Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'drugs'

Thorned Bonanza

January 19th, 2010 · 9 Comments

We’re certainly all for the Czech Republic’s willingness to step up to the plate and become a laboratory for drug-policy reform. But in their haste to craft decriminalization legislation that could kick in with the New Year, Czech lawmakers appear to have done a grave disservice to a rising agricultural sector: the cactus industry: A […]

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The Roots of the Trainspotting Generation

January 15th, 2010 · 3 Comments

“There is nothing sadder than an aging hipster,” Lenny Bruce once opined. While there’s certainly a kernel of truth to that statement, we believe the late comedian missed the mark by just a few degrees. Far sadder, in our estimation, is an aging drug addict, whose aims to recapture lost glory not by feigning interest […]

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Bulletproof: Indians in the Civil War

January 14th, 2010 · 2 Comments

The way that Civil War history is written, you’d think that the conflict was confined to the easternmost quarter of the nation. But though few significant battles took place on the western frontier, the region wasn’t exactly unscathed. In the vast area known then simply as “Indian Country,” for example, tribes split along factional lines—many […]

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The Pause That RefreshesDetoxes

December 18th, 2009 · 2 Comments

A debate over the best-ever Coca-Cola slogan recently led us to this useful list, which contains some ad-speak that likely wouldn’t pass muster on today’s Madison Avenue. Our favorite archaic slogan is the one from 1906: “The great national temperance beverage.” This struck us as more than a little humorous, given Coca-Cola’s roots as a […]

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Are You Having a Laugh?

December 15th, 2009 · 3 Comments

The abundance of museums dedicated to the history of anesthesia is really something to behold. While we certainly can’t deny the landmark nature of this medical wonder, we were a bit bowled over to discover so many institutions dedicated to exalting its virtues and warehousing its antique equipment. But therein lies Microkhan gold, particularly the […]

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Stoned and Dethroned

November 24th, 2009 · 2 Comments

We can honestly say we’ve never once been tempted to try phencyclidine. Nothing about the drug seems enjoyable in the slightest, starting with the fact that it tends to make grown men strip off all their clothes and rant like lunatics. (Exhibit A: Steve.) That said, it’s always nice to have cinematic confirmation that our […]

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The Marching Powder

November 4th, 2009 · 12 Comments

When Latin percussion god Tito Puente died some years back, The New York Post speculated that a 40-year cocaine addiction had finally caught up with the man. This piece of gossip turned out to be of (to say the least) dubious veracity, but it stuck with us nonetheless. That’s because it got us thinking about […]

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The Shisheh Problem

October 29th, 2009 · 7 Comments

Given Iran’s reputation for dispensing harsh justice, it surprised us to learn that the country is home to a thriving crystal-meth industry—one so big, in fact, that it’s now exporting to Southeast Asia. As the United Nations graph at right makes clear, use of the drug (locally known as shisheh, or glass) has exploded since […]

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Drought and Drugs

October 27th, 2009 · Comments Off on Drought and Drugs

Australia’s epic drought could end up being something of a boon to neighboring New Zealand, at least in terms of aboveboard narcotic production. Half the world’s legal opium crop is grown on tiny Tasmania, largely under the auspices of Tasmania Alkaloids—a company that operates under the all-time most intentionally innocuous slogan of “Value Adding in […]

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Tippin’ on 44

October 16th, 2009 · 1 Comment

In response to yesterday’s post on Houston’s botching of syrup possession cases, one of our loyal correspondents offered a nostalgic comment: When I was a kid, over the counter codeine was legal. On Sunday visits, I used to slip into my grandmother’s medicine chest and for periodic sips out of her Vicks Formula 44 cough […]

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Leaning on Assumptions

October 15th, 2009 · 4 Comments

In doing a little research on the lethality of sipping syrup, we came across this concise account of Johnny Jolly‘s legal woes. It seems the Green Bay Packers defensive end got caught with some liquid codeine in his native Houston. But he’s apparently in the clear for the moment, due to some rather strange circumstances: […]

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The Venom Trade

September 17th, 2009 · 10 Comments

As if the Pakistani government wasn’t already catching enough flak for its inefficacy, now some learned herpetologists are criticizing its lackluster approach to rounding up poisonous snakes: A report jointly prepared by Snake Research Academy (SRA) and University of Sindh, Jamshoro (SUJ) has slammed the snake catching methodology of the National Institute of Health Sciences […]

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They’re Not Just Plot Devices Anymore

August 11th, 2009 · Comments Off on They’re Not Just Plot Devices Anymore

Last night, we got in a brief discussion with a pal regarding the Hollywood history of bearer bonds. These arcane financial instruments played a key role in at least two cinematic classics from our younger years: Beverly Hills Cop, in which Eddie Murphy’s pal foolishly steals some “German bearer bonds” from a drug dealer, and […]

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Poison on the March

July 15th, 2009 · Comments Off on Poison on the March

A loyal reader recently sent us the above graph, culled from a recent issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The accompanying text only explains what’s obvious to even the untrained eye: as the age-adjusted death rates linked to firearms and motor-vehicle accidents have declined, poison has become an increasingly efficient killer of Americans. Does […]

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The 75-Cent Plague

July 6th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Reading Walter Kirn’s sharp review of Methland reminded us that speed scares are nothing new. In researching the history of Benzedrine for Now the Hell Will Start, we remember coming across this 1959 Time piece about Eisenhower-era addicts and their penchant for crime. With a few linguistic tweaks, it could easily have been written last […]

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When’s the Victory Parade?

