For 1 Cocai Ne30spoon



Ttsday'sspace-ageCoaslGyard hasveasels designed by-skillfulnaval architects expressly for its unique purposes. One such purpose "is" Surféce Security Patrol, or catching smugglers. Yet gntil a couple of i years ago, you just didn t hear much about Coast Guatiffcíittéra euttirf&otí^qpeih|ps.pnthe high seas,

Then-somelhing,changed. Rjchard Nixon was cracking the the White';House. Operation Bticca- ¡ peer was planned and executed involving every | i;* cutter oit ^t«tiort;ip Jh&'Seven t h COa st Guard IJifrtrict & in Miami-The Vaíítín.t, Stcadfasí,.Douiitíessp Hómif-tori. Chose, Courogeousj Dépendpbile—¿11 got a taste ■' of dope duty. ^¿j

The DaLmtiesi, a.robnd which this story revolve«, bhgged tWo yachts loaded to the gunnels with gage. In the YucatanGhahnel. she feusted'the Winds Will, carrying 2,G00poua4f»f Jamaica Red. In the Windward Páesagr, she caught the motor yacht Hpyo/»n freighted wrth.6,]>[>p, pounds of ganja. It was a far cry from tqwing rich «sshoies with yacht caps oh their -i heads apd no oil in their tanks. Or checking obt ' buoys or operating a lighthousel The War Against .Drugs made men of the Coast Guard.

The smugglers1 had picked a classic bit of southern | coastal scenery. Sutherland'!» Bluff is a stretph óf 20-foot-high bank along, the Sapeío River, which winds down to the ocean" through á landscape of : gnarled oaks streaming.With Spanish mbss. On this hot.humid night, á smuggler^ mópn rose like a giant orange ball from the swarrfp. When it got higher. it tumeddnto a silver beaming down like á floodlight On the narrow, sándy riverbank.

Around ten o'clock the patrol scpú.ts wéíe scóping out the position. They reported thai there were many police in the area: botf^the local sheriff and his deputies $ñd sóroe ^ffieerg from ¡the Georgia .High» way Patrol. ' '"' í.

: Thei? tliij scou.ts got jip to- the riverbank and began ' reporting the scéTfe there. About 20 smugglers were; í swariping^fl over the bluff. They had nine campers and vanfc. They hadjinoored a Houseboat at right angles to the beach to act as a floating dock.

Suddenly a big shrimp trawler was seen coming up the riveiv being led by a;littlé pilot boat. Her name was Hpzeíft. herport-offegístration-, Savairfnah.She foás cq m ipg^o ahch or ad}áeén Mo the hopseb Oat ¡íbe if smugglejrs xvere swarminj^out tp. meet her.. The cargo was,;c¿ming:off. The word.came—"Eyebajll"

'Perkinsjjgprb^pjd.aod:.g&ye the : order to attack. His eppvoy dashed across the.highway and down the local road until it-hit the narrow, sandy track Jhpt jea^ls to Sutherland's J31uff. Suddenly, Perkjns siirad.'lhróu^h ihe'wind^éld'in disbelief. There, blocking the road squarely, was a Georgia Highway Patrol car.'.Its occupants were standing/on »healde of the road looking straight at the Oncoming Gustoms men. Shrieking to a halt, the •

lead car of the Customs caravan disgorged a very angry customs|itóaító^f^;.¿;!

• • . Siripa,* rf'^^-'í; '*% .' ■' '

"Robert Perkins, director. Charíéstan'Patrol, u.s. Customs," snapped Perkins, flipping open his leather I.D. wallet with its gold and blue; badges. The sergeant who had been driving the -eiirlobked perplexed. he explained that there was no way he could get his vehicle off this^á^^^l/'.growled i'otkintt (who was becoming suspicious fifthis-inopportune : roadblock), "if »he's not gonna go that Way ^jerking 4

his thumb backwards], she's damn well gonna go ; that way [jerking it forward}^ yoi^re under arrest for obstructing a federal officer in the performance of his duty!" th§ astonishedhighway patrolman slaréd forftmpiá'ent; theri, without sáylng a word,.h® jumped oehindjhe wheel and drqyeibe ear furiously down the rough country lane; tearing off bumpers, fenders: «craping and^s)ñá8híp¿thé undercarriage. fcjpthe time the car reached1 the creek baftk. it had been totaled. '

