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OfflineAnnoA
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Hallucinogen Use Takes a Toll
    #3241916 - 10/11/04 05:25 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

http://ktla.trb.com/news/local/la-me-mushrooms4oct04,0,5697079.story?coll=ktla-news-1

Experts say users of mushrooms, taken by a Newbury Park teen hit and killed on the 101, think it is less harmful than LSD and heroin.

By Catherine Saillant
Times Staff Writer

October 4, 2004

In a case that points to the increasing popularity of a drug from the '60s, three teenagers have been arrested for allegedly giving hallucinogenic mushrooms to a Newbury Park girl who was fatally struck by a car as she wandered naked on the Ventura Freeway, law enforcement authorities said.

Victoria Nugent, 17, began partying the night of Aug. 14 with friends, who are now charged with providing the drugs that led to her death. While under the influence of psilocybin, Nugent left her home in the early morning hours and was struck by a motorist who said he did not see her walking on the freeway, authorities said.

Depending on potency, psychedelic mushrooms can result in mild visual changes, hallucinations, extreme emotional responses and even spiritual revelations, drug experts said.

It's difficult to predict the effect because potency varies and each person reacts differently, said Ventura County Deputy Dist. Atty. Ryan Wright, who is prosecuting the case.

"You just don't know until you start taking them," he said. "In my opinion, they are an extremely dangerous drug."

Marijuana, methamphetamines and club drugs such as GHB and ecstasy are far more popular than mushrooms, recent surveys of drug use show. But mushrooms, usually sold in quantities of dried out stems and caps, have been gaining in popularity under the false perception that they are not as harmful as LSD or heroin, federal drug agents say.

Seizures of the drug began to spike early last year, leading the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to issue an alert to law enforcement in June 2003. The bulletin reported that homemade chocolate candies containing psilocybin mushrooms were appearing across the United States.

Federal authorities said the mushroom-laced candy, packaged in brightly colored foil, was being molded into various shapes and was being sold at concerts and raves.

Jose Martinez, a spokesman for the DEA's Los Angeles division, said young adults see mushrooms as a "soft drug" that is not going to hurt them.

"It's one of those things that comes and goes," he said. "It's a concern. When it does pop up, we will target it."

In Ventura County, Wright, a prosecutor in the major narcotics division, said that until recently he had not filed any mushroom-related cases in years.

"In the past six months, I've probably had nine or 10 cases come in," Wright said.

"In my opinion, we are starting to see them more. Not just kids but adults."

Brian Mitchell and Alissa Ruef, both 18, of Thousand Oaks and Jonathan James Martinez, 19, of Camarillo have pleaded not guilty to drug-related charges.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled in November and December.

Mitchell and Martinez, known as "J.J.," are accused of furnishing the mushrooms to Nugent, a minor.

Ruef, a high school friend of Nugent's, is believed to have arranged the get-together where the drugs were distributed.

"J.J. and Brian were the ones directly responsible for giving those drugs ? and Alissa aided and abetted in that process," Wright said..

At Nugent's memorial service, friends described the petite girl as outgoing and athletic. She was preparing to attend San Diego State University, where she was set to study biology, family and friends said.

Her father, Bob Nugent, said his daughter was a good kid who loved sports. He and his wife, Mary, saw no indication that Victoria had been experimenting with drugs, Nugent said.

Details of what happened the night Nugent died emerged last week when a Ventura County judge released previously sealed search warrant affidavits at the request of the Ventura County Star.

The evening started at Ruef's Thousand Oaks home, where she and Nugent were joined by Sondra Ortiz, another friend from Newbury Park High, court documents say. At some point, they went to a nearby condominium complex where Mitchell lived, according to records.

While gathered at a pool at the condo complex, the teens consumed the mushrooms, which had been procured either by Mitchell or Martinez, according to the documents. Statements by the teens conflict as to who actually provided the mushrooms and how much was paid for them.

After taking the drugs, the three girls returned to Nugent's house around 1 a.m. Mary Nugent later told reporters she thought her daughter and two friends had returned for the night.

But in a tape-recorded call from Ortiz to Ruef, made at the request of investigators four days after Nugent's death, Ruef said Nugent's behavior had gotten out of hand that night. At one point, Ruef told Ortiz, Nugent had lunged for her sweatshirt, trying to get more mushrooms.

The drugs "hit her hard," Ruef said. The drugs "hit her to the point that she was delusional."

Ruef, who was on probation for driving while intoxicated, wanted to leave the house before trouble occurred, she said in the recorded conversation.

Around 1:40 a.m., Mitchell and Martinez picked Ruef up from Nugent's house and took her home, documents stated.

