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Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 15,312
Busted for Ibogaine
    #5087230 - 12/20/05 10:27 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Busted for Ibogaine
December 20, 2005 - villagevoice.com

Ibogaine enthusiasts get bad vibes from conspiracy arrests

A Wyoming couple was jailed recently on federal charges of conspiracy to import ibogaine—an illegal hallucinogenic drug reputed to be a miracle cure for addiction—sending a wave through the so-called ibogaine underground. According to a DEA agent's affidavit, Jack and Karen Hout spilled the beans about their plans to smuggle the drug from Switzerland to Wyoming via their condo in Belize when the feds raided their Wyoming home December 2.

Until now, many ibogaine true believers (some of whom operate covert "addict self-help clinics" in Brooklyn, Miami, San Francisco, and elsewhere) assumed powder made from the Tabernanthe iboga plant fell below law enforcement's radar. But the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration calls it a Schedule I controlled substance, and the Houts could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted in one of the first ibogaine conspiracy busts in decades.

The legend of ibogaine begins centuries ago with the root of a flowering West African rainforest shrub, chewed by traditional game hunters to help maintain perfect stillness as they wait for prey. Fast-forward to '60s New York, where college student and self-described recreational heroin user Howard Lotsof gets freebie capsules from a chemist friend. He swallows one, and to his amazement 48 hours later, his brain is washed clean of desire for any drug whatsoever.

The DEA bans the hallucinogen, but 20 years later enterprising Lotsof hooks up with fellow enthusiasts in the Netherlands and introduces the drug to people who want to get clean. He reports many successes: Patients detox in a matter of days, without painful withdrawal symptoms. And then there's the bonus—one last high. Boosters say the approximately 48 hours under iboga's spell are spent in a dreamlike state (or nightmarish state, depending on the individual) resulting in greater insight into one's problems.

Lotsof teamed up with respected neurologist Deborah Mash of the University of Miami: He supplied the ibogaine, she did the science. Serious concerns about ibogaine's safety and arguments over patents caused the two to split, but 10 months ago Mash got the money she needed to resume clinical studies on her own. Lotsof says he is currently involved with top-secret ibogaine projects himself.

That the illegal drug is years from FDA approval has done nothing to inhibit the proliferation of makeshift ibogaine treatment centers—sometimes just a borrowed apartment or motel room—across the country. Brooklyn is ground zero, but in the past few years what boosters call "the movement" has spread westward.

Longtime advocate and legendary yippie Dana Beal is co-sponsoring an ibogaine conference with Columbia University's chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy in February to spread the gospel to students almost young enough to be his grandkids. Tyler Case, a neuroscience and behavior major helping to organize the teach-in, calls the self-help movement a "compassionate system" that more people should be able to take advantage of.

"People just don't know about it. You go to the methadone clinic and they've never heard about it," says Mark Cochran, a 28-year-old former heroin addict and satisfied ibogaine user. Nine months ago, he says a clandestine drug treatment team in Brooklyn cured his heroin addiction at the cost of about a thousand bucks.

Testimonials like his do not please researcher Mash any more than news of the Wyoming conspiracy bust—she says she fears for the health of people who use ibogaine outside a clinical setting. She also dreads the damage bad PR generated by well-meaning self-helpers could do to future funding. "These people are desperate," she says. "They're going to be the death of us."

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Registered: 05/20/05
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Re: Busted for Ibogaine [Re: veggie]
    #5087510 - 12/20/05 11:48 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)


that's like the FDA saying, "oh yeah, by the way we found a cure for cancer but it gets you high... so... it's schedule I."

The again, why would the gov't want to cure addicts.  considering the amount of money made off the pain and suffering of others.

errggg...  I'm in a mood today  :crankey:

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Re: Busted for Ibogaine [Re: veggie]
    #5087627 - 12/21/05 12:15 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Well, how would the CIA get funds if it weren't for the coke and heroin junkies in America?  If there's a cure for addiction, the government loses money.  End of story....unfortunately. :thumbdown: :thumbdown: :evil:

McKennaDMT :mushroom2: :mushroom2: :mushroom2:

Every mistake, intentional or otherwise, in the above post, is the fault of the reader.

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Error: divide byzero

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Re: Busted for Ibogaine [Re: socialnorm77]
    #5088456 - 12/21/05 05:34 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)


The again, why would the gov't want to cure addicts. considering the amount of money made off the pain and suffering of others.

Hit the nail squarely on the head... I couldn't have said it better myself.

Just another spore in the wind.

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Re: Busted for Ibogaine [Re: veggie]
    #5090016 - 12/21/05 03:31 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

well im glad there is still underground ways of obtaining the ibogaine

'shit shouldnt be illegal in the first place, but at least there are people ballsy enough to make it available underground.

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Re: Busted for Ibogaine [Re: veggie]
    #5093368 - 12/22/05 12:38 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

How the hell do you arrest someone who hasnt even done the crime yet. Conspiracy to import ibogaine? This country has gotten out of control.

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Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7,894
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Re: Busted for Ibogaine [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #5094485 - 12/22/05 05:47 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Well duh! It's a simple thought-crime is all. I mean, wanting to do something and doing it are pretty much the exact same thing, right? :smirk:

"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln

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