“It’s really scary:” Officials in Appleton believe they have discovered a DMT lab

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APPLETON (WITI) -- Residents in an Appleton neighborhood were stunned after a suspected drug lab was uncovered on their block. Investigators say they were looking for marijuana, but what they found was a much different drug and a much different operation.

"I can barely breathe because it's really scary. It's really scary to know it was that close to us," Sandra Harper said.

Three weeks into a drug trafficking investigation - investigators armed with a search warrant entered a home on Sylvan Avenue Tuesday evening, October 7th looking for pot.

The Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group found a quarter pound of marijuana -- but that's not all.

"We found what we believe or are alleging was a DMT lab. We did not anticipate finding a lab at that location, so we wound up sort of surprised at what we found," Brad Dunlap with the Winnebago County Metropolitan Enforcement Group said.

Investigators wearing hazmat suits cleared the house of items they believe were used to make dimethyltryptamine, also known as DMT. It's a hallucinogenic drug people generally smoke or inject.

"The manufacture process involves some chemicals that have the potential for explosion and or fire and that's why we had hazmat and fire crews out there," Dunlap said.

The suspect, an Appleton man who lives in the home, was in the driveway when officers arrived, but Dunlap says they did not arrest him. Authorities say first, they need to confirm what they believe they found.

"Based on the interviews, we believe that assessment is correct, but until we get results back from the Crime Lab we won't be able to confirm that and that's also the reason we're holding off on charges," Dunlap said.

While authorities say the public is no longer in danger, neighbors say their main concern is the safety of the neighborhood.

"There's a lot of kids that live around here -- not just me and my daughter, but like all the way down the block there's children around her same age," Christina Metros said.

So what is DMT? It's commonly known on the street as Fantasian or Businessman's LSD.

Officials say people smoke it with marijuana, snort it or brew it in tea.

It is extracted from the bark of a mimosa tree using chemicals like lighter fluid.

The mimosa tree is native to South America, and the substance is known to be used in Shaman rituals.

Appleton police say only five DMT labs have been found in the state in the last five years.

19 comments

  • LivingAnExaminedLife

    DMT is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that’s already in your brain. It is safe, non addictive whether taken externally or released internally by deep meditation. If you want to learn what DMT is—as opposed to the melodramatic scare-mongering and superficial tone of this article—watch or read “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” based on the FDA-approved study by Stanford physician Dr. Rick Strassman.

  • LivingAnExaminedLife

    As a follow-up to my earlier comment, there are doctors, therapists, shamans, yogis, and meditation practitioners around the world who are right now using DMT to aid people in healing from trauma and depression, particular in the form of Ayahuasca tea (DMT partaken orally in a sacred spiritual tea ceremony).

    When experienced as Ayahuasca tea, DMT was granted specific legal protection in the U.S. by the unanimous 2006 Supreme Court judgment of Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal.

    DMT is not a molecule to be outlawed, feared, banned—or used recreationally for thrills—but a tool to be responsibly explored by those who are ready to reconnect with Spirit.

    This article erroneously claims that DMT is injected. The author does a gross disservice to her readers by portraying DMT as an “injectable drug”—which in the mind of the average person will conjure-up a sinister image of a heroin addict slumped over in a dirty alley with a needle up their arm. The mental image of a common junkie or addict is *absolutely not* an accurate picture one should have of DMT users! DMT is vaporised and consumed orally as a tea in a ritual ceremony, never injected.

    In reality the article’s statement about injection is only true for those individuals who participated in the FDA-approved study of DMT conducted by Dr. Rick Strassman in the early 1990s. In that particular FDA study situation, Dr. Strassman states that he *chose* to inject participants with DMT because it was the most accurate way he could control dosage and absorption characteristics of the molecule. Injection was deemed the appropriate method to create a study which satisfactorily met the expectations of scientists operating under precise laboratory conditions and FDA scrutiny. However, under normal circumstances, DMT is experienced in oral form in the shamanic tea called Ayahuasca, or in vaporized form.

    Vaporized DMT is heated in a device, electronic herb vaporisation machine, or a pipe to reach the temperature required for it to melt and turn from crystals into vapor. It is *unheard of* to inject DMT (outside of the medical study documented by Dr. Strassman in “DMT: The Spirit Molecule”).

    The article also boldly suggests “DMT labs” can cause explosion or fire. (So can paint thinner kept near water heaters in hot garages, or cans of gas kept around to refill lawnmowers—but we don’t often hear of such explosions or fires because they are exceedingly rare!) Unless specific facts *and* clear supporting photographs are divulged to support the innuendo about the “DMT labs” risking an explosion, this sounds to me like an unnecessary overstatement—propaganda that’s intended to make the “DMT lab” sound like the common trailer park meth lab we’ve all heard about exploding on the nightly news once or twice before.