, ■'!..■:-.."'-..••■.■■ ' •■.-•.■ - • • . li j Meanwhile many óf the CPOs. had jumped out of tjvijír veh iijiesapd had ruacmioot toward« the ¡círeeV. 'j> Firirtgbroke out átünce.Ónesrnuggrerrolledoat ófay van with his pislol blazing. A GPO got off three fast rounds.from thebip Wftha shotgup.Tha localsheriff, who claimed to be leading aiaid^ph the smuj^lers, j was caught out in the river in a sfnall boat. When he » stumbled ashore, he found Péfkins aiul sccósted j him, '"teiir gíJddamnéd bastards beeii ¿hoptin' at j n^!" fe snarled. Perkin8ÍiBughed. "Sheriff," he re- j plied, "if my 'bastards' been shootin' at. you. you j wouldn't be standin'lhere telkin' .to pie." The sheriff promptly disappeared. : :.> V® \

When the final tally was niade.'^wkins hadtha^gud

21 men, a 65-foot shrimp boat {whose real name Was ft ¡ Gemrn» fí). nine motoT vehicles, a hoirseboat, 22-foot launch, sli.ooi^in cááh and ob lonaófimari- ' juana, worth nbout ten million drílfar«, It was the . ; biggest dope bust, pp to that time, in the history of 1 r the Southeast. It had áfl been done on thejspur'of the i moment by a raw crew—and a very seasoned com-

Albert Gpldraanvá

or higher, beginning early in January. The finest gold buds are harvested in February and eady March, and flood the U.S. market during those months. Soon afterwards, the main growing season comes to an end for four months.

An astute buyer not only must be aware of these differentials, but must also consider drought-the same drought that drove coffee prices up in 1976-77 affected the pot market-and hnmcanes, of which there are many, interfering with shipping and even location of the growing area. A popular story making the rounds in 1976 told of an importer who contracted in late summer to buy a crop of high-aliunde gold grown in a valley of the

SieiTa Madre. The soil was perfect, ihe seeds the finest available, rain and sunlight abundani-until . ihe lale fall, when ihe sun moved behind the mountains. Maturing in the shade, ihe plants developed small buds, huge leaves and lowering stalks, all of which cost ihe buyer plenly when he iried to sell it against the fal golden buds grown in the sun.

Thousands of ihe Sierra Mad res are planted wilh pol each year-in 1973 a 50-mi]e~Iong valley filled with pol was burned by Colombian Pol tew Nationale-and ihe quality varies enough to make ii worthwhile for importers 10 browse through ihe various plantations, much as coffee purchasers do, lasting different crops before finally settling on a purchase. As in Mexico, a buyer who takes the whole crop geis a huge price break, also allowing tighter discrimination about what gels shipped to ihe U.S. A seller who geis paid by weight and also delivers is apt lo include more shake, slems, and immature plants than a seller who is paid for ihe package and concerned with getiing only ihe best through. The belter manicured ihe pot, the lighter it is. Pounds in Colombia run beiween $25-$50 on the open market, as liltle as $10 on crop buys. Prices have only increased aboul 25 percent in Colombia since 1973 when ihe flow began, but il has skyrockeied beiween there and ihe si reel.,.

The importers who do noi have time, money, or connections to make on-ihe-field selection have lo take whal!s on the open market, purchased eilher in pori ciiies such as Cartagena or Santa Maria and independently shipped, or from ihe floating marijuana stores. If ihey purchase from a boat they can expect to pay $100 a pound for ihe trip over, a figure that reoccurs several limes. (A Miami dealer disgruntled al recent price increases once commented, '"They each tack on a hundred because no one has smaller bills.'1)- Back on shore, ihe imporier unloads his pounds by weight, with another $100 on each, bringing ihe price to $225 to $250. It is ai this point that several "dealers organizations'* and major continental dealing circles begin lo operate.

