I was going to preface this story with simple "how-to" instructions for synthesizing LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide) in your own home. As I discovered after a few minutes of cursory research on the internet, which I should have done before I started writing, a complete chemistry lab is necessary, oh, and a basic knowledge in chemistry isn't enough.
But who needs LSD? There are plenty of hallucinogenic psycho-actives out there. So, without further ado:
How to Grow Magic Mushrooms in Your Closet Under the Stairs:
Wait... there are probably certain legal ramifications I might want to consider before I continue, not to mention the amount of time necessary for the 'shrooms to grow (more like fester).
I guess the legal alternative we're left with is, sad to say, Salvia (Salvia divinorum), which, according to Erowid.org, "is a sprawling perennial herb found in the Sierra Mazatec region of Mexico. Its leaves contain the extremely potent Salvinorin A. It has a history of buccal use as a divinatory psychedelic, and has been widely available since the mid-1990s primarily as a smoked herb. Its effects are considered unpleasant by many people."
Allow me reiterate and highlight that last point: Its effects are considered unpleasant by many people.
The one and only time I tried Salvia was after a night of drinking in bars whereupon I ran into two underage drinkers — they seemed nice enough — and offered that I could enjoy a smoke with them back at their apartment. One guy was wearing an Audioslave T-shirt, the other a Che Guevara; I mention this mainly just because I remember it, but you can also see what I'm getting at here.
I didn't know before departing the bar that we were going to be smoking Salvia, and when I arrived and discovered such, it seemed like my effort (and slightly drunken state) necessitated that I at least try it — it was legal after all. To say that the sensations I felt were unpleasant would be an understatement — first my face became numb, then I lost peripheral vision, and then the media barrage around me (the dudes had The Beatles playing on their shit stereo, their computer was streaming really bad hip-hop, and they had their TV on mute) blurred into a mushy ball of sound and light which resembled Rosie O'Donnell more than The Beatles or really bad hip-hop. I wonder now if a typical Salvia den consists of this horrific media barrage.
And then after just a few minutes — good luck divinizing, finding God, in just a few minutes — I was back to normal, albeit with a terrible headache, as if I had collided with the curb or had been cracked across the skull with an aluminum baseball bat. [Belated disclaimer: my experience is meant as a warning more so than an advocation, is it obvious?]
With the legal status of Saliva coming into question — it should be illegal, really — a new alternative is about to hit the market, of which I am a huge advocate.
The Galactic Zoo Dossier Issue #7 hit stores earlier this week and is available through Drag City Records. In addition to a 100+ page comic book/magazine of hand-drawn pages, including features and interviews, it contains 2 CDs of new and old, rare and exclusive jams by Devendra Banhart, The Stooges, Dog of Mystery, Ed Askew, Blossom Toes, and Michael Yonkers, among others.
The psychedelic primer that is The Galactic Zoo Dossier generally runs in limited quantities of about 1,500 copies and is superiorly priced around $17, give or take a few bucks. Considering that this package is entirely legal, in comparison, to the waning legality of a dose of Salvia for about the same street value and with no side effects, I'd highly recommend not ingesting any drugs (legal or otherwise) and just sticking to the music.