From the "who ever thought we might need a law for that" file: a state senator from Central New York has proposed legislation that would make it illegal to possess "embalming fluid with either the intent to use such embalming fluid or knowledge that some other person intends to use such embalming fluid for purposes of human ingestion or inhalation."
Yep, that would by people who are not dead.
Apparently people soak cigarettes or joints in embalming fluid laced with PCP to get high(er). The joints go by the name "fry" or "wet." The side effects reportedly include memory loss, vomiting, depression and other long-term effects that are "not pretty."
The Syracuse Post-Standard reported last year that the practice appears to be gaining popularity in Central New York -- though there wasn't any formal research available to back that up.
Of course, it's hard to get data on something like this. A 1998 paper in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs looked at the reported trend and noted some of the difficulties in sorting out the situation:
In summary, it is unclear whether the practice of smoking marijuana soaked in embalming fluid connotes a new type of intoxication, or whether what we are seeing is PCP intoxication that simply has a new name or gimmick to aid in its allure and sales. More analyses of liquid samples purported to be "embalming fluid" might help to answer this question. Secondly, it is possible that there are long term sequelae from this practice; more case reports need to be gathered. The other issue to be considered is one of public health concern. Clearly, intoxication with this drug severely clouds ones judgement.
photo: Flickr user BenDibble
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