The Legal High In Your Spice Jar: Getting Stoned On Nutmeg
Nutmeg is the legal high occupying Deborah Blum’s mind:
In the 1965 book, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” the activist describes purchasing it from inmates in a South Carolina prison, concealed in matchboxes, and stirring it into water. “A penny matchbox full of nutmeg had the kick of three or four reefers,” he wrote.
Toxicologists say that description is somewhat misleading, an overly romantic account of nutmeg’s generally unpleasant effects. It takes a fair amount of nutmeg — two tablespoons or more — before people start exhibiting symptoms. These can include an out-of-body sensation, but the most common are intense nausea, dizziness, extreme dry mouth, and a lingering slowdown of normal brain function. Dr. Gussow said nutmeg experimenters have compared it to a two-day hangover.
“People have told me that it feels like you are encased in mud,” said Dr. Edward Boyer, professor of emergency medicine and chief of the division of medical toxicology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. “You’re not exactly comatose, but you feel really sluggish. And your remembrance of events during this time period is incomplete at best.”
He tried it:
Teenage Home Experiment here. Let’s say you are a 17-year-old boy living in a residential high school in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and you and your friends are bored out of your minds.
And let’s say that one of your friends has a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook, which has a few paragraphs in it about how you can get high on nutmeg. You and your buddy might be the kind of people who say, “Dude, you can buy that stuff at the supermarket.” And you might even be the kind of people who will ride their bikes through the rain to the Brookshire’s store after dinner, buy a box of McCormick’s ground nutmeg, and take it back to the dorm to eat.
If you’re me, you mix it with Equal to make it slightly more palatable. It tastes like spicy dirt. We must have eaten two or three teaspoons each, then sat around waiting to get high.
Finally we went to bed. It was a school night, after all.
Next morning my nutmeg buddy’s roommate shook me awake, telling me that the guy was really sick. I padded down the hall and found him curled up in his bed, miserable.
“I feel horrible,” he moaned.
“I don’t feel a thing,” I said. Then I fainted.
When I tried to stand up, I fainted again.
We both had to try to get ourselves together enough to go down to the dorm lobby for the school nurse to examine. I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror. My eyes were as glassy as they could possibly be. We walked through mud (that’s exactly what it felt like) down four flights of stairs, holding on to the railing as if we were on the deck of a ship in a storm.
“It’s a virus,” said the school nurse, and sent us to our rooms for the day.
One megger has advice:
I did this numerous times, but it just isnt worth it. You have to us a lot of nutmeg, I used something like 22 grams, and I would eat it with peanut butter and milk or would boil it down to a thick goopy resin and eat it. It is the most disgusting taste, only cough syrup comes close (and I find that so much more worth the effort of chugging). After several hours I normally would feel a bit drunk, never anything more, but always the next day I would feel as if someone had beaten my kidneys with a golf club…ug
Which all goes to show that whatever drugs you ban, the bored youth will find something – however unpleasant – to get goofed on…