Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Progress in the Czech Republic

Czech govt defines rules of hallucinogenic plants growing - ČeskéNoviny.cz: "The Czech government today approved the list of hallucinogenic plants and mushrooms, including hemp, coca, mescaline cactus and magic mushrooms, and decided that people would be allowed to grow up to five pieces of such plants and keep 40 magic mushrooms at home, a CTK source said.

The cabinet was today also expected to discuss artificial drugs and a permitted amount of these drugs in people's possession.

However, it postponed the debate for two weeks, the source said."

I hadn't realized that the Czech Republic was moving in this direction. Although it is still not enough. Without full legalization and regulation, the criminal black market will still exist. There is also the issue of international drug treaties that prevent legalization.


  1. I wonder if this is the start of a trend in Eastern Europe?

    It will be interesting to see how this works out.

  2. This is great news. And I agree William, decriminalization does not completely remove the black market for these substances. But I will point out that the organic entheogens listed here can all be grown relatively easily by hobbyists. Cannabis takes a little work, but magic mushrooms are incredibly easy to grow. Same for the mescaline cacti, if you have the patience.

    So for psychonautic enthusiasts, this certainly provides a new non-criminal alternative to black market purchases. Make no mistake, I'd prefer a system of legal sale, but this is one case in which decriminalization might actually help address the black market.

    Anyway, anybody got a good line on cheap plane tickets to Prague??

  3. The Czechs have had a relatively liberal drug policy for some time... even under the communists.

  4. I happen to know someone in the Czech Republic who owns an absinth distillery. Absinth for a long time was illegal in the U.S. and a number of other countries. Fortunately it seems this prohibition too, is going the way of the dodo. Claims of "absinthism" and going mad and cutting off one's ears only added to the hysteria. Monet cut off his ear supposedly (by some accounts) due to being an absinth imbiber.

    Absinthism is probably just a fancy term for liking the stuff too much (aka alcoholism). Personally I've tried it and found it disgusting.

    But from what I've been told, the U.S. has set limits on the amount of thujone and are allowing it to be imported. Thus legalization and regulation are the answer, but you already knew that! No more "bathtub" absinth made via everclear and wormwood oil from the local massage supplier. (And yes, I did hear of some kid who died because he drank a bunch of wormwood oil trying to get high. Sigh.)

    Be forewarned, if you don't like black jelly beans (anise flavor), you will not like absinth.

  5. Be forewarned, if you don't like black jelly beans (anise flavor), you will not like absinth.

    However, if you are a plant aficionado like myself you will be glad you went out and bought an Artemisia absinthium. It's a very attractive plant with highly cut leaves, and an awesome minty fragrance when you crush the leaves, or just rub against them. And it doesn't leave you feeling sticky with sap like if you handle Russian Sage.

    It has done well in an arid and hot climate, but I understand it also does well in other biomes. In my yard it is not invasive, and dies back to the ground with winter frost. But it's been perennial here.

    Apparently it has the name "wormwood" since it was used to heal people of intestinal worms. I tried some of the leaves, plain, and they are bitter. But there are certain cultures (religions) who eat bitter herbs once per year (think exodus) so who knows, perhaps they were eating this stuff in addition to other bitter herbs.

    According to Wikipedia it also has a number of other useful properties including repelling moths and fleas.

  6. Wow. Well who knew my mom was reading this blog?! Just moments after I posted the above, she wrote me to correct me on a few items!

    It was Van Gogh who cut his ear off. My art history is lacking. She also claims I don't have an Artemisia absinthium in my yard but another artemesia. I just dug around in the snow and ice trying to locate the plastic plant info spike, but couldn't find it. But it may be an artemesia wormwood. In any case, my hands now have a pleasant minty smell.

  7. Thujone is also the active ingredient in garden sage, Salvia officinalis, you know, the cooking herb that tastes great on spaghetti and chicken. Thujone was first isolated from the Arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis. One can purchase topical Thuja creams for fungal infections as they are available at many different stores.

    But add thujone to alcohol, and suddenly, governments around the world want to get involved. This, of course, is because governments like to own minds. And who can blame them, governments wouldn't exist without minds.


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