    In actual fact, the extraction of DMT from plants requires a small amount of readily available household chemicals and the process isn’t even remotely the same as that found in a meth lab. This “DMT lab” was probably no more likely to explode than a gallon container of unleaded kept around for the lawnmower in the garage. Unless specific credible facts and photographs are released, the crew seen in HAZMAT outfits is there for sensationalistic Orwellian theatrical effect rather than legitimate safety concern. Donate those suits to the Ebola outbreak we’re collectively ignoring in Africa, or to Fukushima, and do something more important with them!

    So what then, does DMT do? As documented in “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” study, effects varied dramatically for people and the same person never experienced the same journey twice over the course of multiple different sessions with DMT. I hesitate to describe “what DMT does” because it’s an unrepeatable experience that’s different each session. But in general, when vaporized and inhaled, DMT nearly instantly causes a person to have an out-of-body experience where they travel down a tunnel made of gorgeous crawling patterns of the most intensely saturated colored lights. One feels the overwhelming sense that these patterns are the work of a the very greatest cosmic artist—the Hand of God, if you will, and a profound spiritual presence is instantly felt in the heart and mind.

    Waiting at the end of the tunnel are intelligent, autonomous beings made of light who communicate telepathically. These beings or entities could be angels, deceased ancestors, God or gods; and the DMT experience is strikingly similar to those reported by near death experience (NDE) survivors.

    The beings made of light telepathically share overwhelmingly loving messages of peace, tranquility, inter-connectedness of all things, and gratitude for the gift that is life. Many of us who experience DMT have come to believe it is an entirely safe tool with which to draw back the veil surrounding the mystery of death. This article and the law-enforcement personnel interviewed in the raid do not accurately portray what DMT is; why it is already in our biology; what benefits it has for those who experience it; or why it was outlawed and who stands to benefit from its existence being kept a secret. The Orwellian law officers involved in this raid, as well as those writing about it for the public record, would all do well to experience or at least watch “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” for themselves before unjustly slandering DMT; spreading disinformation/misinformation or withholding beneficial information about it; and depriving others of the moral, if not legal, right to experience DMT for themselves.

    Who stands to benefit from DMT the public being kept in the dark or confused about what DMT is and what it does? That’s a question worth asking.

    Most people who’ve drank Ayahuasca or vaporised DMT would agree that it is by far the most direct (if not only) *genuinely religious or spiritual experience they’ve ever had in life.* Like those who survive a Near Death Experience (NDE), DMT users come back profoundly changed with a new sense of awareness about disembodied consciousness and the existence of parallel realms or quantum dimensions inhabited by intelligent beings that appear to be intwined with the fabric of our own reality. In fact, I’ve read not one NDE story that didn’t sound exactly like some form of a DMT journey. In other words, DMT takes us to the place NDE survivors also report visiting.

    DMT’s ability to safely transport us back into the spirit world from which we originate is why DMT has been used for thousands of years by natives in the Amazon in the forms of Yopo and Ayahuasca: as a means to access the spirit dimension and the information and entities it contains. This unique ability of DMT is why a South American Christian church has used Ayahuasca ritually for well over a hundred years. They successfully fought the DEA and won the right to consume the sacramental tea Ayahuasca after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2006 judgment in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal.

    DMT is *the* bridge to reconnecting with Spirit for nearly everyone who is lucky and brave enough to experience it. Articles like this one need to be commented-on by those experienced with DMT an Ayahuasca to set the record straight on superficial, biased, and erroneous reporting.

    • aaronm

      This poor guy is going to be subjected to much more harm in the legal system than he would practicing with DMT. It is highly unlikely that he posed any threat at all to the neighborhood. people fear things they don’t know about and the news reports will sensationalize anything to keep you tuned in beyond the next commercial. Prohibition is ridiculous and busting people for cannabis is such a waste of taxpayer money.

      • LivingAnExaminedLife

        Agreed. If the person described in the article is charged with a drug crime and he reads this, he should consider reaching out to an organization called “Lawyers for Burners.” LfB is a collection of forward-thinking attorneys who attend the Burning Man festival and embody ethical principles we need to see more of in the world. Some of those legal professionals will be personally familiar with the medicinal properties of plants and will vigorously defend and/or aid him with passion, or at least point him in the right direction. In other words, this defendant won’t be ‘just another case’ to a LfB-affiliated attorney.

