Highlights of good articles are below. Also go here- for about 200 articles on raves and here for articles on ecstasy. Many are duplicates of each other as raves and club drugs are so intertwined. Both sites are run by a pro-use outfit that believes harm minimalization is the answer. However, I read them differently and the articles are a great testament to heavily restricting if not eliminating raves. Well I've done my part. Now its time for others to act. Let's hope enough responsible people step up and let their politicians know how they feel.
Remember this quote from Edmond Burke - the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
September 6, 1999
Letter to the Editor
Tomorrow and tonight
PO Box 4381
Salisbury, NC 28145
RE: September feature on Ecstasy
Dear Mark and Lisa:
I read with amazement your focus on this drug. You had it featured front
page so everyone viewing the cover could see what it's about. I figured
that you would be attacking this growing problem. Instead, one could only
come away thinking that this is a great drug that everybody ought to be
taking. That is a terrible position to be taking as it encourages consumption.
What could you all be possible thinking? Parents already have a hard enough
time keeping kids from drinking and drugging. This drug is no different
from all the rest no matter how you spin the mood altering positives. I'm
sorry, but this is not the risk free drug you seem to make it. It is a
killer and it's illegal.
I urge you to print a retraction. You can site ignorance of any of the following articles as a reason for doing so.
I could find many more articles but the above should give anyone pause for concern especially someone in the media like yourselves. Please be far more dilligent when you do your research! These are somebody's kids who are dying. Some day they may be one of yours and I can assure you that there is nothing more painful in this world than losing a child.
PO Box 958
Granite Quarry, NC 28072
Coroner's drug warning - Teenager died on
first visit to nightclub By Ian Marland A TEENAGER died within hours of
taking seven Ecstasy tablets during his first trip to a nightclub. Yesterday
two of his friends spoke of the events surrounding 16-year-old Thomas Skillcorn's
death. An inquest was told that shortly after taking the lethal dose, he
was a shaking wreck and later lapsed into unconsciousness. By dawn he was
dead. In statements yesterday, his friends told South Tyneside coroner
William Duffy Thomas had been excited at being out at the club for the
first time. But after hearing the tragic evidence, the coroner warned of
the dangers of drugs, saying young people had to be protected from themselves.
The boy's father, also called Thomas, said he did not wish to comment after
the hearing in South Shields. Thomas, of Woodford, Allerdene, in Gateshead,
had just left Joseph Swan School and was job-hunting. The inquest heard
that on Saturday September 5 he had gone with friends to the After Dark
II in South Shields. It stays open to 6am but alcohol is not served. From
statements taken from young people at the club at the time, it appeared
Thomas had taken one tablet before going out and up to six when inside
the club. Jodie Baldwin, 16, whose address was withheld, said: "He was
shaking. I just assumed he had taken some drugs. Somebody said he had taken
seven Es (Ecstasy tablets). I don't know much about drugs, and I have never
taken them." She described how he began acting strangely, crawling around
the dancefloor and later shaking as he sat on a seat. Friends tried to
comfort him, but by about 6am he was having trouble breathing, and he was
taken outside where an ambulance was called. By this time his fingers were
blue and he looked "really ill", according to his friends. An oxygen mask
was placed around his face by paramedics and he was taken to South Tyneside
General Hospital. He was pronounced dead shortly afterwards. The inquest
was given de-tailed statements from friends of how Thomas got hold of the
Ecstasy. The coroner said the matter was in the hands of the police and
it was not for him to comment on their investigations. Mr Duffy said: "Young
people have to protected from themselves. To them a place like the After
Dark club is a place of excitement, it has an element of allurement. I
can understand that."
Heather Ashton Now Fights To Stop Children Taking Drugs
Words by Sarah Shenker and Pictures by Christophe
DANIEL ASHTON was 17-years-old when he died in a
busy night-club in
Blackpool. He was found slumped in a corner, unconscious.
