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So Congressman Stephen Fincher has come up with an idea. Not a new one, to be sure, but Washington today is a Sahara of ideas, so every idea is welcome. Fincher, a Republican from Tennessee, has introduced legislation that would require states to randomly drug-test 20 percent of their welfare recipients.
Tony Dokoupil, the author of this week’s story about Dr. Peter Bourne, the self-described “first drug czar” in the Carter administration (who left after being accused of snorting cocaine at a party thrown by none other than NORML), sent along this little excerpt from his reporting for the tumblr. Dr. Bourne basically claims to be the inspiration for the Jason Bourne.
Newsweek: Come clean Peter G. Bourne: Are you the inspiration for the Bourne Identity?
Peter G. Bourne: Yes, I am. When it was first published [in 1980] I thought, you know, this is pretty amazing that he has taken my name, which is not a terribly common name…Then I read the book and there were so many parallels with my own life and Jason Bourne in the book that I thought he must have copied this. Then I saw an interview with Robert Ludlum. They asked him, you know, where do you get the names? And he said, oh, I just read the Washington Post and I see a name and I just take it. Then at some point my father actually met Robert Ludlum and asked him where he got the name from—and he said it was from my name in the Washington Post.
Newsweek: How do you feel about Matt Damon playing you?
Peter G. Bourne: That’s all fine with me. The problem I have is when I go through pass port control people make some joke about it. “I better be careful with you,” they say. It gets a bit tired after a while.
Our First Feature On “The Drug of the Year”, And Subsequent Covers
The woman carefully placed six small mounds of the powder on her hand with a tiny silver spoon while the men rolled crisp dollar bills into slim straws. Then all three of them snorted the powder into their nostrils with quick expert sniffs and sat back to watch the party with great grins and sudden euphoria.
Newsweek September 27, 1971
|Q:||So what the heck are bath salts?|
|A:||“Bath Salts” is the nickname for a type of designer drug that’s sold over the Internet, in head shops, and even at gas stations and convenience stores. They come in the form of capsules, powders, or tablets, and are snorted, injected, or swallowed.|
|Q:||What are bath salts made of?|
|A:||Most bath salts contain one of two psychoactive chemicals: MDPV (also known as 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone) or mephedrone. Both are synthetic versions of a natural ingredient found in the East African khat plant.|
|Q:||“Bath salts” is a ridiculous name for a drug. Where did it come from?|
|A:||No one knows for sure. But because MDPV and mephedrone occupy a gray area legally, distributors have marketed them as something else: plant food, bath powder, and yes, bath salts.|
|Q:||What do you mean by “a gray area legally”?|
|A:||MDPV and mephedrone have been illegal in the United States since 2010, but the manufacturers try to avoid prosecution by slightly modifying the compounds to make them technically legal.|
|Q:||How much do bath salts cost?|
|A:||About $25 to $50 per packet.|
|Q:||Will taking bath salts cause me to become a cannibal?|
|A:||Unlikely. But the effects of bath salts are powerful. They stimulate the central nervous system like methamphetamines, plus cause hallucinations, and even psychosis. Other effects: agitation, suicidal thoughts, chest pains, high blood pressure, and rapid heartbeat. On the plus side, you can get a good deal of vacuuming done.|
|Q:||But can bath salts kill me?|
|A:||Yes. As with methamphetamines, the increased heart rate can cause a heart attack.|
In this week’s Newsweek Alison Samuels explains why no one could save Whitney Houston, who died at 48, from herself.
Houston wrestled with demons, drugs, and heartbreaking betrayals that continued to haunt her even after her lifeless, bloated body was found face down in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton on the eve of the Grammys. Autopsy results revealed just how much self-inflicted damage Houston had done in her 48 years. The scalding bath water had burned her face, and there were bruises on her forehead, chest, and upper lip and numerous scars on her body. Years of cocaine use had burned a hole through her septum, she had heart disease, and toxicology tests showed residue of marijuana, Xanax, Benadryl, and other medications in her system.
thebusstop asked: So you can sniff toothpaste?
BREAKING! Tumblr user ponders sniffing toothpaste. Other tumblrs may or may not follow suit.
Come on, kids. What happened to good old-fashioned Robitussin?
What are we calling the result of said drinking? “I’m so sanitized…”
An excerpt From Bill Clegg’s memoir Ninety Days:
All at once it hits me: I’m alone. No one besides Dave knows exactly where I am. I could be doing anything. I’ve been an inpatient for weeks, under the thumb of nurses and doctors and counselors the entire time. No more morning gatherings, group meals, and in-bed-by-10 room checks. I’m alone and unaccountable. And then, like a dead ember blown to life, I think about my old dealers, Rico and Happy. I remember how I owe each of them a thousand dollars and wonder—despite all that’s been lost, everyone hurt, despite everything—how I’m going to get two grand to pay these guys off so I can buy more? I start to puzzle through credit cards and PIN codes for cash advances. Suddenly a few thousand dollars seems within reach, and I can feel that old burn, that hibernating want, come awake. I imagine the relief that first hit will deliver and I’m suddenly up off the couch and pacing. No no no, I chant. No f—king way. That craving, once it begins, is almost impossible to reverse. What my addict mind imagines, my addict body chases. It’s like Bruce Banner as he’s turning into the Incredible Hulk. Once his muscles begin to strain against his clothes and his skin goes green, he has no choice but to let the monster spring from him and unleash its inevitable damage.
[Photo: Chris Buck for Newsweek]