Agents and buyers from New York, Detroit^ Gainesville and Atlanta, lo name only a few, make ihe Miami rounds of the first-buy dealers and importers and choose what lo buy. Most of the weed is in 50-60 pound bales. Aboul 10 percent of the weighl of a bale is ''shake,'* leaves and seeds shaken loose from ihe flowers. Some dealers attempt to redistribute the shake equally, but that necessitates breaking the bales into pound units, a stone drag when working with tons. Instead, many dealers sell lops and shake separately, sending the buds to major metropolitan markets that can ante up the $550-per-Ib pricetag, and roule the shake to interior and lower income areas where it sells for a couple of hundred dollars a pound less. Packages are common: i.e., 50 pounds of lops may be purchased only if the buyer takes another 30 pounds of shake at a lower price. So are mixes: 50 pounds of Santa Marta Gold shakes and bud with 30 pounds of "spinach" grown at a lower altitude and priced lower. Either way, out-of-town buyers can expect to leave Miami with pounds costing from $300 to $350. Back in ibeir respective ciiies, the pol retails on the si reels from $450 to $550 depending on the size of ihe buy. Sold by ounces priced from $40 to $70, the pound purchased in Colombia for $20 may eventually generate up lo $1,000 in New York, and everyone in-between has gotten a little richer.

THE ASIAN CONNECTION The Asians have been growing pol for human consumption longer than anyone else and the quality shows in the product.. The powerful, seedless, incense-scented Vietnamese, Thai and Nepalese weed that has reached U.S. shores in the past has indisputably been the best smoke around, and has cost ihe most.. Though the only Asian marijuana on the market ihe la si few years has been Thai stick-in such limited amounts and at such an exorbitant price, thai more people have heard of il than smoked it-there was a brief time during the Vietnam War when the Asian connection flourished, turning on thousands of Gls and their friends back home. Returning ex-servicemen turned on lo pol during the war began landing at U.S. airports wilh duffel bags filled with hand-rolled Vietnamese marijuana cigarettes. So pervasive were ihese cigarettes in the late Sixties thai one brand, Park Avenue, could be purchased for $20 a pack in many ciiies. The Philadelphia Inquirer quoled a Park Avenue dealer in 1970 as saying, ''We distributed sample packs to campus radio di^c-jockeys, student leaders, people like thai, to familiarize them with our product. . Sales soared.'1 Park Avenue and oiher major brands disappeared with the Army crackdown on drugs and the phase-down of ihe war.

Thai sticks entered the picture in 1974. In the two years since they have been on ihe markei the price has fluctuated beiween $2,300 and $2,500 a pound on ihe streets, and from $100 lo $1,200 al ports of entry: Vancouver, Sealtle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and discrete points in-between. The tiny buds, clustered around a bamboo splinter and tied with silk thread, lose potency when they dry oui, and price reflects the age. A pound may contain up lo 300 slicks, as few as 100, sold al $15-$25 each. Thai sticks are hard lo move at that price, and ihe profit margin so thin that few dealers keep them around except for repeat customers or

THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED CROSBY'S "You could nol just walk into Crosby's. No. you : needed an Inlroduclion, an cntret, the endorsement of a proven sponsor whoae face and reputation, equal measures of discretion and hlpntss. preceded him. I was first auditioned on a brisk New York autumn nigh! in 1971. when the city was no longer new but still mysterious to me. Most myiterius was the clandestine opulence of the floating parlor» located in browtisrtunus, in old warehouses, in lofts, in terraced condominiums of the Upper East Side, in storefronts in Harlem end in tviad fortresses on the Hudson. Amidst ethnic enclaves notorious for the oils in their cuisines, in every district of the city, in sweatshops where hope didn't speik English, pep-pvring thi. ruultiny pot. people gathering to relax and commune, but mainly to smoke, sample, compare and sell the richest, the noblest, the finest marijuana that soil could {«row.

Crosby's, then located in a swank loft un West 29th Street, whs one of the oldest smokessies, perhaps the first, but to me it was always the new pljce.' He hat) moved to Manhattan when his smnlter domain in Brooklyn became overpopulsted, a sort of suburban exodus in reverse.

I was first taken there by two friends, a couple with money who spent it freely on life's mellower kicks. Wo were scrutinized cloBeJy through a glass fiahey« sot in the shect-mcldl door (it had a formidable-looking lock, no knob), and a vnicehox in the doorframe asked my companions in ragged English if I was with them. The door then opened and all was smiles. My friends' word wd* recommendation enough for Domt, the courteous Filipino who opoiated Crosby's drawbridge, on old freight elevator painted chintzy gold and hung with small ro-knantic pictures, caricatures of Crosby's regulars and photographs of pretty girls turn from European magazines. At the seventh floor, the double doors >: opened into <i single room, opulent with tall room ij ceiling and one huge archtd window overlooking a the rooftops of the district. A thick wool cut-pile carpet whitened every corncr. Hock music, conversation and the World Series filled the room. I won- : dered why I had heard nothing in the elevator The | answer was thick cork, everywhere.

