The Highs and Lows: 30 Curious Facts About Recreational Drugs

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1Cannabis growers

Cannabis growers

In 2015, the Dutch police caught cannabis growers because their house was the only one in the street without snow on the roof.

2. When American actor Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman) was arrested in 1983 for possession of marijuana, his punishment was to write, produce and finance his own anti-drug PSA.

3. Bill Murray was pre-med in college but dropped out after being arrested for marijuana possession. After that he joined the National Lampoon Radio Hour with Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and Gilda Radner.

4. Bicycle Day (19th April) celebrates Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann's discovery of LSD in 1943, and the harrowing ride home on his bicycle after deliberately ingesting a dose of the drug.

5. Cocaine raises dopamine levels by 250%, compared to 100% from sex and 50% from food.

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6Sonja Farak

Sonja Farak

A drug testing expert named Sonja Farak was high on cocaine almost every day she went to work, calling into question some 30,000 criminal drug cases she processed over the course of 8 years.

7. Heroin is a brand name and the drug was originally marketed by Bayer as a non-addictive cough medicine.

8. The world's oldest stash of marijuana was found in a 2,700 grave in western China. It belonged to a blue-eyed Caucasian man who was a local shaman.

9. William Halsted was a pioneering surgeon from the 19th century who discovered anesthetic properties of cocaine and eventually got addicted to it. He signed himself up in a sanatorium where his addiction was "treated" with morphine. He remained a morphine addict for the rest of his life

10. Olympians are now allowed a modest amount of THC in blood tests. In May 2013, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) raised the in-competition threshold for marijuana tenfold, to 150 ng/ml, meaning that an athlete would have to be a "pretty dedicated cannabis consumer" to test positive.

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11British army

British army

The British army tested LSD on its Marines in 1964 and filmed it.

12. In the 1970's, a plane (Howard 500) carrying 6,000lbs. of marijuana crashed in a remote area of Yosemite National Park. Local mountaineers, rock climbers, hippies, and drug dealers made excursions to the area to take as much product as they could, all while the US government tried to secure the drugs.

13. Billy Mays (American Advertisement salesperson) died of high blood pressure resulting from cocaine use, not from a head injury caused by falling luggage.

14. The majority of LSD available in the US in the 1990's came from UCLA Researcher William L. Pickard. He was arrested whilst converting an old nuclear missile Silo into a massive LSD Laboratory.

15. In 2014, an Ottawa shooter named Michael Zehaf Bibeau attempted to rob a McDonalds with a pointed stick. He wanted to be in jail because he believed it was the only way to overcome his crack cocaine addiction.

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Marijuana levels in the bloodstream do not match levels of cognitive impairment, making it difficult to test reliably for driving while stoned.

17. Naloxone (Narcan) has become a mainstay of hospital emergency rooms and medical wards. It can be injected or sprayed up the nose and can stop/reverse a heroin overdose in under two minutes. It's so vital that the World Health Organization placed the drug on its list of essential medications in 1983.

18. Tim Horton (Canadian professional ice hockey player) died at the age of 44 while attempting to drive from Toronto to Buffalo at 4 am with twice the legal Blood Alcohol Level, multiple drugs in his system, no seat-belt, and the police chasing him.

19. Less than 5% of the world lives in the U.S., but Americans consume about 37% of cocaine in the world.

20. Owsley Stanley (American chemist) singlehandedly ignited the psychedelic scene in the 60s by producing over 1 million doses of LSD from a makeshift bathroom laboratory in Berkeley between 1965 and 1967.

21Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher was addicted to cocaine and survived an overdose during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back.

22. In Denmark, there are facilities called "fix rooms" letting addicts inject a certain type of drugs under supervision.

23. When the makers of OxyContin were sued by Kentucky over the drug, a survey was run to see if a jury would be impartial. Almost 40% of residents knew someone with criminal trouble because of the drug, 33% said they knew someone who overdosed/was seriously hurt, and 29% knew someone who died.

24. In 1990, a police department in Michigan staged a fake wedding with undercover cops acting as the bride and groom and invited local drug dealers to attend. At the reception, they busted them all at once.

25. Coca-Cola still uses coca leaves in its syrup, and there is only one factory in the US with the unique DEA license required to remove the cocaine.

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