        Modern societies must work to abolish laws that create victimless crimes where no harm to others can be demonstrated. Prosecuting victimless crimes squanders tax payer resources and irreparably harms the lives of those charged. And for what benefit other than a perceived ideological victory? Most forward-thinking societies have begun abolishing victimless crimes in various ways, for example: decriminalizing interracial marriage and homosexuality; legalizing, taxing, and health-regulating prostitution (Australia, The Netherlands, some districts in Nevada and elsewhere globally).

        Nearly all countries still widely criminalize drug possession, but some of the more progressive authorities have begun to emphasize harm-reduction education instead of arrest and prosecution. In progressive countries the prevailing attitude toward minor drug offenses is shifting away from “let’s throw drug users in jail,” to “let’s offer people unbiased education about drug effects and how to reduce harm if they choose to experience a drug.” In Australia, to name just one place where attitudes toward consciousness exploration are not so Draconian as they are in the United States, law enforcement do not normally patrol music festivals with the intention to bust people for possession or use. Instead the Crown sponsors harm-reduction booths which provide trained counselors and pamphlets explaining the effects and consequences of every known drug in an unbiased tone. Instead of arresting someone on a bad trip, counselors provide a calming space, vitamins and water, and medical care for those who need it. There’s no need to arrest anyone when no harm is being caused to other individuals or society at large. As a civilization we need to begin to adopt an attitude of unbiased harm-reduction coupled with decriminalizing personal choices that do not demonstrably cause harm to others.

    • Carlbrutanunanulewski

      Thank you so much for debunking and refuting everything in this ridiculously uninformed article. I wasn’t sure where to start when I started reading it.

  • Foursparlour

    The person who wrote this article should never write again. Disgrace. DMT is produced in the brain whilst sleeping and before death. This molecule may have anwsers to BIG questions, yet propaganda repress it. Ignorance, culture and control. Foolish. Near death experiences are due to relase of DMT when the body starts to ‘die’. People say they have seen the creator’ and know there is more after death. This is all due to the release of DMT and it allows the brain to excel past usual capacity to sensory dimension. Please go and read because Media and the guy next door are brain washed

  • Lionel Shift

    DMT has given me the most insightful experiences of my entire life. As someone who’s been to nearly every continent, lived in Bel Air, lived damn-near homeless, DMT was something that grounded/knotted my lifes variations together, into one strong point of understanding. This is a threat to the government like all mind-expanding substances because it shows you the value of dissolving ego and the lie that is money (influence)…. The ironic part is that we all experience dmt when we’re born, when we die, when we sleep and when we use it like many are doing today in a recreational manner. So, fox news or not, conservative paranoid mid-westerner or not, you are guilty of already taking part in DMT. In fact some of YOUR favorite memories in life (dreams) are the result of DMT. So before you go on a pseudo-political crusade in the name of safety, just remember that you too are guilty of dreaming. And if you’re still not sold, just remember that the drug war is a failure and that consideration and education will save more lives than imprisonment and brute force ever will. Good day to you.

  • Legalizeit

    wait. explain by what logic something that beautiful and spiritually sacred can be illegal in the first place?

  • spaniard88

    They need to stop babying the country around the way they do. Why is it okay for Native Americans to practice Shaman Rituals but its not okay for the White man to perform rituals relevant to his culture and race?

  • Steve

    Big F’ing deal. Don’t let the media scare you. We can only hope our kids will do DMT and expand their consciousness instead of bad addicting drugs. Don’t believe everything the news says people. Do your own research. The guy had DMT and pot which probably means he was a nice hippy dude. The “harmful chemicals” that the cop talks about that are soooooo dangerous are available at Home Depot. It’s just drain cleaner and a tree bark you can order online.

  • Ecore

    People fear these things because they have a little knowledge with it. Ayahuasca, taken as for medicinal purposes can heal many mentally related disease and can cure trauma and depression. Hopefully, more study will be made regarding this things and can be legal in more countries.

  • joshua bolin

    Dmt is a human brain chemical (neurotransmitter) found in the liver, lungs and supposedly the pineal gland in the center of your brain. People sometimes extract it from plants and use it to have a spiritual experience of sorts. When made into a tea, it actually has a profound effect, aiding alcoholics and drug addicts to introspect and break deeply ingrained behavior patterns. I have no bias for or against its use. Its none of my buisnes if people are taking prozac, asprin, coffee, cannabis, or dmt. This type of superficial, propaganda, scare-tactic journalism is funded by pharmaceutical, tobacco, and alcohol companies (the most dangerous drugs in the world). Dmt has never hurt anyone and has zero deaths attributed to it. Where’s the horrible news story about alcohol and cigarettes in every has station that kill millions per year? Fox news is a disgrace to true, unbias jounalism.

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