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5% Discount on Legal Highs, Salvia Divinorum and Everything Else From The Coffeesh0p

I Got My Tits Out In The Paper

By John Clarke

I don’t usually just repost other news, because it’s boring and lazy, but today is dif­fer­ent because we’re actu­ally in the news. This weekend, the cover story of The Observer Magazine was “The Rise and Rise of Legal Highs”, and fea­tures not only a few quotes from us, but you can also see my nipples. Intrigued? Read on…

The article itself con­tains points from some pretty import­ant people, which is actu­ally a massive com­pli­ment. It feels pretty good to get quoted in an article along­side Martin Barnes, DrugScope’s chief exec­ut­ive, and John Huffman, the guy that dis­covered the JWH series of com­pounds (such as JWH-018). Since it’s such a long article, I won’t post the lot here — just a few select bits. I really would suggest reading the entire article though on the Observer website.

One more thing I have to mention before you go any further. That Mac that the misses is holding is not her Mac. In an ideal world, she would have been holding her far super­ior laptop, but it would have made for a worse photo. Here we go:

How can you get high without break­ing the law? A survey of friends and col­leagues. “Smoke nutmeg,” said an actor. “Find a dodgy Star­bucks barista who’ll sell you the nitrous oxide cans they use to whip cream,” said a banker. “Ask around for some­thing called Methedrome, or Mephed­rone, or Mephedrome,” advised an account manager. “Lick a newt,” texted a doctor, “and don’t ask me things like this again.” One PR dir­ec­ted me towards news stories about Spice, an over-the-counter smoking mixture that was repor­ted to have effects similar to can­nabis; a web developer dir­ec­ted me to a recent issue of Mixmag, announ­cing the new pop­ular­ity of “ana­logue drugs” such as Mephed­rone (aha!) in British clubs. Some­thing known as “that purple drank” was a favour­ite of Amer­ican rappers in the 1990s, an A&R man told me: “I think it was a mixture of cough syrup and Sprite and it made everything move very slowly.” A teacher remembered that a fistful of ProPlus worked when he was younger. A civil servant had tried snort­ing Dreft deter­gent, to no effect.

Us!The industry presen­ted a friend­lier, more modern face in the home of John Clarke and Jo Hall, recent gradu­ates from Birm­ing­ham Uni­ver­sity, who run an online retailer of legal highs called Cof​feesh0p​.com. The couple had propped a giant teddy bear next to a waist-high stack of Tup­per­ware boxes con­tain­ing col­our­ful lotus leaves, powdered toad­stool and Hawaiian woo­drose seeds; above a chest of drawers stuffed with card­board envel­opes of guarano pills and pre-rolled kratom joints was a poster of Sean Bean in Sharpe.

“It pays the bills,” said Clarke, 22, who started the busi­ness three years ago when he was study­ing for a degree in phar­ma­co­logy. Today, his cus­tom­ers range from stu­dents attrac­ted by the ease of shop­ping online, to pro­fes­sion­als looking for sub­stances that wouldn’t show up on drug tests at work. There was a pro­fessor from the local uni­ver­sity who made regular pur­chases; also a pho­to­grapher, a shop assist­ant, and a yacht sales­man. “We sold to a couple in their 30s last month. It was their anniversary, a weekend without the kids, and they wanted an inter­est­ing time. I think you’d be sur­prised that our cus­tom­ers are not just 18-year-olds wanting to get high. There’s an entire culture of sens­ible people out there.”

“The not-for-human-con­sump­tion thing is prob­ably the worst thing, morally, that we do as an industry,” said Hall. They likened their jobs to running a “naughty Holland & Barrett”, but like my sales­man in Edin­burgh, the couple have to play a game of avoid-the-tide with legis­lat­ors: legal highs need to be effect­ive enough to attract a market, but not effect­ive enough to attract the eye of the Advis­ory Council, which becomes aware of sub­stances when they show up in amnesty bins at clubs, or when users report to treat­ment centres with prob­lems, or when the tabloids start making a stink.

In the days leading up to my visit, news had broken that two more legal sub­stances – BZP, a stim­u­lant similar to ecstasy, and GBL, a deriv­at­ive of GHB that had caused the death of a student in April – were to be brought under the Misuse of Drugs Act along­side Spice. “It was a blow when magic mush­rooms were banned in 2005, but the industry sur­vived,” said Hall. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

“Sitting at home, smoking a joint of Spice and watch­ing Sharpe. Doesn’t sound like much of a crime, does it?” said Clarke.