The bouncers thought he was drunk, and refused to
let his friends help
him. Eventually an ambulance was called. When they got to him he was
in a coma. Three hours after he left home, he was pronounced dead. It
At the inquest into his death, the coroner Sammy
Lee revealed that Danny
had died as a result of taking ecstasy. In the couple of minutes it took him
to choke to death, Daniel Ashton had become another statistic to feed the
public’s fear about ecstasy and its side-effects.
Daniel Ashton was an unlikely candidate for an ecstasy
wasn’t interested in drugs. He wouldn’t even finish a course of antibiotics
if he could avoid it.
When his mother asked him about drugs he would tell
her not to worry.
“I’ve got more sense then that,” he’d tell her. “I’m not a smack-head, I’m
no junky. I’ve got some common sense.” When he was 16, Daniel wrote
a play for his class about drug-awareness: it was the story of a kid who
died after taking drugs.
Like the more famous ecstasy casualty Leah Betts,
he was a smart kid,
with ambitions. Sometimes he wanted to be a physics teacher, sometimes
he wanted to write educational books for children. Then he won the
Dramatist of the Year award at school, and decided he wanted to be an
actor. His teacher was pushing him to go to drama school. She said he
was a natural. But he was at college studying sound engineering just in
His mother Heather Ashton is petite and dressed in
pink. She sits curled in
a ball in her chair, chain-smoking cigarettes as she talks about Daniel’s
The girl he was with said she took two ecstatsy tablets
and Daniel took
two, but Daniel didn’t take two ecstasy tablets, there was only one found
in his body. From all the tests they did they knew that he had only taken
“Danny was seen that night, approached by a well-known
drug dealer in
the nightclub, offering him drugs. Dan was laughing and shaking his head
saying ‘No way’, and later a friend saw Daniel drinking from a bottle and
then he didn’t see him again the rest of the night. When he heard the
news next day he was just in shock because there was no way Daniel
would have taken drugs that night. He said ‘If he took drugs, it was put
into that bottle.’ We just don’t know what happened at all.
“It’s just a big jigsaw. A few of his friends
saw him slumped in a corner
of this nightclub where the bouncer had just dragged him, and to our
knowledge he was there for at least 20 minutes, and the doorman refused
to let any of his friends help him. He was unconscious in a corner in the
nightclub. The doorman said later ‘Oh, I thought he was drunk’, but if he
was drunk and unconscious, he still should not have left him slumped. He
wasn’t in a recovery position, he was just slumped in a position where he
could choke to death, which is basically how he went into a coma. By the
time the ambulance was called They tried to get the tubes down his throat
and they couldn’t. It was all too late. He more or less died in the
“He left here at 8.10pm and that was at 11.10pm.
That’s how quick it all
Before Daniel’s death, Heather had no idea of the
extent of drug-taking
among kids in Blackpool. “If somebody died of a drug overdose,
whichever drug it was, you’d just think, ‘Oh, drug addicts, what do they
expect? They ask for what they get.’ Ecstasy seems to be the normal part
of a night out, especially on the rave scene. And there again, I think rave
music is hypnotic, it’s like voodoo music. The kids get tagged along with
this music. These drugs, it’s all part and parcel, it’s the same effects. It’s
just a form of voodoo, and if I had my way I’d ban raves because it just
seems to encourage kids to do this sort of thing.
Heather now chairs a support group for families hit
by drug abuse. “When
I lost Daniel, everyone was bombarding me to get this drug awareness
group going because it had a massive impact on the town when Daniel
died. Nobody realised how bad it was in Blackpool. Because so many
people knew Dan, they thought it would be an opportunity to get people to
really listen and face up to the problem.”
The support group produces a newsletter, car stickers,
and pictures of Daniel. They raise all the money themselves. They try to
get the kids involved. A group of Daniel’s friends have formed a football
team, and they play charity matches under the name Daniel FC. It has
proven so popular that they are getting together a second team.
Heather says that it was Daniel’s friends who helped
her cope with losing
him. “The only thing that kept me going was talking about Daniel,
constantly. If people were talking about Daniel, then I could relate to
them. I couldn’t relate to any of my friends my own age because they
didn’t want to talk about it, it was too upsetting.”
