Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Take a pill and chill out...or not

A couple of weekends ago, I dropped into the local dairy (store), and noticed the other dairy on the corner had a couple of posters up advertising A-Class Party Products and Red Hearts Party Pills.

Now, a couple of months ago, my older sister had been spouting on about a dairy up her way that was selling herbal pills....pills with all natural ingredients that actually give you an energy boost etc. She wasn't impressed and had told the owner of the store just as much. She'd brought this up when I started discussing about alcohol and my teenagers and when is the right time blah blah (way back in a post down there somewhere). I was appalled by what she told me, but didn't have enough information, and she couldn't remember the name of them.

The advertising I saw that weekend had to be what she was going on about. I went into that store and enquired about the pills he was selling. He immediately gave me a small glossy handout. And you know what? He was bloody ready for me. He was prepared to be handing out that information to show how 'legal' he was....he wasn't breaking any rules...I mean, "Lookie lady, here's the paper to prove it."

There are 8 different pills altogether, and the handout describes the experience you should have when you take them. There's even a new addition coming out shortly called "Puff"...I don't know if it's a tablet or a smoke, but the experience you get from it is described as: "Puff releases the body and mind with relaxed drifts of euphoria. Perfect for those who like the smoking experience; have a cruise and a laugh."

How about this one? It's called "Ice Diamonds". "Hit the clubs with a sparkle in your eye. A strong power packed pill that gives you a clean long lasting dose of pure energy. Ice Diamonds are the most intense and smooth energy pill available today. Experience: 6-8 hours of intense physical and mental ability. A real alternative to P or methamphetamine use."

Oh but hang on, there's an age rating on these. You can't purchase them if you're under 18. Whoopty do to that. What's going to stop younger kids getting their older friends to buy these pills for them? Nothing that's what. What's more...what's to stop some enterprising 18 year old from buying as many of these as they can, and selling the pills seperately for a profit?

But...wait....everything on this brochure shows that these tablets are all natural right? These can't be harmful. What a load of bullshit. Marijuana is natural, and here is New Zealand it's not legal....magic mushrooms are all natural, and they sure as hell aren't legal. I read that handout from front to back, including all the fine print of course. They have an ingredient in them called benzylpiperazine... otherwise known as BZP. My next shift at work had me questioning the doctors and their thoughts on this. I asked 4 doctors seperately. Each time they got to the "BZP" part they came out with "Oooooh, BZP". BZP is an ingredient in Ecstasy. And yeah, we all know that shit is illegal right? But apparently BZP is not. Some fucked up entrepreneur has discovered that BZP is not illegal here (yet) and regardless of how these pills can and will affect us, that's all the loop hole they need to be putting them out there on the market and into the hands of our babies.

The store in question is situated less than a kilometre down the road from the college....it's part of a small mall that the students hang out at before and after school. There's no way that these pills aren't gonna be noticed. This weekend just past I was at the softball club on Saturday night....I brought up the issue with a well known teacher from the Intermediate. She'd never heard of them and asked to see the handout. She called her husband over, both of them were horrified to read it's contents. As we were discussing it, a young lady told us that she'd heard a 22 year old male had died after having a heart attack in a club in town. Apparently he had a slight heart defect that never showed up til then.

There are kids at that college that I know are going to want to try these things. What a perfect way to make money. What a perfect location. Right down the road is at least 1000 people going through various stages of their teenage years. The confusion and insecurities of many to be preyed upon.

I went into the website mentioned on the handout. First thing I saw is a photograph of a prison shower block with the words "Because jail sux". Oh of course. That's a positive message to give out. Jail certainly does suck....but guess what? you can now have some fun, spin out, have your little buzz, and still remain on the outside. How cool is that?? You've gotta be kidding me?? Fuck off Noddy.

The instructions are specific. Don't over exceed the recommended dose. Don't drink lots of alcohol. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Start off slowly...take one pill and eventually work your way up to the recommended dose (usually 4). Surely that shows the addictive quality these can have. And what's to stop patrons from mixing these tablets. A couple from this pot to keep me dancing all night, a couple from that pot to help me wind down. Oh and how about one of these just in case I can't get it up if I score? Yeah, they also have a tablet called "Crakaphat". "Experience: By increasing blood flow to the male sexual organs to deliver a strong, long erection while increasing sensitivity to the region maximizing sexual pleasure. Safe to use for both males and females." No thanks, I'm plenty phat all by myself.

I came home from the dairy that afternoon....called the boys out to the lounge and was so wound up, flew into some kind of ranting lecture about the dairy owner and how harmful these pills could actually be. Especially in the hands of the inexperienced. Both my kids had that pained expression on their faces. The one they show when I'm about to get a lecture myself from either one of them for not trusting their judgement. They were both rather offended that I would think they'd try taking them. Ok, this is a good sign....and yes I do trust them....but, I'm not so stupid to think my kids wouldn't be just a little bit curious about how these could affect them. Hell, I'm curious as hell myself. I'd be tempted to try one of them out to see what happened . But I won't because I'm terrified my heart will give out or something crazy like that. Later, as I lay in hospital, oxygen mask planted firmly on my face...what would I say to them "See? I told you didn't I? Let that be a lesson to you"???

These pills have been banned in the US, Canada, England and Australia to name a few countries....why the hell are they here in New Zealand?? New Zealand, who has a reputation for upsetting the ANZUS agreement between the States and Australia, many years ago for refusing to have nuclear warships anywhere near our green shores. One of the biggest political catastrophes I can recall us Kiwis experiencing was when that french couple bombed our Greenpeace vessel (Rainbow Warrior). And now, our government has allowed these mind altering shit-faced tablets into the country and they're not illegal?? What the hell's up with that Madam Prime Minister??

Fuck me....how stupid am I? I thought my country cared more about it's kids.

I could well be overreacting about this...I've been meaning to blog about it since I first laid eyes on them. Each time I've sat down to write something I get so worked up I want to smash the keyboard. This morning isn't any different. I'd like to go back to the store owner and yell at him "You should be ashamed of yourself!"....right before I land him one between the eyes for putting something THAT potentially dangerous on my children's doorstep.

***

While I wrote this post this morning I received a wonderful comment from an anonymous reader.

"=) (=)) wrote the following:
hEY, dunno wat prompted me but i have been visitin ur blog quite
often and i love it. My mother is of ur age and i am 19, and lemme
tell ya...ur the kewlest mother i have eva seen, my mother is gr8 and
we share a gr8 relship. Ur sooooooo cooooollllll."


What a lovely thing to say, thank you so much. I really appreciated you saying that. If I'm right, I'd say that you have been the one I've seen in my stats reading just about anything and everything I've written. I saw you yesterday and wondered who on earth would take such an interest...yet I was warmly buzzed at the fact you did.

See that people? We really can get that buzzy high without some crappy BZP additive! Yeah ok, I already banged on about that. Nuff said.
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