Every Day its St. Patrick's Day!

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Image retrieved from m4.i.pbase.com on February 25th, 2014.
Image retrieved from prehospitalandretrievalmedicine.files.wordpress.com on February 25th, 2014.
Willy has just returned from Los Angles where he has found the perfect drug. Obsessional as he is on these jags of his, after several raving phone calls he has already made a connection for the stuff here in New York. he can score at the zoo from the vet.
Now he's cackling cryptically as he does just before he's going to launch into some maniacal harangue.
"Green, man. Woooow..." More cackling. "It's, it, man. This is the greatest drug of the 20th century." He lowers his voice. "You will not belieeeeeve the high from this stuff."
"What is it?"
"Its GREEN!" he shouts, incredulous at our ignorance.
"Some sort of weirdo street concoction, huh?"
”Hey! It's fucking GREEN. That's all. It's not shit. It's GREEN.”
You have to understand there's no arguing with this guy. And his enthusiasm, his obsession, whatever it may be directed towards this week, is so self consuming that somehow his abrasiveness is entertaining.
One pursues him. “What does green feel like?”
”It feels like GREEN.”
”Is it green-colored?”
”No, no, no, man, it's white, a white powder.”
”Whaddya do, snort it?”
”Yeees!” Cackling again.
”Is this stuff dangerous?”
”Noooo. Absolutely safe. There is absolutely no toxicity level.”
Now if you know Willy, who's not stupid by any means but is a bit extreme, and if you know the drug scene, naturally you're entirely skeptical of the whole thing. Remember MDA? THC? PCP? STP? I recall a panhandler down on St. Mark's Place in '67 who regaled me on the joys of a drug she called LBJ. Even acid couldn’t always be counted on to be acid and certainly couldn't be counted on to be pure LSD. In general, you could always be fairly certain that the drugs with the most exotic names were also the shittiest highs and more often than not the ones most likely to be terminal. Green? Nah.
But reports coming in show the stuff is catching on. It may just be that Wily is right. It may be that Willy has at last found the perfect drug. We checked it out.
Do you remember why you gave up acid? Besides the fact that you might not have the time anymore – an entire day to devote to the ozone – like most, you probably gave it up primarily because it scared the shit out of you at one time or another. Inevitably, it seemed, people experienced extreme anxiety reactions on the stuff and it just became not worth the risk after a while to continue taking it. If you're with us this far, listen: The consensus of opinion of a wide-range of users is that green is essentially a non-anxiety provoking hallucinogen lasting only 45 minutes. Acid with out pain.
Of course, that is only the roughest of descriptions. There are to many variables: dosage, method of administration – one fairly moderate doctor insists “People would be crazy out of their minds to inject themselves, unsupervised” (in fact, no one is; snorting being much more effective for a high), and when the bathtub pharmacists start cranking it out, adding their own uniquely personal touches to their product (I.e. strychnine, amphetamine, Ajax cleanser, etc.) you wont be able to tell what the hell you're getting, and, of course, there’s the body chemistry of the individual user himself which might just not mesh right with the drug. But if you want to see just how varied and how consistent the drug and the experience can bee, best to let the ever-increasing greed hordes speak for themselves. And it's only right that the Californians go first as it appears that they're the ones to have first picked up on the holy green.
Nancy from L.A. Claims to have been there from the beginning approximately two years ago when a wealthy friend of hers “invented” – actually, the guy did not invent it (more on that later) but is widely recognized as a major illicit manufacturer and/or procurer of the substance – green. “True green,” she reports, “is now purple – actually mauve. That's because some people were putting out PCP and calling it green. Originally the green coloring which is just food dye was a color coding to differentiate green from coke or something else, and from some of the special batches my friend was making up, which he colored azure. Actually my friend colored the first batch of green ever pink, and then he made it blue, and then green and now mauve. The mauve is also because...you know those skywriter planes were they can write up in the air? Well, somebody got a skywriter to write something that mentioned green so we changed the color.” We asked her to describe the experience. “It's truly in a category of its own. It's definitely an hallucinogen. But with green I've been deeper or more far out...or far in than I've ever been on LSD, but I really use it extensively.” Pressed on the actual contents of the concoction she calls green, she demurred, saying that due to some negotiations currently underway between her friend and the UCLA Medical Center about obtaining a grant to study green, among other substances she couldn’t reveal what it consisted of chemically.
