The problem with serious drug use, as I see it, is one of supply. It’s the supply that causes all the problems. You become addicted to heroin, you can’t get heroin, and then the problems start.
Theoretically, if you had unlimited heroin, it wouldn’t be a problem. You could just always be on heroin. I’m serious.
Maybe soon, though, we’ll all be happily heroined up, dozing off while watching Netflix. That’s because scientists have possibly found a way to brew your own morphine. Which means everybody can do it.
Sweet! From Motherboard:
In the future, if you mash together the right strain of yeast and some basic fermentation skills, making homebrewed opiates might be as simple as brewing beer. As a team of researchers have just found a way to make make morphine from glucose using a bioengineered strain of yeast.
In a study published today in Nature Chemical Biology, UC Berkeley bioengineer John Dueber collaborated with Vincent Martin, a microbiologist at Concordia University, to replicate the early steps of a morphine-production pathway with an engineered strain of yeast. Combining seven years’ worth of research, the pair were finally able to synthesize reticuline, an alkaloid found in poppies, from tyrosine, a glucose derivative.
WORD? Hit me with that shit. I’ll make the damn best artisanal morphine, then have friends over for little morphine party where we taste different kinds of morphine then pass out for hours. Sounds like a damn g life.
This naturally has scared the establishment.
… the discovery also poses certain challenges. In a commentary piece published in Nature today, policy analysts Kenneth Oye, Tania Bubela and J. Chappell H. Lawson warn that “in principle, anyone with access to the yeast strain and basic skills in fermentation would be able to grow morphine producing yeast using a home-brew kit for beer-making.”
YEA MAN THAT’S THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT. They won’t just give it to me when I show up at the hospital, unless I have a gun, and that’s fucking work. Let me make my own and become a shut in dependent upon morphine. I don’t have kids. I can do as I please. If you let me have this morphine.
Which, they won’t.
The World Health Organization reports that more than 16 million people globally use opiates illegally, and the comment paper states that as yeast is “so easy to conceal, grow and transport, criminal syndicates and law-enforcement agencies would have difficulty controlling the distribution of an opiate-producing yeast strain.”
To counter these scenarios, Oye, Bubela and Lawson recommend keeping the engineering of yeast strains to licensed facilities and researchers. Companies that synthesize and sell DNA sequences should also be subject to regulations.
The world’s never any fun anymore.