as lean as possible -- no salaries, no personal equipment, no administrative costs whatsoever. We do this so as not to burden the community and to keep Bluelight...

UK police chief: To reduce crime, we must end the war on drugs

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Making drugs legal – but controlling supply – would stop the flow of money to crime gangs and destroy their power.

Mike Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary
The Observer, Saturday 28 September 2013 21.00 BST

As a police officer for nearly 34 years, I have witnessed the worsening problems of drug addiction – whether it's to controlled substances or legal drugs, such as alcohol. The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 has prevailed throughout my time of service, but it would appear not to have had the impact that optimistic legislators planned.

Throughout those 34 years, I have recognised that it is an indisputable truth that drugs are bad. Occasionally, a retired colleague advocates a change, but mostly politicians, professionals and the media collude in the fiction that we are winning the war on drugs, or if not, that we still have to fight it in the same way.

Their message has been successful in winning support. Indeed, I recently joined a debating society event at the University of Durham, during which I argued for the decriminalisation of Class A drugs. I felt that our team was funnier, as well as better-informed and more erudite than the opposing team, who were advocating maintaining the status quo. Imagine my surprise, my chagrin even, when the students overwhelmingly voted in favour of maintaining outright prohibition.

So, are we really winning the "war on drugs"?

Well, if the war on drugs means stopping every street corner turning into an opium den and discouraging the mass consumption of laudanum – as happened during the 19th century – then it has succeeded. But if the war on drugs means trying to reduce the illicit supply of drugs, then it has comprehensively failed.

B.C. doctors given Health Canada approval to prescribe heroin

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ANDREA WOO
The Globe and Mail

VANCOUVER — After years of petitioning by health officials in British Columbia, Health Canada has authorized some B.C. doctors to prescribe heroin for select patients who have failed to respond to conventional opioid addiction treatments. But within moments of the authorization, Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose blasted the department’s decision, saying it flies in the face of the Conservative government’s anti-drug policy, and vowed to ensure it never happens again. Health Canada on Friday authorized doctors to prescribe heroin to around 15 patients, The Globe and Mail has learned. The doctors had applied to Health Canada under its Special Access Programme (SAP), which grants doctors access to non-marketed or otherwise unapproved drugs for patients with “serious or life-threatening conditions when conventional therapies have failed, are unsuitable or unavailable,” according to a description on Health Canada’s website.

Health Canada on Friday authorized doctors to prescribe heroin to around 15 patients, The Globe and Mail has learned. The doctors had applied to Health Canada under its Special Access Programme (SAP), which grants doctors access to non-marketed or otherwise unapproved drugs for patients with “serious or life-threatening conditions when conventional therapies have failed, are unsuitable or unavailable,” according to a description on Health Canada’s website.

Let's Get Frank about Drug Use and Prevent Future Music Festival Tragedies

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Drug Policy Alliance

This past weekend, the final day of the three-day electronic dance music festival Electric Zoo held on Randall’s Island in New York City was canceled. The official press release from the city on Sunday, September 1, didn’t give many details, but stated that “the causes of death have not been determined, however, both appear to have involved the drug MDMA (ecstasy, or molly).” It’s a sad, and yet not unfamiliar headline. Especially so for someone like myself, who has been a fan of electronic music and attending events for over ten years now. One can only hope the lessons from this experience can prevent future tragedies.

Electric Zoo is a far cry from the relatively small parties that used to be called “raves.”

CDC Issues Alert On Deadly New Designer Drug, Acetyl Fentanyl

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Forbes

I rarely use sensational headlines but this one deserves the term, “deadly.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today issued an alert on a peculiar cluster of designer drug overdose deaths that will appear in tomorrow’s August 30th issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

In March and early April this year, Rhode Island public health officials noted an unusually high number of drug overdose deaths, with 21 cases in one month relative to an average of nine. Ten deaths were associated with what was originally thought to be the prescription opioid drug, fentanyl.

Fentanyl is most often used in chronic pain management in the form of transdermal patches (Duragesic), “lollipops” (Actiq) or for intravenous, outpatient anesthesia owning to its short duration of action. As a recreational street drug, fentanyl is often called, “China White.”

However, subsequent detailed analysis by the CDC and Rhode Island public health officials revealed that the drug was a chemical relative called acetyl fentanyl.

Obama administration to allow recreational marijuana laws to stand

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LA Times

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration announced Thursday a limited pullback on federal enforcement of marijuana, saying it will not interfere with new state laws that permit recreational use of marijuana.

The Justice Department said it will not seek to veto new state laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize the recreational use of marijuana, and it will not bring federal prosecutions against dispensaries or businesses that sell small amounts of marijuana to adults.

A department official stressed, however, that marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and that U.S. prosecutors will continue to aggressively enforce the law against those who sell marijuana to minors and to criminal gangs that are involved in drug trafficking.

LSD and Other Psychedelics Not Linked With Mental Health Problems, Analysis Suggests

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Science Daily

Aug. 19, 2013 — The use of LSD, magic mushrooms, or peyote does not increase a person's risk of developing mental health problems, according to an analysis of information from more than 130,000 randomly chosen people, including 22,000 people who had used psychedelics at least once.

Researcher Teri Krebs and clinical psychologist Pål-Ørjan Johansen, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Department of Neuroscience, used data from a US national health survey to see what association there was, if any, between psychedelic drug use and mental health problems.

The authors found no link between the use of psychedelic drugs and a range of mental health problems. Instead they found some significant associations between the use of psychedelic drugs and fewer mental health problems.

Holder plan would ease mandatory stiff sentences for some drug offenders

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Chicago Tribune

The Justice Department plans to change how it prosecutes some non-violent drug offenders, so they would no longer face mandatory minimum prison sentences, in an overhaul of federal prison policy that Attorney General Eric Holder will unveil on Monday.

Holder will outline the status of a broad, ongoing project intended to improve Justice Department sentencing policies across the country in a speech to the American Bar Association in San Francisco.

"I have mandated a modification of the Justice Department's charging policies so that certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels, will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences," Holder is expected to say, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks provided by the Justice Department.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Why I changed my mind on weed

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source: CNN

(CNN) -- Over the last year, I have been working on a new documentary called "Weed." The title "Weed" may sound cavalier, but the content is not.

I traveled around the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning.

Long before I began this project, I had steadily reviewed the scientific literature on medical marijuana from the United States and thought it was fairly unimpressive. Reading these papers five years ago, it was hard to make a case for medicinal marijuana. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled "Why I would Vote No on Pot."

Well, I am here to apologize.

I apologize because I didn't look hard enough, until now. I didn't look far enough. I didn't review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis.
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