By Theodore F. Niehaus
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Additional info for A Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers: Washington, Oregon, California and adjacent areas (Peterson Field Guide)
In a ranking ofgeneral carcinogenic hazards, itwas estimated that the lifetime cancer-causing liability of drinlting just one 250 ml glass of wine daily (30 ml alcohol) was more than 5000 times greater than the combined lifetime cancer risk 72 I represented by the US. average daily dietaty consumption of PCBS (polychlorinated Biphenyls), DDE (the common metabolite of the famous pesticide DDT) and EDB (Ethylene DiBromide, an antifungal fumigant-US. 8 meg/day; Ames et al. I987)! Compared to the lifetime cancer-causing potential of the nitrosamines found in a 100 g daily ration of cooked bacon, the daily glass ofwine represents more than 500 times the risk!
Although the first tests of the effects of stimulants on soldiers, utilizing cocaine, were reported in 1883 (Aschenbrandt 1883), it wasn't until the Second World War that stimulants, mainly amphetamines, came to be widely used by soldiers, and much of the comparative research on the military applications dates from the postwar period (Cuthbertson & Knox 1947; Weiss & Laties 1962). Similarly, while the Nazi physicians at the infamous Dachau concentration camp pioneered use ofentheogens, in that case mescaline, as interrogation aids, it was American researchers participating in the MKULTRA project in the postwar era.
Although its legal starus was confused by the federal classification ofpeyotl and mescaline as controlled substances, and by a plethora of state laws against both the plant and its entheogenic alkaloid, in general American courts would uphold the Constitutional protection of sacramental use ofpeyotl by members of the "Native American Church" (an example is the 1964 California State Supreme Court ruling in the Woody case exonerating three Navaho peyotlists). Twenty-three states had io some way exempted peyotl from controlled substances laws (Blackmun 1990).