Later, Ortiz and Nugent walked to a friend's nearby house. Ortiz told investigators that Nugent removed some of her clothing and ran out of the house, which is blocks from the freeway.

Ortiz said she searched for Nugent but couldn't find her.

Ortiz returned to Nugent's house and went to sleep in her bedroom. The next day, Ortiz and Nugent's parents were unable to find her and filed a missing persons report.

Coroner's officials later matched a photograph the parents provided with the body of an unidentified female who had been struck that morning while walking unclothed on the freeway near Wendy Drive.

The motorist, Lloyd D. Davis, 43, of Van Nuys was driving southbound within the speed limit and told authorities he did not see Nugent. He was not cited.

Nugent's family is struggling to cope with the loss of their daughter.

"It's a sad thing, but anger's not going to bring her back," Bob Nugent said. "I hope kids learn from it."


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InvisibleCharles
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Re: Hallucinogen Use Takes a Toll [Re: Anno]
    #3241949 - 10/11/04 05:52 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

This case is solid proof that misinformation is what makes any drug dangerous. But why the hell would they group two hallucinogens with heroin, other than shock value.


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Invisiblegdman
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Re: Hallucinogen Use Takes a Toll [Re: Charles]
    #3242423 - 10/11/04 12:06 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

yeah, not this again... there HAS to be more they aren't telling us about this girl, ending up nekkid on the high way... COME ON. Mushrooms and acid are compleatly diffrent than heroin, this author has NO IDEA what she's talking about and I can assume that most readers will have NO IDEA either, this is dangerous.

she opens the artical with this statement:

"In a case that points to the increasing popularity of a drug from the '60s"

Right away, this proves the author has no idea about the subject and is not qualified to write about it. "Oh, mushrooms, make you trip, hippies, must have been popular with them, hippies are dangerous." ...That is what she's trying to congour up. Truth is, mushrooms are not "from the 60's", people didn't knwo what mushrooms are. Hell, people sold dried "cream of mushroom" soup mix with acid as "mushrooms."


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Hallucinogen Use Takes a Toll [Re: gdman]
    #3247143 - 10/12/04 02:12 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

A drug from the 60's? :laugh:

I guess she isn't in touch with all the tribal peeps from way back in the old school.


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OfflineBeefytheButerfly
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Re: Hallucinogen Use Takes a Toll [Re: Adamist]
    #3256453 - 10/20/04 04:22 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I have never lost sight of the consequences of my actions when drunk or high. Know yourself and know your drugs. People need to be more responsible instead of having morality and safety legislated on us.


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OfflineGetReal
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Registered: 10/27/04
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Re: Hallucinogen Use Takes a Toll [Re: BeefytheButerfly]
    #3282450 - 10/27/04 02:10 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I agree, there has to be more to this crazy story. It doesn't make sense. According to the story posted here, her friend Sondra Ortiz was shrooming WITH her. I have a hard time believing that she just went home and went to SLEEP (while on shrooms) after her friend took off naked!!! Why didn't she try to go after her, or call her parents, or the police . . . ANYONE for help?? Nope. SHE JUST WENT HOME AND WENT TO SLEEP?? Hmmmm . . . I'm not buying it! And why haven't they also arrested her and charged her with manslaughter or at the very least criminal negligence?? They DA (who apparently is bored in sleepy Ventura County) has arrested 3 kids in this case it makes no sense why she isn't one of them. This whole thing makes no sense to me!!


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Invisibletrick

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 1,059
Loc: unknown
Re: Hallucinogen Use Takes a Toll [Re: GetReal]
    #3282837 - 10/27/04 04:38 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

this kind of stuff makes me want to cry sometimes - not because of the uneducated fools who gave the girls shrooms or the fact that she ended up naked and hit by car (although that is sad); it's also not because of the numnuts who wrote this propaganda....I just wonder how many people are going to believe this.......piece of lathargical brainwashing use of rhetoric and "big words" that the layman probably could care two shits about. this article is an...example of why legalization should be put into action, so the proper education of drugs should be given - not this brainwash shit.


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InvisibleSuper_Blunt
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Re: Hallucinogen Use Takes a Toll [Re: trick]
    #3282913 - 10/27/04 05:17 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Hallucinogen Use Takes a Toll

Another one bites the dust

...Of some really dry pcilocybin mushrooms  :shrug: :geordinod: :what:


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OfflineCyber
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Registered: 06/14/04
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Re: Hallucinogen Use Takes a Toll [Re: Super_Blunt]
    #3283201 - 10/27/04 09:09 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Hmmm this story seems to have been pulled from both the KTLA site as well as the LA Times who Catherine Saillant is a writer for.


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