“Kids today seem to think ecstasy is a soft drug,
a ‘recreational drug’,
that’s what they’re calling it. But it’s now classed an A drug because it is
so serious They didn’t realise the extent of the dangers until they started
producing figures. Daniel was supposed to be the 62nd death, but the
ecstasy related deaths, there must be thousands of them. The kids,
they’re not really living, they’re surviving, with heart, lung, kidney, livers
defects, with brain damage. All related to ecstasy, and there aren’t any
figures for that. It’s too terrifying for them to face up to.
“And the dealers, they’re not like how we used to
think of dealers. You
know, these shifty-eyed men and all that. It can be their best friends in
school, in college. It just seems to be so fashionable with the kids. They
don’t want to say no.”
(continued in Part 2)
"It feels like everyone’s just there, like
everything’s cool. It’s hard to explain…you just
kinda…..roll", said Brad, while his head bobbed in a yes nod.
Brad is 23 year old; college educated young man, one of many people
who dropped in last month
to talk to us about Ecstasy. They all wanted to tell of their experiences with the drug, first
hand, as almost to defend it.
Well, we compiled a boatload of information on Ecstasy. We located over
20 people who have
taken and continue to take Ecstasy, talked to club owners, professionals and we even talked to
a couple who live in $200,000 house in one of the areas most prestigious neighborhoods, which
partake in the ill-named "Love Drug". We left no rocks unturned and from what we found,
Ecstasy doesn’t need defending.
What is it? Ecstasy, E or X, who’s chemical abbreviation is MDMA for
methylenedioxymethampthetamine, was patented in 1913 by a German chemical company
supposedly to be sold as a diet pill. Eventually the company scrapped plans for the drug and had
nothing else to do with it. Urban legend says that the US Army tested MDMA on soldiers in
1953 as a truth serum, but there is no evidence supporting that claim. In the late 70’s and early
80’s, therapists researched and tested the drug for use during psychotherapy sessions. With the
approval of the Food and Drug Administration, trial research resumed in 1993 for testing
effects of MDMA on humans. Other chemical names for Ecstasy are MDEA, MDA.
What’s it look like? Ecstasy is a powder, usually pressed into tablets
which vary in a widely in
color and size. It can come in capsule or wafer form (think sweet tart) to name a few.
What do the brainy people say? As far as scientific research goes, the
biggest effects found by a
team psychiatrists, besides losing track of time, was that they found that they could relate to
people more openly with less fear and defensiveness. Half said Ecstasy had lasting positive effect
on their social/interpersonal functions and almost half, mentioned changes in their spiritual
outlook and values. Ecstasy runs parallel to the 90’s favorite drug, Prozac, in such ways as
feeling good about one’s self, less self-conscious and able to feel emotions more clearly. Both
lower serotonin levels. Unlike most drugs, Ecstasy actually increases awareness of touch and
sound, whereas alcohol and marijuana reduce awareness. In a psychiatric world, Ecstasy allows
traumatic memories, that may have been suppressed for years because they were to painful to
face, emerge and can be looked at without terror. Insights to life can occur, thus reducing pain.
As far as long term side effects? The only identified reoccurring effect of E is, improved
personality. In my opinion and after all the research, the only reason Ecstasy doesn’t replace
Prozac is because after several uses of E, a troubled personality can be realigned, but prozac
must be taken long term. Which is going to bring in more money?
What does it do? Even though there is only a small comparison to LSD,
the environment and
situation E is taken in can affect the feelings one may get. "If you feel relaxed, you’ll most
certainly enjoy it." Said our ‘$200,000 house couple’ we’ll call Mr. & Mrs. Howell. Most young
people take the drug before enjoying a night of dancing at raves. Sexual vibes hardly ever
happens as male aggression is lacking. You are more apt to see strangers hugging and caressing
on a sensual level without implying a sexual advance. Women are less likely to have casual sex
after a night on Ecstasy than a night in an alcohol-based environment. Women feel safe in the
company of men on E. "I feel so good that sometimes people have to come out on the dance floor,
hand me a bottle of water and tell me to take a break. My clothes will be soaking wet with
sweat and you don’t even think that your body is working overtime." Brad said.
