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Let’s Break From Obama Stories For: Beer!

It’s a subscription site, so I can’t read anything more than the first two paragraphs of this Financial Times article, but those first two grafs are excellent:

The industry body that monitors the promotion and sale of alcohol has accused a Scottish microbrewery of marketing a beer that glamorises drugs.

“Shelves across the UK are being cleared of Speedball beer because it is promoting the illegal drugs mix that killed the Hollywood stars John Belushi and River Phoenix,” the industry-funded Portman Group claimed yesterday.

I think John Belushi is in heaven (or hell, wherever) going, “Man, I made a ton of funny jokes and all you guys remember is that I overdosed. And thanks for bringing it up, Portman Group, in your quote about a British beer brand’s name.”

Apparently, “shelves across the UK are being cleared” means the beer is being taken off the market, not that people in the UK are all buying it to show their love for speedballs. (More from Professor Dan!: A speedball is a heroin and cocaine mix, FYI. Sometimes amphetamines replace cocaine. Mixing an upper with a downer, same idea as a rum and coke. It strains the heart and isn’t advisable; mixing drugs is generally something one should not do on a whim. Quoth The Encyclopedia of Addictive Drugs: “[C]ombining stimulants with depressants can give the human body quite a beating.”)

I found another story on this thing, and it actually continues to be pretty funny:

BrewDog director Martin Dickie described the criticism as idiotic, saying the firm only produced 5,000 bottles of the beer to hit back at the Portman Group over its threat to ban three other BrewDog beers, which were later cleared.

Mr Dickie said: “The Portman Group were picking on us for no reason and we were fed up. It was deliberately slightly provocative to give them something to complain about so they can justify their existence in what they were doing to us and wasting everybody’s time and effort.

“This is a drink which, in the UK, had a release of 1,184 bottles and cost £3 a bottle, so Speedball is for those who enjoy a quality beer responsibly and enjoy a premium drink at a premium price. You can still buy 24 cans of strong lager for less than £10. That is the real problem here, not a small brewery producing a run of 5,000 beers which will mostly be sold in specialist beer shops.

“The beer is called ‘Dogma’ in America and that was what we always intended to call Speedball here after its first run had finished,” added Mr Dickie.

I also just really like the idea that, in essence, the people who sell one drug (alcohol) are preventing the promotion of a competitor. Hey, these are tough economic times.

Look How Awesome Phillymag Used To Be


I got Phillymag’s December issue, the one with the top 100 moments in the last 100 years, in the mail yesterday. The above is included in their “misses” section, where the magazine chronicles all the horrible failures it has made in the past 100 years. (It’s by far the best part of the issue.)

Above: Several Phillymag drug articles, which they claim to want to take back. Personally, what seems most embarrassing is writing a feature story about crack in 1994. That’s four years after Bugs Bunny, Garfield and the cartoon version of Alf successfully ended the crack panic with Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue. Geeze.

Saddest News Of The Day

But… but… how will our star athletes continue to break world records now?

Also, note well: If you’re going to sell a device used to cheat a drug test, don’t make it this blatant: “The company conducted its business very much in public, including testimonials on its Web sites, including one from a truck driver who said he was able to beat quarterly drug tests by the Department of Transportation using its products.”

‘Whizzinator’ makers to plead guilty [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Heroin Dealers You Can Believe In

Hey, kids, do you like Barack Obama? Probably, at least a little, this site’s demo skews young and nobody under 35 even knows who John McCain is. And do you like heroin? Well, no, probably not, if you’re reading this site you most likely prefer your opiates in convenient pill form. But no matter. If you like narcotics and you like Barack Obama, do I have a drug dealer for you!

Authorities in Wilkes-Barre found 240 heroin packets stamped with “OBAMA 09″ and a likeness of Barack Obama during a raid last week.

Police said [some arrested person] also used the residence at 302 Hazle Ave., Wilkes-Barre, where the heroin packets stamped “OBAMA 09″ were found in the basement, Noonan said.

“I’ve never seen a stamp like that before,” Frank Noonan [of the state attorney general's office] said. [...] “Once you have a heroin customer, you have a daily customer,” Noonan said, adding that heroin is more addictive than other illegal substances.

Noonan said there is an increase of heroin trafficking in the Wyoming Valley due to demand.