Another Californian, Fee Waybill, may already be familiar to you. He's the lead singer for the Tubes. We were told by one source that the Tubes might well know about green. Another green user told us: “You know that part in the Tubes' act where they do that slow-motion walking on the moon bit in the spacesuits? Well, that's what green is like.” Fee was happy to talk about his experience with green. He began somewhat obliquely by revealing, “Taking green is kind of like snorting a crushed up Mastercharge.” he went on to confirm Nancy's statement that the first time he saw the stuff, about a year ago at a party in L.A., it was purple and that they sometimes even referred to it as “mauve.” His initial experience he said “was the most exciting thing. We were outside at night after we did the green and this guy runs over and climbs up this tree and he's looking at the leaves and seeing all sorts of things. The thing is, I think all your inhibitions fall away. One of the guys in the band had been drinking pretty much and after he did the green he started throwing up; he threw up about ten times in a row. The people who were drinking got kind of weird. It's probably not a good idea to mix booze with green. One person who did kind of got upset and mad and started running around screaming. But that was probably stuff, anger, that was in him before he took it and the green just brought it out.
”When we were walking to the hotel at about six in the morning after doing this all night one thing did happen: all of a sudden this guy with a cape jumps out of the bushes on Sunset boulevard right in front of us.” You mean, it was an hallucination? Fee pondered for a second and replied, “You know, that's the thing...I don't know. None of us could tell.”
”Green is definitely an hallucinogenic..on a kind of insect level,” he continued. “You see like bugs crawling all over the trees. It's kind of like a cross between amyl nitrate and smoking angel dust.” Asked about the anxiety-level, Fee responded, “Well it brings out insect fear, but then again when we took it it might have been cut with something. Yeah, it's a zombie thing, a zombie drug, I could see it as sort of the new Quaalude, I mean that popular.”
Back in new York, where they may have been into it a shorter time, they're definitely going at it with industry. Cheryl, a one-time psychiatric nurse, who now deals for a living, enthused, “It'll be the new acid. I'm gonna see if I can sew up east Coast distribution! I just sent a batch down to Florida; I'd like to see if it catches on down there. Around here, I've been truing all my customers on to it, andeverybody has called me up later and asked 'Where can I get some more of that stuff?” This will be big. No kidding.” One of the more articulate green freaks we spoke to , she described the high thusly: “It affects your equilibrium, makes you feel very light and slightly out of balance – but definitely in a pleasant way It's a fairly heavy body trip but also hallucinogenic though not quite as much as acid. You are definitely lucid. The main thing is there is no paranoia. No anxiety. And I can't smoke pot or take acid any more because I get too anxious.” At this point her roommate chimed in “With green you just laugh and laugh and laugh.”
John, another recent new York reaction to green. “I've taken it several times now and really enjoy it. The other night my girlfriend and I were doing green and we just cried on each other all night. We've been having lots of trouble and I think we really saw into some of the things that have been bothering us. W just cried and cried.” but was it pleasant? “Oh, sure. It was incredible.' And no anxiety? “None. I think we really learned something. We haven’t been closer in a long time.”
Displaying the penchant for proselytyzing that characterizes the cult, one new Yorker interviewed berated a writer present with “You, a writer, and you don't take green?!? Man, the things you could see to write about. You could cut right through all the bullshit going around in the world. Too much bullshit. You could cut right through it with green.”
All and all, it sounds like Will's nirvana. Street price for the drug at this point is not really set, though Cheryl's test price is fifty dollars a gram; considering that two light blows of good green are enough for a solid forty-five minutes, this acid is apparently as painless to the wallet as they say it is to the head. Green is an agent with True commercial Appeal and in support of that statement, the number of its devotees appears to be growing geometrically. Unfortunately, most of them don't know what green is; beyond their won experiences, or more importantly what it might be.
Green is the coyly mysterious street name for a drug called Ketamine Hydrochloride, Ketamine for short, marked by Parke-Davis under the brand name Ketalar (It is also less wellknown on the street by the sobriquet, Special K, for obvious ha-ha reasons).
Ketamine is used medically as a nonbarbituate anesthetic mostly for relatively brief surgical procedures. Ketamine was released to the market in '68 and basically replaced PCP in the anesthesiologist's repertoire when the hallucinatory “emergence reactions” (that is, the experiences of the patient as he is waking from the rug) of PCP proved to be “nightmarish” far too often (PCP is strictly a veterinary anesthetic now – at least, legally). In hospitals, Ketamine is administered solely by injection (green freaks, on the other hand, bake the clear injectable liquid down to a white crystalline powder) and is used as an anesthetic in operations where the doctor wants the patient free of pain but mobile to a certain extent and somewhat responsive. It is cited as effective ad popular in skin-graft operations on burn patients, and in some routine dental and gynecologic procedures, as well as in “minor surgery of the anus and rectum, and circumcision,” according to Parke-Davis' documentation, to name a few of the more interesting. Ketamine is also popular among veterinarians when, the vets tell us, 'they want to immobilize animals so they can be handled.' In other words, from just a few examples, it is clear that if you took enough real green you could: peel your skin off, rip your teeth out, sit an open pocket knife, cut off the end of your member, be handled by a veterinarian, and not be asleep and not particularly care.