Mr. Howell told us stories of how your skin becomes soft and ever sensitive.
"You can just sit
and rub yourself all night", he added.
Jonathan, a 39 year old club owner, said, "It’s the only drug I wouldn’t
get mad over if I found
out my kid was on it. I’ve done every drug known to man and a few I just cooked up
(laughing). E is the only drug that has a positive side, no doubt."
Not everyone shares this great feeling. Todd, a 24 year-old teacher
said that he first took E
when he was 21. "My girlfriend at the time brought some home and I said, ‘What the heck.’ We
took it and I started tripping like I was on Acid. I was lying in bed, rolled over to kiss her and
her eye sockets looked void of eyes, like black holes and her skin rippled like a lake. I hated it."
What it doesn’t do. "They call it the Love Drug, but it really just
opens your heart and the love
just kind of flows out, it doesn’t necessarily make you horny". Mrs. Howell said. Research
shows that the drug tends to inhibit erections in men. However, people already in a sexy mood
may become more aroused as the drug takes affect. Psychotherapist claim that there may be an
expression of sexual longings, but not the immediate desire for sex.
The dangers. First off, E can make people trust each other and may break
down our natural
defensive nature (E.g. The gut feeling about someone). It can also lead to inappropriate
emotional bonding, like falling in love with the one you are with (Monday night football may
never be the same).
E can make you confused, depressed, suffer from sleep deprivation, anxious
Physical affects may include: muscle tension, involuntary teeth-clenching, nausea, blurred vision,
rapid eye movement, faintness, chills or sweating. It can increase you heart rate and blood
pressure, as well.
Take the story by Donnie, who engaged in what is known a "Candy Flipping",
taking Ecstasy after LSD right before the LSD peaks. "I could feel the onset of E on a very
physical level. I could feel the speeding of my heart and heavy breathing. I felt the MDA go to
my center and spread gradually to my limbs. As the X took effect my emotional reaction to
objects and people strongly cast their appearance. There was a definite combination of the E’s
‘everything is beautiful feeling’ and the Acid’s power to warp the actual appearance of things. I
started to find the combined effects unimaginable. I became overwhelmed with sadness and
despair and became extremely mentally and physically disoriented." That was the last time he
Dr. John Henry of the National Poison Unit, who studies MDMA related
deaths, found from the
years 91-92 that every single death came from heat stroke.
As far as scientific research goes, E lowers the serotonin levels in
a user’s brain. When tested on
laboratory monkeys, the lowered serotonin levels never raised back to their full capacity.
Scientist assumed the monkeys suffered from brain damage. You know what they say about
humans and monkeys?
In a 1993 chance discovery by Dr. James O’Callaghan while he was trying
to establish a
standard for measuring neurotoxicity and needing brain damaged rats; he gave them doses of
MDMA. To his surprise, the brain cells were not damaged unless he gave them massive dosages.
In human terms it broke down to 20 hits of Ecstasy a day, for 5 days.
In a nutshell, ALL research and testing on human ecstasy use were tracked
by methods deemed
indirect and unsupported.
In closing, Ecstasy seems to be not just a young people’s drug, but
one for your friends and
Before we get into October, let’s talk about September. We know we say
this every month, but last month was truly our biggest month. You guys
went through almost every one of our
papers by the 12th of September, which left us scrambling to find more to fill the racks. We’re guessing the rush came from the article on Ecstasy. It raised a lot of interest and a lot of
controversy. You would have thought we had exposed the Kennedy assassination. We had people on fire and people calling us to protest. We wrote another article this month on the
"Other side of Ecstasy" (see page XXXX) not to apologize, but to point out some errors on our behalf. We advertised for a month about the ecstasy article and had a lot of response
from people wanting to be a part of it. It’s funny how none of the anti-drug people spoke up until after the article ran then, they all got mad, flew off the handle and called us upset. But
only one cared enough to write about it. It’s just too much trouble to get involved, I guess.
