Nitrous Oxide (N2O or "Laughing Gas") is extremely common in the rave and club scene. Large dark blue canisters (photo right) are generally stolen from a dentist's office or medical supply facility and may be worth a booking for receiving stolen property if a victim location can be determined. The medium size canisters (above) are legally purchased from performance vehicle shops. These will typically be found in the parking area of the rave or may be smuggled inside by the promoter while bringing in equipment. Balloons are the common method of distribution, or a one or two-person mask system may have been arranged. The small N2O cartridges are purchased legally in kitchen supply houses or purchased in bulk over the Internet. They are accessed by means of the "cracker" which is a small metal or plastic device with a sharp pin inside to puncture the cartridge and a hole to allow the nitrous to flow into a balloon. The metal crackers bear a resemblance to police-type flashlights in terms of style and machining. Typically, only one in every 50 officers around the country recognizes a cracker as drug paraphernalia. Possession of the nitrous along with balloons, crackers or some form of mask devices establishes intent to inhale.
LSD & MUSHROOMS
LSD is back and flourishing, especially at rave parties and in the clubs. It is still most common on blotter paper (very unlikely to be found by security searches) but is also often found in liquid form---often in the Crystal Ice breathe mint bottles or Visine bottles. It may be in gel caps or, a newer version, gel tabs (called Pyramids) on small chunks of plastic (suck or chew it) Drops may be put on the tongue, in the eye, or on unwrapped sticks of gum (which may be rewrapped for easy concealment and subtle distribution). GHB is also often transported in Visine or Binanca Blast containers. Officers handling any of these small bottles should handle it as if it contained LSD (absorbed through the skin while GHB is not), for safety reasons. Magic mushrooms (and marijuana) are also common at raves.
Exotic plants used in cultural or religious rituals as stimulants, depressants or other healing properties present an additional problem for US law enforcement. Plants such as khat, betel nut and kava, for example, are traditional and legal in other countries, but violate US drug laws. The San Francisco area has had a big influx of these types of problems, according to FDA agents in the area.
KHAT—(Catha edulis F)--Khat is a plant native to East Africa and the Middle East. It contains cathinone, an amphetamine that is illegal in the US. According to US Customs, seizures have increased 46 percent, from 48,000 pounds in 1999 to 70,000 pounds in 2000. Five Yemeni immigrants were prosecuted in recent years in the San Francisco Bay Area for growing khat. Immigrant supporters say they should be educated, not jailed, but other say that won't work. All must abide by American laws to live here. Cathinone is present in fresh Khat leaves; within a few days of being cut, this deteriorates to cathine, a lower scheduled drug. Toxicity issues include migraine headaches, cerebral hemorrhage, myocardial infarction, pulmonary edema, hepatic cirrhosis and decreased sex drive in humans. Cathine is Schedule IV federally and cathinone is Schedule I.
Was this article helpful?