July 1st, 2009 · Comments Off on When’s the Victory Parade?

With the Obama administration in the midst of trying to dinosaur the phrase “War on Drugs,” we thought it would be worth looking at some of that 40-year-old conflict’s greatest defeats. And we found a true gem buried within this recent Department of Justice bulletin (PDF), a compilation of felony-case statistics from 2004. There are […]

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Performance Decreasing Drugs

June 26th, 2009 · Comments Off on Performance Decreasing Drugs

With so much focus on steroid scofflaws these past few years, it’s tough to remember that professional athletes are often forced to dabble in performance-sapping drugs, too. Such is currently the case with Spanish MotoGP star Dani Pedrosa, who’s been racing on painkillers since badly injuring his hip in a nasty spill. And while the […]

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Sippin’ Sizzurp in Dhaka

June 18th, 2009 · 8 Comments

The preferred tipple of DJ Screw and Big Moe is making serious inroads in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, the paramilitary force responsible for enforcing the nation’s drug laws is suspected of carrying out the extrajudicial murders of university students—killings that the government euphemistically refers to as “encounters.”

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Meth on the Go

June 17th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Despite the obvious depravity of this South Carolina couple’s operation, we can’t help but admire their efficiency: A Greenville man and woman are facing drug charges after police said they stopped a vehicle with an active methamphetamine lab inside it at North Pleasantburg Drive and Wade Hampton Boulevard. The arrests occurred after the two were […]

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It Was a Different Era…

June 12th, 2009 · 3 Comments

The response to yesterday’s post on smoking ballerinas got us thinking about other examples of folks who make their livings with their bodies, yet continue to puff away. And that train of thought inevitably led us to Phillies great Dick Allen, whose between-innings habit would never fly today. Then again, it’s unclear to us whether […]

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The Secret Lives of Chemists

May 28th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Allied troops in Afghanistan are celebrating a heroin bust reputed to be one of the biggest ever: Approximately 92 tons of street-ready horse, along with several tons more of “processing chemicals.” Given our nerdly inclinations, our first thought upon learning of this seizure was, “Why no details on those chemicals?” Because the unsung villain in […]

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Chasing the Dragon

May 15th, 2009 · Comments Off on Chasing the Dragon

Today’s installment of NtHWS Extras is gonna have a past-is-prologue feel, as we look back at Japan’s alleged narcotics profiteering during World War II. We’re accustomed to hearing plenty about the Taliban’s reliance on narco-dollars, but Japan’s wartime opium production is now largely forgotten. At the time, however, American politicians were fond of harping on […]

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Grind Seasoning

May 6th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Microkhan never tires of reading about the semi-ingenious concealment methods employed by drug smugglers. In today’s installment, an American college student allegedly attempts to shimmy her way out of Guyana while carrying gobs of cocaine. Her defense upon being caught, as explained by her lawyer to a Guyanese magistrate, is somewhat less-than-convincing: “It was quite […]

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The Cannabis Debate, Circa 1894

April 29th, 2009 · Comments Off on The Cannabis Debate, Circa 1894

For today’s edition of NtHWS Extras, we’ll be covering a topic that’s been much in the news as of late: Cannabis laws. Ganja use plays a significant role in Now the Hell Will Start, as it did in the lives of thousands of American GIs during World War II. The book’s main character became a […]

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In Post-Soviet Russia…

March 27th, 2009 · 8 Comments

…cops evidently go the extra mile with their community policing methods. Sorry, couldn’t quite conjure up a killer Yakov Smirnoff punchline out of this clip of Russian cops going all Michael Phelps. Free Microkhan t-shirt to anyone who can.

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Swimming in Molasses

March 4th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Somewhat limited posting today, alas, as the Microkhan Squad is suffering from a topper of a cold. The Man long ago took the good stuff out of Sudafed, so the former wonder drug can only do so much. Still, it’s quite a marvel of over-the-counter pharmaceutical engineering, solely for its impressively vivid, tasty coating—a feature […]

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Rough Times in Guinea-Bissau

March 2nd, 2009 · Comments Off on Rough Times in Guinea-Bissau

In light of today’s stunning assassination news out of Guinea-Bissau, it’s worth revisiting this fine Washington Post investigation from last August. The West African nation has apparently become a key transshipment point for Colombian cocaine traffickers, en route to major European markets: [Guinea-Bissau] is best known for its cashews and mangoes, but its main attractions […]

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You Know You Have Too Much Money When…

February 17th, 2009 · Comments Off on You Know You Have Too Much Money When…

…you employ a full-time personal shopper. I wonder if she earned overtime while watching Bonds inject exotic fish paralyzers into his kiester. Sure hope so.

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