Don’t quotes like that just make you love American hard news writing? I know that’s what it does to me. Anyway, yes, heroin you can believe in, change to Barack Obama-brand heroin, hope your next shot of it isn’t your last, etc. Did I get them all? I think I did. If anybody wants to stamp Sarah Palin’s face on some bricks of cocaine I have a bunch of “original team of mavericks” jokes to make, too.

Police: Three-town trafficking ring shut down [Times Leader via Philly EDGE] Advancing Snurf Story Nicely


The digital ink on the post right below on the front page wasn’t even dry when threw down the gauntlet right here. Yes, the dangerous new “snurf,” a drug so potent it apparently effects writers and editors who haven’t even taken it.

Line stolen from Timothy Leary

Daily News’ Drug Story Is Snarf-Worthy


Sometimes you just have to sit back, put your feet up and bask in the glory that is the Daily News. Or one could laugh, because the paper has the best drug story since the Inquirer’s $100 joints. (To further embarrass the paper, the television news did a better job with this story. That’s like losing to Timmy Kelly in a game of darts.)

Today’s Daily News drug news embarrassment comes from reporter Stephanie Farr in her story, “A drug listed on Web as Snurf should have been labeled Barf.” Council Rock School District Superintendent Mark J. Klein put out a press release about kids at his school becoming ill from an herbal supplement they ordered online. That’s when the Daily News got to work:

But yesterday, the district was stumped when four sophomore boys at Council Rock High School North in Newtown, Bucks County, became ill after ingesting pills known as Snurf.

According to a release from the district - which cited the pills’ packaging as the source of the information - Snurf is an “herbal supplement with mood-altering properties.”

On several blogs, Snurf users liken it to the drug Ecstasy.

“We did the Google and found out more than we needed to know about it,” Klein said.

According to the online Urban Dictionary, Snurf is a pill available on the Internet through herbal dealers. It is often advertised as an herbal supplement, but generally consists of pure dextromethorphan, or DXM, a drug found in many cough syrups that can act as a hallucinogen if taken in large doses. [...] A Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman said she had never heard of Snurf and did not think it was a controlled substance.

Apparently, the kids bought what could have been DXM pills online, then attempted to do it at school. (Kids in Yardley are now so lame they can’t even get percocet, apparently.) For some reason, the school district superintendent alerted the media for kids essentially drinking cough syrup. When is he going to tell us about the “rock and roll” music defiling our young minds!

The Daily News, though, did do exhausting research about snurf, consulting several noted experts.

  1. a Council Rock School District press release
  2. “several blogs” (Farr did the Google)
  3. Urban Dictionary

And would it kill her to use the term robotrippin’? Geeze, it’s like these people never even read The Basketball Diaries.

A drug listed on Web as Snurf should have been labeled Barf [Daily News]

Lawsuit To Coors: Take Sparks Off Market


If you’ve ever been to a party with people too hip to drink Mike’s Hard Lemonade but not nerdy enough to be a beer geek, you’ve no doubt drank Sparks. The energy drink not only supports Coors (”The Republican beer!”), it looks and tastes like somebody combined Red Bull and battery acid. That means teenagers drink it. It also contains alcohol, which does the same.

As such, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has sued Coors in an attempt to force Sparks off the market. CSPI cites cites a study (.pdf) that suggests caffeine impairs one’s ability to tell drunkenness; whether that’s true or not, good luck getting science to guide drug policy. (This is a hilarious drug policy joke, trust me.) The release goes on:

Sparks’ juvenile web site and guerilla [sic] marketing appeal to young consumers, according to CSPI. The web site offers a recipe for a drink called a “Lunchbox,” consisting of half Miller beer and half Sparks, and elsewhere, the site proposes consuming Sparks for breakfast alongside omelets. The company also hosts give-aways of Sparks at house parties, sponsors events unrelated to beer such as art shows, and engages in other unconventional marketing practices, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Oh, look, it’s all there: Unconventional marketing! A”Lunchbox”! Breakfast! Gorilla marketing! The Journal Sentinel, man! A full-fledged conspiracy to get kids to drink. Scoob, we gotta do something!