DrugScope’s recent survey high­lighted the falling quality of street drugs as a reason why legal highs are growing in pop­ular­ity. The Mephed­rone Tim took was far cleaner than any­thing he was likely to have bought from a dealer. It had not been cut with chalk, or mashed-up aspirin, or Dreft deter­gent; it had been mass-pro­duced in a factory, prob­ably in China, impor­ted by a whole­saler, and sold to him by a head shop – pure. He posted a descrip­tion of his exper­i­ence on an online drug forum, to warn others about making the same mis­judg­ment.

This is another advant­age of legal highs, accord­ing to Clarke. When people have better evid­ence as to what they’ve taken – because a sub­stance bears a brand name, or because it is pro­duced in a factory to roughly the same strength from dose to dose – effects can be com­pared with some kind of accur­acy. Sites such as Drugs​-Forum​.com and Erowid​.org throb with testi­mo­ni­als and advice. “With generic ecstasy there are so many dif­fer­ent pills out there with dif­fer­ent things in them that their effect is not going to be con­sist­ent,” says Clarke. “It makes similar dis­cus­sion almost impossible.”

We also got a quality link back to our site from their website and a shit­load more orders than usual. Check out our traffic:

Monday was a LONG day...

Monday was a LONG day…

We’re well chuffed! I just hope Sean Bean isn’t some anti-drugs nazi….

8 Responses to I Got My Tits Out In The Paper

  1. Dragon says:

    As usual you have posted inter­est­ing and good info for us to chew on and digest.

    Con­grats on the expos­ure and the recog­ni­tion that you deserve. You cer­tainly have put your time in on the tread­mill.

    As for this subject of legal highs my main comment would be that, AGAIN, people need to take respons­ib­il­ity to educate them­selves before they try some­thing. These entheo­genic com­pounds are NOT intrins­ic­ally evil or harmful.

    Simply, if you are going to make the choice to “stay” within laws by using “legal highs”, take the time to use modern tech­no­logy (a com­puter search engine?) and do some home­work. For example, I did a search on an enthe­gen recently, only to find that there is anthro­po­lo­gical evid­ence it has been used as far back as 8th century BC. These highs are not going away. It seems to be hard­wired into our sub­con­cious to journey.

    I have per­son­ally researched and developed 5 smoke blends that I can use daily and enjoy in public. I have also devele­oped some that should only be used at home where you can be tucked into bed by your mum.

  2. PoisonedV says:

    That’s great. I saw some­thing about this on dosen­a­tion but I didn’t know you were involved.

  3. PoisonedV says:

    Also- trailer park boys poster? =D

  4. sharon says:

    Never mind your tits-Jo’s sponge­bob t-shirt is amazing!!

    http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​P​q​x​y​i​8​i​y​L​G​E​&​f​e​a​t​u​r​e​=​r​e​l​a​ted

    Well I’m chuffed too because you both made some excel­lent points and did a great job of rep­res­ent­ing our com­munity. I’m proud of you (can I be your cyber-mum?)

    What a posh weekend it was, what with you two in the Observer and Ali Beiner’s article in the Guard­ian on Sat­urday (he’s a Grow Report forum poster and author of Beyond the Basin).

    http://​www​.guard​ian​.co​.uk/​c​o​m​m​e​n​t​i​s​f​r​e​e​/​b​e​l​i​e​f​/​2​0​0​9​/​o​c​t​/​1​0​/​d​r​u​g​-​u​s​e​-​s​p​i​r​i​t​u​a​l​-​p​r​a​c​t​ice

    It’s great to see Monday’s Mount Everest in your sales graph too!

    Cheers

    Sharon x

    PS I’ve got sponge­bob pyjamas!

  5. Synchronium says:

    Dragon: Thanks for that. You’re right — we’ve been getting high for thou­sands of years and we’ll con­tinue to do so, despite the law.

    PoisonedV: Ah hah! We wanted at least one person to recog­nise the Trailer Park Boys poster, and so far, it’s happened twice! Me ‘n’ Jo watched all 6 series, both films and a few extras in about 6 weeks. If you like that, check out Reno 911.

    Sharon: We’ll send out the cyber adop­tion papers on Monday! 😀 You’ll also be pleased to know that that giant sponge­bob face glows in the freakin’ dark! I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve worn those ‘jamas on several occa­sions…

    Oh, and thanks for those links!

  6. Nick says:

    trailer park boys is the shit lol

  7. Rusty says:

    I work in a field where drug testing is very man­dat­ory. As such, Istill enjoy smoking a joint for relax­a­tion yet have to resort to “cleaners”…body flushes.
    The article about Spice caught my atten­tion. If it is legally attain­able, “I WANT SOME”!!!!
    Please, if you are for real, let me know how Spice is attain­able.
    Thanks,
    Rusty

  8. Synchronium says:

    Unfor­tu­nately, Spice is now illegal in the UK. 🙁

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