Sunday, October 19, 2008
Stone Age Stoners?
Scientists have discovered evidence suggesting Stone Age man used herbal mixtures to get high.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Last Updated: 12:50AM BST 19 Oct 2008
It has long been suspected that humans have an ancient history of drug use, but there has been a lack of proof to support the theory.
Now, however, researchers have found equipment used to prepare hallucinogenic drugs for sniffing, and dated them back to prehistoric South American tribes.
Quetta Kaye, of University College London, and Scott Fitzpatrick, an archeologist from North Carolina State University, made the breakthrough on the Caribbean island of Carriacou.
They found ceramic bowls, as well as tubes for inhaling drug fumes or powders, which appear to have originated in South America between 100BC and 400BC and were then carried 400 miles to the islands.
While the use of such paraphernalia for inhaling drugs is well-known, the age of the bowls has thrown new light on how long humans have been taking drugs.
Scientists believe that the drug being used was cohoba, a hallucinogen made from the beans of a mimosa species. Drugs such as cannabis were not found in the Caribbean then.
Opiates can be obtained from species such as poppies, while fungi, which was widespread, may also have been used.
Archeologists have suggested that humans were extracting mind-expanding drugs from mescal beans and peyote cacti as far back as 5,000 years ago, but have not found direct evidence that this is true.
They consider that drugs were being used to induce spiritual or trance-like states by people who had religious beliefs.
GOP voter registration fraud case leads to arrest
Mark Jacoby, who was arrested in Ontario and owns a firm hired by the California Republican Party, violated state registration laws, authorities say.
By Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
SACRAMENTO -- The owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario late last night on suspicion of voter registration fraud.
State and local investigators allege that Mark Jacoby fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer lives so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California.
Jacoby's arrest by state investigators and the Ontario Police Department comes after dozens of voters said they were duped into registering as Republicans by his firm, Young Political Majors, or YPM. The voters said YPM tricked them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters. The firm was paid $7 to $12 for every Californian it registered as a member of the GOP.
Several agencies had launched investigations into Jacoby's activities, including the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, which issued the warrant for his arrest earlier this month on felony charges of voter registration fraud and perjury.
Efforts to reach Jacoby were unsuccessful.