The group has already forced Budweiser to can its similar (but unsurprisingly worse) drinks. Unlike Tilt and Bud Extra, people actually drink Sparks, so it’s safe to say this suit will go nowhere. But let’s imagine a whistleblower comes around, with documents that say employees of the company that sells alcohol wanted people (even underage people!) to drink alcohol. We will be shocked, we will demand hearings, we will somehow be utterly surprised by all of this. And we will have hipsters who do more cocaine and teenagers who mix Red Bull with vodka and drink a lot more alcohol with a lot more caffeine in it. Well, maybe.

via Join Together
Photo of Ken (my apologies, man), Creative Commons license

Ninja Warriors Fail In Plan To Fight Weed


There is more news today about the two kids who dressed up as ninjas in an attempt to stop drug users. The pair — clearly future DARE officers — say they were just attempting to deliver a few anti-drug missives to an ex-girlfriend and her friends.

But — whoops! — at the first house they went to, they caught the eye of the cops, probably because they were dressed up as “Shinobi warriors” from an old Sega Genesis game. (Maybe they should have dressed up like Sonic the Hedgehog or John Madden instead.) Then one of the ninjas talked to the Newark Star-Ledger and things got awesome:

Pertkiewicz was released from jail yesterday on $20,000 bail. He faces weapons charges and a charge of harassment for targeting the home of his ex-girlfriend, a charge he flatly denies.

“I want to be very clear, there was no intent of harassment at all,” said Pertkiewicz, a Bergen Community College anthropology student and volunteer karate instructor for Clifton children. “It’s not because she was my ex-girlfriend; it was because of what she was doing.” He said she was allowing others to use her home to smoke pot.

The letters stated “Shinobi will stop your cruel and sadistic intentions with justified, yet merciful force.” The correspondence accused pot smokers and drug dealers of having “committed sin of passing impurity” to others. It also said the “wind guides us to those of impure heart and intent.”

But Trojaniak, a self-taught martial artist, said they never intended to physically harm the letter recipients, including one purported drug dealer on the list to receive a letter. He said the pair had considered throwing smoke bombs into the dealer’s home and calling emergency workers who would later discover the drugs.

Ha ha, a “self-taught” “martial artist.” Who was going to stop people from smoking pot! I’d make the joke that maybe these kids need a bong hit or two to calm down, but I think injecting some methamphetamine would calm these kids down instead.

Oh, the article also notes the details for the smoke bombs came from a YouTube video. That’s the place where all ninja warriors learn to fight drugs.

Plan goes awry for anti-drug ‘ninjas’ [The Star-Ledger]

Ninjas Target Drug Users, Are Arrested


Police in New Jersey arrested two ninjas yesterday; the men (arrested in Clifton) said they were on a mission to tell drug dealers and users to stop, lest they suffer harm.

Guys, I know you’ve heard my column is coming back off hiatus soon, but this really isn’t the best way to handle it.

Calling themselves “Shinobi warriors,” the men wore black SWAT-type vests and carried knives, throwing stars, swords, nunchucks and a bow and arrows.

After being arrested early Wednesday in a car on Route 46, the men said they were delivering warning letters to drug dealers and drug users urging them to stop their “impure” activities.

The letters said those who persisted would be stopped with “justified yet, merciful force.

I have to imagine these two are part of the government’s new plan to fight the drug war with ninjas. Pretty soon the DEA will move on to other internet favorites and fight it with pirates and LOLcats.

Also, the headline on the story is awesome: N.J. men with Asian weapons claimed to target drugs.

Photo by R’eyes, Creative Commons license

Top OTC Drugs Ones That Kinda Work


Oh, boy, do I love the slow summer months. CBS 3’s Stephanie Stahl yesterday reported on the top over-the-counter medications, riffing off a report from the American Pharmacists Association.

What are the best over-the-counter medicines, you might ask? Well, CBS 3 studied the report and let its viewers know just what the best OTC meds are: The ones you already have in your medicine cabinet!

The best for relieving itchy skin irritations is Cortizone-10, according to a new survey from the American Pharmacists Association of five thousand pharmacists. [...] And pharmacists recommend Sudafed to clear up a stuffy nose. [...] Some other best selections from the pharmacists include Midol for menstrual pain and Unisom for a better nights sleep.

What is this new “Cortizone-10″ they speak of? I can assume the group also recommends aspirin for pain — no more sucking on the bark of a willow tree! (Also, I’ve been telling everyone I know that “Sudafed PE” crap doesn’t work. Suck it up and get put on the government’s list of potential meth cooks and get the good shit from behind the counter.)

Best Over-The-Counter Medicines [CBS 3]