Thursday, January 8, 2009

Why This Blog?

Every day it seemed like the stories and questions coming through my in-box were more outrageous than the day before.  A big part of my job is educating people about substance abuse and drugs in general.  I really enjoy doing this because I like the history, science. just about everything connected to drug culture.  I also like getting a question I can't answer because it means I get to spend a day searching and reading through the research to find the answer. That's a good day to me.

Then the questions started getting weird.  Really weird.  People were no longer asking me if smoking pot would kill their brain cells (it won't), or if using LSD would corrupt their chromosomes and cause them to have deformed babies (it won't).  Now they were asking if the federal government really required a spinal tap to check for any history of LSD use before they could become a federal employee (they don't).  Or if young children were really tripping on the playground, the victims of LSD-laced tattoos and lollipops (no, again).  And speaking of young children, were they really being kidnapped, killed and eviscerated, then used to smuggle drugs?

Then there were the friends and colleagues who would read an alarming drug-related account and forward it to me with subject lines like, "Have you seen this?" "Is this true?"  With the advent of email, and the ease with which we can now share information and misinformation across town and across states without the hassle of a photocopier and envelope, and with friends and colleagues who knew about my interest in these types of rumors and misinformation, my inbox quickly became a treasure trove of drug-related legends, myths, and hoaxes.

This blog is a collection of some of the most popular and outrageous drug-related legends, myths, rumors, misinformation, Internet hoaxes and outright lies.  Chances are good that you've heard some of these, hopefully there will be a few new ones to shock or entertain you. I've even included some that are strange enough to sound like legends, but they're actually true!

As you read through my explanations for each rumor you'll see that sometimes others have already explained them or proven them true of false, most often David Emery at www. or Barbara Mikkelson at  If my explanation is short it is because they've already done the work so I don't have to.  If that's the case, try one of their websites to read a more detailed explanation.

In other cases I have found documentation or scientific research to prove or disprove a rumor.  I'll site the research so that you can look it up for yourself and read the whole story.  Or just in case you need the original research to win an argument or a bet.

In some cases there was no avenue to determine the accuracy of a rumor, at least none that I was about to follow without a staff and budget (I have neither) so I've relied on testing things out myself, or common sense.

And finally, if there are some rumors that you've heard that I haven't included here, please leave your information as a comment.  This is a work in progress, I have over a hundred I'd like to add, with more always trickling in, so keep checking back, and enjoy!