Gullible is not in the dictionary

As either evidence that you can convince idiots of anything to get high, or that police don’t have a sense of humor, check out the Smoking Gun’s coverage of this police bulletin warning of a new drug – Jenkem.

The hilarious part? The drug is supposedly created by fermenting human sewage in the sun, then inhaling the fumes. Slang terms include: Winnie, Shit, Runners, Fruit from Crack Pipe, Leroy Jenkems, Might, Butthash, and Waste. Ha!

Now Snopes has the skinny on this supposedly new epidemic which the memo warns is “now a popular drug in American schools.” Yeah, maybe among kids with cruel older brothers. I think it’s largely a hoax on the Collier County Sheriff’s office. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility you could get high on “biogases”, but I suspect someone is having some fun with the cops.

My question for the readers, what fake drug can you invent to prank the cops with? Or to play a trick on a younger brother?


  1. Cake! It’s a made up drug you know – people are making it in their kitchens!

    Although, I have heard of kids getting “high” on biogases – if you can call oxygen starvation “high”.

  2. scienceteacherinexile

    I remember years ago when a band faked a news release about “Bong water taffy” (their band).
    Got a lot of free publicity for a concert tour and cd.

  3. Ken Shabby

    Given that cops (and judges) are total morons when it comes to basic chemistry, I think a good hoax would be a warning about a new drug craze — liquid dihydrogen oxide, known as ‘wet stuff’, ‘cold drink’, and ‘water’. Users in schools congregate around the water fountain, where fellow users watch out for narcs while one user ingests the drug.

  4. My favorite prank continues to be Negativland’s press release for “Christianity is Stupid:”

  5. spartanrider

    This is even better than dried banana peels.This had the feds in a tizzy for quite some time.Donovan didn’t help,singing electrical banana going to be the very next thing.They call it mellow yellow.Sometimes law enforcement can be pretty stupid.

  6. Back in the 70’s my friends and I got pulled over and searched. The cops grabbed the little bags of play sand that weighted down the trash bucket in the car. They held it up to us and accused us of possessing “Canadian Crystal”. The look on the idiot cops face when he tasted the sand was priceless.

  7. According to the Wash Post, the DEA says “there are people in America trying [Jenkem].” So now you can get high on your own crap! The future just looks brighter and brighter for America!
    Lets take it step further and snort mung.

  8. The look on the idiot cops face when he tasted the sand was priceless.

    Was the cop stupid enough to taste it? He was truly a moron (not knowing the substance at hand could lead to fatal consequences if you taste it like in the Hollywood movies).

  9. ebohlman

    I really want to hear what Alan Sokal thinks of this. Or, for that matter, the authors of Even Hitler Got the Blues.

  10. Kristjan, Yes the cop was that stupid, he wet his finger put it in the bag and then touched it to his tongue. The police in Natick Massachusetts weren’t known for being overly bright in the 70’s.

  11. I don’t know if “Jenkem” is real, or if kids are getting high on the methane from human waste, but….

    I grew up next door to a dairy farm, and the older kids (11 and 12) made a slurry from manure and left it overnight in a small soda pop bottle with a balloon on top. They would inhale the balloon contents and pass out. They said they saw colours and felt floaty and happy when they woke up (out for about 30 seconds).

    I never had the nerve to try it.

  12. Pieter B

    Back in the late ’60s, hanging out at an alternative newspaper, we used to say that if you wrote in that paper that smoking dried horse manure would get you high, hippies would be lining up to muck out stalls for free.

    A writer at that paper invented the Jackson Illusion Pepper. You were supposed to get a red bell pepper, let it get a bit spoiled and moldy, poke a hole through it with a pencil, and insert a Pall Mall cigarette so that the burning end was inside the pepper. Inhaling and holding in the smoke would lead to “marvelous colorful hallucinations.” For months afterward, the writer got letters from people asking what they were doing wrong, as it didn’t work when they tried it.

    I am amazed to find that Google pulls up two references to it, but they incorrectly recommend a green bell pepper, and do not emphasize the importance of using only a Pall Mall cigarette.

    I’m sure Alex Apostilides is long gone — he was old enough to be my father back then — but his hoax lives on.

  13. Pieter B

    My apologies to Alex. The last name is spelled “Apostolides,” and he passed away just two years ago. I’d thought about him many times over the years — too bad I didn’t think to Google him until today. Archaeologist, desert rat and storyteller; he was unique.

  14. Beach Goat

    I was one of those people who read those publications from out of San Rafael in the ’60s…and wondered. There was plenty of Owsley about, so we never had to try these things, but to quote that paragraph containing the infamous “Jackson Illusion Pepper” from the original source, “Herbal Highs” by Mary Jane Superweed in 1970:


    In recent years adventurous heads have come up with several interesting substitutes for grass and the other illegal highs. Smoking the dried scrapings from the inside of banana skins (mellow yellow) was a popular fad during the late sixties. Some experts believe that combustion converts some of the banana’s chemistry into bufotenine (a DMT-like chemical), but since it takes three or four joints to get even a mild buzz there is much doubt as to the usefulness of this substance. The so-called Jackson illusion pepper (named after its discoverer) consists of a rotten green pepper with a cigarette in one end and a hole in the opposite end through which the entire contraption is smoked. It is said to produce colorful and elaborate hallucinations. Some call it a hoax, others credit the effect to deep inhalation of the tobacco smoke, but several scientists have stated that certain alkaloids in the rotten pepper are converted to bufotenine when contacted by the cigarette smoke and the heat. Warning! Tobacco is dangerous, addicting and deceptively legal. Some heads claim that they can get heavily stoned from smoking ZNA, a foul-tasting blend of dill weed and monosodium glutamate (Accent). Others say they have had a good trip smoking petunia leaves and also tomato leaves. This is possible since the petunia and tomato belong to the same family as tobacco and jimson weed. Peanut skins are supposed to be another smokable turn-on, but actually they taste unpleasant and have a very dull effect. Niacin (one of the B vitamins) has a pronounced result when taken in doses of about 100 mg. It causes prickly feelings of the skin and a strange, dizzy feeling for about twenty minutes. Powdered cinnamon can be smoked with parsley or mint flakes. It produces warm, tingling sensations all over the body followed by a stimulated and transparently aware sort of high. It seems to act as a mild irritant to the nerve endings similarly to camphor.”

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