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And we thought roofies were scary. The date-rape drug has nothing on scopolamine, the zombie drug from Columbia. This odorless, tasteless drug can be blown in your face, and it only takes minutes to affect you, turning you into a slave to suggestion.
The drug commonly known as “Devil’s Breath” comes from a tree in South America with leafy branches and sweet-smelling flowers. Locals call them ‘borrachero’ trees (loosely translated to ‘get-you-drunk’), and Colombian mothers warn their children not to fall asleep under them lest they fall prey to the poisonous pollen.
How scary is that? At least if you get roofied, you pass out (not making light of GHB -- that is a real and serious topic for another time), but scopolamine leaves you walking, talking, doing whatever someone tells you to do, and with no memory.
To the outside observer, someone under the influence of the drug would appear completely normal. A rape victim would appear to others as a girl inviting a guy back to her room. People have helped robbers clear out their own homes. Urban legends say that people have woken up in bathtubs with organs cut out and a sign saying, “You have 5 hours to get to the hospital to live.”
When they eventually come out of it, they have no memory of it whatsoever.
Columbia is infamous for its drug culture, so it’s not surprising that the scariest drug known to mankind originates from there. What happens if it gets to America? Has it already gotten to America? Robbing someone of their free will and making them do your evil bidding is about as depraved as a person can get, but it affords the opportunity for criminals to create the perfect crime.
What does that criminal case look like? Someone blows Devil’s Breath on another person’s face and suggests that he go kill his wife, and the guy does. In the courtroom, the killer might be off the hook because of the drug, but the real perpetrator could be very hard to find. Even if you did find him, how do you prove that he drugged the first guy and told him to kill his someone?
We can’t fix Columbia’s problems, but we can have a zero-tolerance policy for scopolamine here. Any drug powerful enough to make the mistresses of dead Columbian leaders follow their master into his grave to be buried alive should be banned from U.S. soil.
Image via welovethedark/zombie/Flickr