The action centered al an old walnut bar, a full twenty feet in tantrth, where Crosby's customers were congregated in festive knots arcund narghiles, ' thuribles and garage nes, outdoing one another in -effacing their real with languor ah they pored over stacks of marijuana. Behind the bar, a thin, wispy fuliew. blonde and elfin, winked broadly at my : companion and grinnt-d. For the first time, 1 brenthed • out. i

They introduced me as a writer, new to the city. Crosby made me welcome at oncc, quickly extract- -ing .ill the salient details of my life. Satisfied, he gestured to an cpiccnc bar-person, who handed me a menu.

'Here's the latest lineup.' hi crooned, and I caught an ' edge of Scotch on his breath as he leaned forward. The bast cannabis from ¿round the world,' he crowed like the madam of a dilapidated brothel, but .. as ft turned out, his optimism was justified.

On a mustarri-yeilfw card printed like the wine list al the old American Bar in Paris were the names of a dozen breeds of marijuana, each priced by the lid, ounce and po»nd, A line of fine calligraphy at the bottom invited inquiries about the wholesale rates. This night's offering included Miehoacan mint, Colombian lowland, Colombian mote Bomber Weed, ; and Kandohari hashish "

Leslie Morriney Hfjvii Timet. Winter 1-J7S

droughts. Also, several consignments of bogus Thai slicks dampened enthusiasm. In certain cases, Colombia and Mexico started "sticking" grass. Hawaiian weed makes a pretty good counterfeit,, and even U.S. sinsemiUa has beat some dealers. Ironically, it is probably the sinsemiUa counterfeit that will eventually replace the expensive, temperamental, but indisputably excellent Thai stick on the domestic market..

Pot from Burma, along with Indian, Afghani, Pakistani and Nepalese hash occasionally make their way to the market, usually via daring globe-trottei-s who operate sporadically. Much of the weed in these countries is turned into hash which, until , a couple of years ago, could easily be purchased by dealei-s at Licensed hash stores. The hash stores are st'dl there, but a smuggler would no sooner buy a shipment from one of these legal stores than would a Mafia hitman buy a gun from

Abercrombie and Fitch. Also, westerners are conspicuous and politically suspect in some of these countries, making the necessary low-profile a problem. Smuggling rings that do exist have a high percentage of nationals from the various countries, and the bulk of hash goes across the continent to Europe. The U.S. hash market, though steady in supply, is erratic in quality, quantity and source, with its main channels coming from Canada. Vancouver easily places as the hash capital of Canada, with Montreal and Toronto neck-and-neck for second. Owing in pari 10 this market ambiguity, and the strong flow of more favored Colombian, hash has never gotten the powerhold on ihe market that pot has, remaining surprisingly consistent in its prices over Ihe years. Commercial hash such as Moroccan sells at from $900 to $i,300, primo Nepalese from $1,500 to $2,000, a tittle over the prices in ihe eanly Seventies.

THE FATHER OF MODERN SMUGGLING Franks [Costello] corruption of the Coast Guard was the most massive wholesaling of federal services to a private citizen in a! 1 of recorded history. At its worst in 1923, Frank Costello commanded more naval power than the Royal Admiralty at the height of the British Empire. Nor did the Coast Guard stop at ignoring his activities (with an occasional bust for appearances* sake). They provided safe passage for Costello convoys, performed rescue duty on sinking Costello rumrunners and frequently helped with the offloading. Seaman Harold Waters states thai a good many Coast Guarders were not above taking a drink of bootlegger's whiskey, either; on ice patrol around St, Pierre, his mates were frequently stood drinks by the affable rummies. However, the luckiest drinkers of the period were the bathers and beach fanciers who frequently found hundreds of bottles of Scotch mingling at their waists with other aquatic life forms.