Now, on to October. It’s fall again and it’s time for our annual October
issue aimed at the scarier side of life. We talked to lots of people about
their personal experiences and visited
some local scary spots. One spot we revisited, was the ever-popular Gravity Hill. We hope you enjoy the stories and if you’re easily spooked, be warned! We’ve collected ghost stories
from the community and couldn’t wait to share them with you! (Guess this is where the anti-ghost people will call and complain)
We’ve got some neat contests, along with an easier "What’s Carlton Eating" contest. We’ve picked up a new cartoonist, C.A. Alexander and as always, readable content.
As we’re spreading like Athletes Foot into new counties, we’ve met some
really good people in Statesville, Mooresville, Charlotte and Albemarle.
We would like to say hello to all
those who were so nice and welcomed us and our paper into their businesses. Thank you! We would also like to say hello to all the great readers in the above counties and if you
have anything you would like to see in Tomorrow and Tonight, please call us.
As always, this is a community paper and we’ll print just about anything,
all you’ve got to do is write it and send it! If you have an opinion you
want to express, write away. If you know of
any neat story ideas or you are a neat story idea, give us a call.
Please pass this issue along to a friend and please support all our advertisers.
Until next month, have a great October and a safe Halloween!
Thanks so much!
Mark and Lisa Cline
By ERIC FRAZIER
Three bouncers charged with murder in connection with the death of a
Charlotte nightclub patron won't face the death penalty, prosecutors
During a brief hearing in Mecklenburg Superior Court, Assistant District
Attorney Gentry Caudill said prosecutors hadn't identified the kind of
"aggravating circumstances" necessary to seek the death penalty
against the men accused of killing Jerry Lee Gulledge Jr.
N.C. law includes a variety of aggravating factors courts must consider
when determining whether the death penalty can be applied. Among
them are crimes committed by those previously convicted of a capital
felony, crimes committed to escape custody, and offenses against the
young, the old or the handicapped.
Gulledge died Aug.8 after struggling with bouncers at the Baha Club on
South Tryon Street. According to police, Gulledge lost consciousness
after bouncers restrained him during an altercation at about 5a.m.
An autopsy showed the 22-year-old Charlotte man died because of a
lack of oxygen.
Bruises on his neck suggest he was strangled, the autopsy report said.
It also said he had been using the drugs LSD and Ecstasy.
Derwin Edward Gray, 34; Joseph Stephen Pinner, 32; and John Harrill
Spear, 22, were charged with murder in October. They appeared in
court for the hearing.
Afterward, Gulledge's mother said she was disappointed that the men
won't face the death penalty.
"That's what (my son) was sentenced to," Joyce Gulledge said. "At least
their mamas and daddies can still go see them. I have to visit mine at
Forest Lawn" cemetery.
Last week, Jerry Lee GulledgeSr. filed a civil lawsuit against the three
defendants and the owners of the Baha nightclub on behalf of his son's
estate. The lawsuit says the younger Gulledge died because of an
"outlaw" atmosphere fostered by the Baha during a "rave" party.
On the night of Gulledge's death, the lawsuit says, the club owners
locked the doors after 2a.m. and, in keeping with the tradition of rave
parties, increased the speed and volume of the music.
The Baha has been closed since September, and a different club,
called 4369, is operating in the building.
According to the lawsuit, illicit drugs are consumed during such parties,
and participants have been known to undress on the dance floor or
even have sex.
An official with the nightclub said no rave party was going on that night.
The official said the club was having its official five-year anniversary
Club officials have said in the past that the younger Gulledge assaulted
a woman and a bouncer.
The suit says the three bouncers cornered Gulledge in an upper room,
handcuffed him and beat him for about 15 minutes as they held him
face down on a sofa. One of the men put him in a choke hold, the suit
As they left, the lawsuit claims, the men laughed that they had "put
(Gulledge) to sleep."
Gulledge's death stemmed from the negligence of the bouncers and the
nightclub owners, the suit alleges.
"These people have created this outlaw atmosphere," said Charlotte
attorney Paul Whitfield, who filed the suit on behalf of Gulledge's estate.
"This atmosphere leads to excesses. That's the basic thrust of our