Activist: ‘CSI’ is high on lie
by Lloyd Grove
Daily News — (02.2004)
CBS has provoked the wrath of a group of former junkies and their supporters who are spitting mad about tonight’s episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”
Ex-cocaine and amphetamine user Dana Beal, who heads Cures Not Wars – which promotes the legalization of a substance called Ibogaine as a cure for drug addiction – told Lowdown that his 100-member group plans to stage a lunchtime protest today in front of Black Rock, the CBS corporate headquarters in midtown.
A CBS spokesman declined to comment yesterday.
The problem, Beal said, is that the “CSI” episode, titled “Getting Off,” is rife with misinformation about Ibogaine, which is widely used around the world but illegal in the United States. “It has someone driving on Ibogaine, which you can’t do!” Beal complained, noting that the drug induces a trancelike state.
“We would describe it as an addiction interrupter,” said Beal, whose group has been campaigning for Food and Drug Administration approval. “When you are in the throes of it you are in ‘sleep paralysis’ – you are awake but your body is asleep. … When the Ibogaine effect wears off, you don’t go back into withdrawal. Once you come down from it, you are normal.”
Even worse, Beal said, tonight’s show depicts a cultlike underground program apparently based on Cures Not Wars. “The episode has someone selling Ibogaine. But it’s absolutely forbidden. We could get investigated by the DEA. We don’t need that headache right now!”
Personally, I haven’t heard the word Ibogaine since 1972, when Rolling Stone correspondent Hunter S. Thompson famously accused Democratic presidential candidate Edmund Muskie of abusing the drug – an alkaloid powder derived from the root bark of an exotic African shrub.
Thompson, maybe under the influence of something himself, wrote that the “Ibogaine Effect” was a “serious factor” in Muskie’s losing campaign. He claimed that Muskie was “far gone in a bad Ibogaine frenzy.”
So far in the 2004 campaign, the only evidence of an “Ibogaine effect” came during the Wisconsin primary race, when a Cures Not Wars activist in Madison handed a brochure to Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Democratic front-runner John Kerry.
“She came back and got two more copies, and she said she was giving one to John,” Beal said. Calls and E-mails to the Kerry campaign were not answered.