Gilhert Choate High Times, Nov. [976

SINS EM ILL A Sinsemilla is Spanish for "without seeds." It is a simple method of growing powerful grass al home, and is absolutely certain to restructure the domestic pot market when the public catches on to the trick. It involves weeding out the male plants during growing because the female plants, instinctively striving to survive longer and get pregnant, generate more protective and procreational resins. Asians have been doing this for thousands of years. lit fact, the seedless Thai sticks are grown like this. Westerners, however, are just finding out.. The fijst large crops grown in Marin County, California, in 1975,..stayed in personal stashes and didn't make it to the market. . In 1976, connoisseurs were waiting, and paid from $2,000 to $3,000 a pound for the first buds to appear late in the summer. By fall, sinsemilla strains from Hawaiian seeds were being harvested in Massachusetts, Vermont, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky and elsewhere, and prices had dropped to around S1,000j Several of the country's leading drug journalists and dealers had occasion to sample these new domestic strains, and the weed was unanimously declared on a par with such expensive exotics as Hawaiian and Thai. 1977 will prove to be a boom year for sinsemilla growers, and in the years ahead it will certainly replace many exports, particularly! as decriminalization becomes more widespread and home gardening becomes the norm.

COCAINE Although marijuana is the contraband king of illicit drugs, the recent social acceptability, of cocaine as a recreational high has thrown open this market to all-time highs. Seizures for the snow flakes have jumped every year since 1969 with no let-up in sight. Since the coke laws probably won't be changed in the near future, and pot laws will, there is a good probability that transporters weaned on the South American lines will fill the vacuum with coke. Also, like pot, homegrown strains may someday blow the bottom out of the market. .

At a price of up to SI00 for a gram that lasts two people one night, it is not consumed with the casual abandon of pot, but is reserved for suitable occasions.

The coke dealer does not have an easy life. Cocaine is classified under federal and all state laws as a narcotic, giving the legal establishment reason to equate it with heroin and deal with it accordingly. New York coke dealers, for instance, can get life. Most coke dealers operate the same way, best explained by example.

In what is now called "the good old days," actually less than ten years ago, a coke dealer from a large city on the Great Lakes accounted for a high percentage of the local coke trade. Court ley, as he called himself, was a man in his mid-twenties with prematurely greying hair, a sullen pensiveness, and executive poise that conspired to produce the innocuous detachment of a businessman. Posing as a realtor, Courtley traveled to Colombia frequently, surveying with delighted local potentates the Caribbean hotels, villas, hideaways and casinos proliferating in the resort cities between Cartagena and Santa Maita.

Mexican helicopter plky involved in "operation Condor".

'*The only limit is the imagination of the smuggler."

Marc Olden Cucaine. 1Q73

At some juncture in his travels he would stop in Medellin and buy coke. It cost S8-S10 a grain, no matter how many grams purchased, with a big deal bringing amenities such as safe passage out of Colombia This was no small favor, as many Colombians not realizing the revenues to be made from dealing dope to the gringos^ turned in customers for a smalL. government reward. Hut Courtley had good connections, people he dealt, with time and again who didn't want to lose his business to any of the many other coke-producing labs springing up in the mountains. It takes several steps to produce cocaine, most of them performed in South America, though processing plants in the U.S. are to be found. When coca leaves are harvested they are soaked in an alkaloid solution which isolates the active ingredients. A white, sticky piiste-coca paste-is the result,. Farmers sell the coca paste to labs, which treat it with hydrochloric acid to further concentrate the active ingredients into the familiar crystalline form. A popular reduction vat produces, when filled, a cake of crystallized coke (hat weighs around three kilos. Courtley usually bought one good vat..

At the time it was still easy to beat Customs, but six pounds-plus is a considerable bulk, so Couitley utilized everything, A suitcase with a false bottom lie Id almost (wo kilos, and a similar briefcase hall a key. The rest lie carried bound to his body with Ace Bandages and stuffed into every available container) from suntan lotion to nasal decongestant. . One time everything in his toilet kit was stuffed with coke, and they all functioned; toothpaste, deodorant spray, even the foam shave can. Pressurized container smuggling was given up after one trip in which a deodorant spray can in the pressurized storage compartment of a plane burst apart at 35,000 feet..