But that might not quite be the ticket for most folks.
As all true seekers of the wack-out are well aware, the truth about drugs, I mean the Truth, is secreted in the WARNINGS and SPECIAL NOTES of the Physician's Desk Reference and/or in same in the company literature. This then, from the all-caps “SPECIAL NOTE” in the Parke-Davis liturature: “EMERGENE REACTIONS HAVE OCCURRED IN APROXIMATELY 12 PERCENT OF PATIENTS. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL MANIFESTATIONS VARY IN SEVERITY BETWEEN PLEASNT DREAMLIKE STATES, VIVD IMAGERY, HALLUCINATIONS AND EMERGENEC DELIRIUM. IN SOME CASES THESE STATES HAVE EEN ACCOMPANIED BY CONFUSION EXCITEMENT AND IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOR WHICH A FEW PATIENTS RECALL AS AN UNPLEASANT EXPERIENCE.” Read: High. Of course, there's lots of drugs that can give you the same effects; the problem is finding one that's consistent about it. Ketamine, in the proper dosage, is, if nothing else, consistent about getting a reaction.
As to Willy's claim that there is “no toxicity level”...while “Ketamine has a wide margin of safety” according to the official reports, a call to a local hospital got this from one of the pharmacologists: “Yeah, we had a kid in here in a coma state – I say coma that's a layman's term; he was unconscious most of the time – for several days and from the movements of his body and eyes, it was apparent that he was in a nightmarish condition.” Treatment with major tranquillizers – such as Thorazine, Stelazien – relieved the condition, the doctor went on to say, and there was no permanent damage. “But you can definitely kill yourself with the stuff – it's a respiratory depressant,” he concludes, chief of Special Programs at the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington insisted that he thought the drug was “more dangerous than Quaaludes, much more potent. By the time it gets hallucinogenic you're in the toxic phase.” He also mentioned cardiac arrest as another possible cause of death. A more moderate and perhaps the most realistic was presented by a doctor at the Food and Drug Administration: “The problem is you don't know what the drug is when they start putting out this bathtub stuff. You can kill yourself with Ketamine, as it is a respirator depressant. And you can have an unpleasant psychological reaction. And the suggestion [of one psychiatrist interviewed] that it has psychotherapeutic values...well, it has none; or it would certainly be the last on the list of fifty or so psychoactive drugs that anybody would look to for psychotherapeutic use.” Exactly how it works seems to be, as often the case, somewhat unclear, said the F.D.A. Doctor: “It just seems to scramble the brain so pain impulses don’t go tot he right center.”
The figures from the drug agency's computer which are the official national data on a substance's popularity reveal: one emergency room admittance for Ketamine in the last six moths of '73; one emergency room admittance and five crisis center admissions each of the years of '74 '75. (the computer reports no deaths. But a doctor in Michigan reports one in his area last year.) Of course, as the doctor at the F.D.A. Informed us, there are many people who don't go to the hospital and many doctors who are unable to recognize an advers Ketamine reaction and instead ascribe the symptoms to something else. It will be interesting to see the computer data for '76, for clearly this will be green's shot (no pun) at Big Time Drug status. Already there's a lot more clinical stuff out there and seeing as one doctor reports “It's easier to make than acid” you can expect the do-it-yourself boys to be hard at work. While the clinical stuff can be frightening mentally and dangerous-to-lethal physically, the homemade is really what to watch out for. Too bad you can't tell the difference in a lot of instances until you're past the point of no return. It's also already a fact that they're passing off various other dangerous substance as green and that will certainly be on the rise Green may pass as quickly as it seems to have arrived. Probably not. But if you choose to green, green carefully, or or don't green at all.
By the way, Willy called the other day.
”Just thought I'd come over and seeya,” he says in subdued tones.
”sure,” we tell him “come on up. What's the matter? You high or something?”
”Yeah, I've been doing some green, and I thought I'd come visit now cause tomorrow's the last day of my life.”
”Jesus, Willy, you maniac.”
”No really,” he insists, noticeably brightening. “It is!”

pp. 43, 61 Creem by Robert Duncan (1976)

Fee Waybill