Courtley had a raft, of tactics in his grand strategy to beat the border, but eventually he ended up in that long, slow Customs line. So as not to arouse suspicion when his passport had accumulated too many Colombian stamps, he gave it to a teething baby who mangled it so he could turn it in for an immediate new one. ft can lake months to replace lost or stolen passports* He alternated ports of entry: Miami, New Odeaus via Mexico, Los Angeles via Panama, even passing through lackadaisical European and Canadian Customs on his way to the more vigilant U.S. Customs. He familiarized himself with Customs Agents' work schedules at major airports so he never crossed the same agent twice. Courtley once advised a rookie smuggler that just before he landed at the Mexico City airport with his load be should "drink a lot of water on the plane. When you approach Customs your mouth will go dry from fear. The checkers know this and search anyone who takes a drink." Later the rook ic reported that even though he drank water his mouth went dry, indeed he could hardly speak but made it anyway. Observations such as this kept the long arm of the law from descending on his trip. He crossed the border time and again with pure, high quality cocaine. Safely back in the Midwest, Courtley cut the coke and put it on the market, P

Several years ago, cocaine chemists found a method to cut chopped coke and re freeze jt to giv< the appearance of unmolested coke. Such a rock L almost indistinguishable from a virgin rock.. The tiained eye can tell by the crystal structure, the freeze-dried coke having a more saltlike crystalline structure than the mica-like stratification of uncut blow. Seasoned coke handlers know there is a threshold above which most consumers get their biggest rush and will cut their coke so that threshold is passed in at least

Labrador retriever sniffs out dope for Canadian border police

THE PROTOCOL OF COKE BUYING "For cocaine dealers, like all drug dealers, are suspicions and paranoid. They fear arrest and prison. They fear rip-offs, betrayals. And ihey fear getting killed.

So they deal only with who they know. The spoon level, the street level of cocaine deeding is often done in bars, birt the purchase isn't made by college students, rock stars or the middle class now into coke,

A connection makes the buy, then sells it to nouveau users. Meanwhile, they take his word that the price is right, that the cut is good, that he's not being followed and leading the law to them."

Marc Olden Cocaine. 1913

four rails. In any event almost all coke is cut by the importers, and again by the fust-line dealers.

Imagination knows no bounds when it comes to finding a cut.. Everything from baking powder to powdered vitamins have turned up in lab analyses of coke, with standard milk sugar lactose the most common adulterant, . Speed and procaine find their way into coke in an attempt to add kick and the distinctive numbing effect.. Some organic dealers have used powdered acidophil . us, the yogurt culture, as a safe and painless cut. By far the most popular cut is Mannite, ao obscure Italian baby laxative that not only has the flaky appearance and antiseptic taste of cocaine, but dissolves within a few degrees of coke's melting point (112° Fahrenheit) and dissolves instantly on being dropped in a container of water. As these tests are the two most common on street coke, the Mannite. cut is undetectable. So difficult was it at one time to find that some people dealt. Mannite and no drugs.

Court ley cut his cocaine with Mannite. He put about a 25-percent cut on it which left the coke more or less intact and warranted the $2,000-au-ouiice price, extremely high for its day, and increased his stock from six kilos to eight.. He seldom cleared less than $75,000 on these ventures and netted more than $200,000 on one. He engineered 21 smuggling trips before retiring. ConrtLey made his fortune and spent it leaving no trace, except, as he proudly noted, a handsome nose job thrown in on a package deal with a septum repair. Today he's a commercial copywri ter.

Not all smugglers are so fortunate. Particularly luckless are mules, people paid between $2,000-S5,000 to carry from one to three keys on their bodies back from South America through U.S. Customs* This is a miserable business, for busted mules more often than not end up on a long rap, with their mentors going free. Trying to beat Customs witli coke is tough, with, agents around the world alerted to scrutinize South American arrivals as soon as the lawmen in South America make their fust big bust of coca paste and know the season has begun.

As the danger of body smuggling intensified and attitudes toward coke eased, weed smugglers began making space between the bales for a few-pounds of blow, Miami, a big coke scene to begin with owing to its Caribbean accessibility and Latino influence, is bigger than ever, since the pot barons moved in. Like pot, coke can be purchased from offshore boats or first-line dealers by weight at from $10,000 to $20,000 a kilo, reflecting quality, cut and competitive coke sellers. On the streets a pound runs from $15,000 to $20,000; ounces retail from $1,600 to $2,200.

LSD AND THE PSYCHEDELICS Acid, more than any other drug, was responsible for America's love affair with psychedelia Though hallucinogenic plants have been around for centuries-North American Indians dallied in peyote ages before the arrival of the white man-it was only in 1943 that a practical method of isolating the powerful ergot alkaloids was formulated by Dr, Albert Hofmann, paving the way for the widespread and inexpensive distribution that took place in the Sixties. In the first few years after its discovery, the synthetic psychedelic was peddled by its scientific adherents as a possible wonder drug, curing everything from extreme psychosis to cancer. When heads in the Sixties began to reroute pharmaceuticals acid from labs to parties, the rush was on. By 1965 an estimated 20,000 people had tried acid, and that figure had swelled ten times after another two years, when the drug was made illegal,.

'Acid, Watermelon and Mese"

THE BROTHERHOOD OF ETERNAL LOVE The Brotheifjood of Eternal Love was founded on the basis of Timothy Leaiy's exhortations to "Tune in, turn on, and drop out" with LSD. Leary's preaching consisted of a combination of mysticism, the use of dings and the disapproval of our society expressed in the phrases of rebellion which particularly appeal to youth. The novelty of his doctrine, and the growing drug rebellion in general, drew considerable attention fiom the press, which merely extended the numbers of young people exposed to the message. Many thousands of teenagers reacted to it with an idealistic and religious fervor.

From Millbrook, Dr. Leaiy traveled to Berkeley, California, and from Berkeley to a small city in Southern California called Laguna Beach. This village-type community was soon to become the psychedelic drug capita] of the would.

In October 1966, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love became a legal coiporation in the State of California. The brotherhood was also granted tax-exempt status on the basis that it claimed to be a religious organization, From its inception, in addition, intelligence indicates that the gimp was ceremoniously practicing group sexual freedom in connection with the use of drugs.

From 1966 to 1968, the brotherhood flourished by dealing in marijuana smuggled in 100-pound lots from Mexico and by trafficking in LSD obtained from illicit sources and from Sandoz Chemical Works in Basel, Switzerland. The LSD obtained from the Basel firm was legally obtained. The first person to synthesize it worked for Sandoz, and Sandoz actually manufactured it commercially.

By the time that our investigation reached its peak in the spring of 1973, no less than 750 of its members had been positively identified as participants in criminal activities that spanned the globe. At its peak it had 3,000 members.

The brotherhood, according to the IRS, must have made something over $200 million in its illicit operations. At this point in thne, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love was the largest supplier of hashish and LSD in the United States.

Hashish Smuggling Brotherhood smugglers de veloped elaborate and successful means of getting hashish into the United States. One of their earlier techniques was to hide quantities of 15 to 20 pounds of the drug within the interiors of fiberglass surfboards which they manufactured. This was soon considered too small a quantity, however, and they graduated to specially designed traps in Volkswagen campers or other vehicles which could hold up to 1,300 pounds in a single shipment. .

Their mode of operation placed heavy reliance on the use of false passports; and with their financial resources and false documents, they achieved com plete international mobility. During the period of their successes, we have estimated on the basis of haid intelligence thai approximately 24 tons of hashish, was smuggled into this countly.

During that time we seized approximately 6,000 pounds out of 24 tons, which is about a 12 percent seizure rate. Although most of this drug came from their dealings with Afghanistan, we also know that shipments were brought in from both Lebanon and India. There may have been other sources of which we have no knowledge.

LSD Manufacture In the summer of 1968, broth erhood members traveled to San Francisco in an attempt to secure a permanent source of supply for LSD-which they found. The LSD was to be called "orange sunshine" and the laboratory was to be set up in December 1968.

In March 1969, the first batch of "orange sunshine" LSD was made by brotherhood members in a laboratory located outside of San Francisco. Slightly under one million tablets were produced in this first endeavor. Numerous millions were to be made in the next four years.

Until the recent enforcement success, this product which has now disappeaied entirely, was found in quantity all over the woiild.

Hashish Oil Manufacture Moreover, the brotherhood was not content merely to smuggle and market hashish. Under the guidance of one of its chief chemists, the brotherhood developed the manufacture of an even more potent product called marijuana or hashish oil, with THC content of up to 90 percent... Fifteen thousand doses could be derived in this way from one quart..

Hashish oil was fiist encountered in February 1972. Since then the number of exhibits received has increased and so has the potency as measured by the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present..

"Don't go to his place, because even though you're buying it, it could be a set-up where both of yon arc arrested and later the seller (who was working with the police) is let off. And don't let him come to your place, because it could still be a set-up, or your place could be watched later and busted when there are a lot of people over.

"The Brotherhood of Eternal Love: The Senate Report"

High Times. Fall 1974


The black market in acid got off lo a roaring start, since many of the sophisticated techniques necessary to produce lysergic acid in home labs were ironed oul when il was still, legal.. The most famed acid chemist, Stanley Owsley III, allegedly produced hundreds of thousands of his namesake acid befoie lawmen put an end to the production, throwing him in jail after declaring the drug a menace. Owsley acid came in single hits, reputed to contain 250 micrograms of pure LSD, for five dollars, or the much imitated 11 four-way,f crossed white tab, with 1,000 mikes at ten. Quantities were limited, much of the acid working its way back from California through hippie and collegiate travelers of the era.

Though add was technically not illegal, it was illegal to produce it without a federal license. Nevertheless, home laboratories proliferated, many of them on the West Coast, using methods pioneered by Owsley. It is a credit, to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the counterculture, for LSD is difficult, to make, requiring first-rate lab facilities and a first-rate chemist to perform the deft thermodynamics. The isolation of LSD-25, the most commonly manufactured, requires numerous steps, unlike the isolation of cocaine or heroin. Many of the starting compounds are heavily controlled and difficult.« to purchase, though some may be grown: morning-glory, Hawaiian wood-rose, rye ergot., Lysergic acid is also a controlled substance, doled out by Uncle Sam with a vigilant eye. Once the ingredients are assembled and the process begun, there is a waiting period during which the mixture can either fail to react or overreact with a violent explosion.

As the pot culture developed dealers4 organizations, so did acid dealers develop into cults. By far the most conspicuous of these was (many people say is) the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a hippie/mys tic/politico hodgepodge that insiders say not only manufactured tons of trips but funneled profits into poliiical and social movements, just as the pot dealers have. A frequent rumor, unsubstantiated but from knowledgeable sources, holds that the BEL financed, among other ventures, the ea&ly Weather Underground and in fact arranged Tim Leary's escape from a California prison. The fuzz cracked down on the BEL in the ea&ly Seventies, throwing a few small, potatoes in jail and scattering the masterminds to the four winds. No one knows much about the BEL other than that it was a powerful and far-flung organization in its day-also a popular self-rubric for the Manson-type crazoids the West Coast seems lo generate-and that they had good acid. The BEL's legendary "sunshine" dominated the market from

1972 to 1974 and is probably the single most widely produced and distributed acid in the short history of LSD. Small, barrel-shaped, and bright Day-glo orange, the 250-mike labs represented one of the purest batches of homemade psychedelic^ to come oul of an underground lab, selling from Miami Beach at $2 and $3 a hit, quantities as low as $80 a hundred.

The BEL was but one of many such producers. Other organizations and independent bu si newspersons were also hard at work.. In the lale Sixties, when ihe coltage industry was peaking out, a gram of pure acid could be purchased for around $750, Pure acid came in crystals or liquid form and was mixed with water. A standard formula was one gram of acid dissolved in eight ounces of water. Two drops of the mixtures would be placed on a sugar cube or Vitamin C tablet.,. A dealer could get 4,000 hits of 250 microglials each, or 1,000 four-way crosses for two to five dollars apiece. The enormous profit mark-up between concentrated acid and individual doses didn't escape manufacturers for long, and by ihe eanly Seventies it was almost impossible to buy raw acid on the street market., Pill, makers came into vogue, creating a rainbow of acid highs: Purple Haze, Orange Sunshine, White Lightening, purple, blue and pink dots, and the short-lived green acid that appeared in December of 1971, appropriately dubbed Christmas Rush. In 1970 and 1971 an acid glut dropped ihe bottom out of the market, and prices plummeted to as low as 50 cents a hit..

Acitfs easy availability, and most consumers' ignorance of psychedelic*, made it a favorite counterfeit for mescaline, psilocybin, Hawaiian wood-rose, and a host of esoteric highs that seldom, if ever, reached the streets. Sold at prices as dubious as their proclaimed origins, the pretenders saturated the market in Ihe eajjy Seventies before repealed underground news coverage straighlened out the public head. The obsession with organic drugs reflected in the '"back to the earth'" movement cultivated appetites for the real McCoys. Peyole cactus, Amanita muscaria mushrooms, wood-rose seeds, and the unpredictable jimson weed soon flourished in dealing circles:

Today, many people find organic highs preferable lo synthetic highs. Hardy heads forage through the wild for these irips, while others are raising their own. In some areas, magic mushrooms and their relatives have become an endangered species. A peyote presei-vation group has formed in California to protect the slowly regenerating cactus: peyoie itself takes a minimum of two years to produce good buttons, and some species as

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