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Notes from the May, 2000 Conference of the
California Association of Toxicologists

Page 2

7:45 Registration and Continental Breakfast

I arrived at the entry to the ballroom at the hotel and they had a table set out where they were handing out nametags (preprinted for registered members, hand written for slackers like me ) . They had folders of all the handouts made up, which was nice, but they didn't really have an appropriate place for me to layout some of the printouts I'd brought and I was a little uncomfortable to set stuff out since I didn't yet have any sense of who these people were. I was also dramatically overtired, having not gotten much sleep, so I was trying to get my bearings.

I went in and got a cup of coffee and picked a seat in the back row so that incase i had any uncontrollable gesturing or needed to escape I would disrupt as few people as possible. I talked to a couple of people briefly and started talking to a perhaps 60 year old gentleman who does testing of paroles or people in diversion or other state supervision. He mentioned how he was against drug use and couldn't understand why anyone would get involved with them. He talked about the people he deals with not being able to stop using for a couple days each week in order to pass tests and different tricks he personally tried to use to convince people to reduce their use. I mentioned that I was at the conference representing MAPS and Erowid (and explained briefly what that means) and he was interested.

I talked about representing and interviewing and interacting with groups of users and researchers who are looking into potential medical and beneficial uses of psychedelics, etc. He seemed to find me interesting enough that he moved his stuff so he could sit next to me and we sat next to each other all day, sharing comments about speakers and subjects that came up.. he would point someone out and say "you should get his / her contact info, they'd be a great resource..." etc.



Introduction

The friday morning session was kicked off by Barry Fisher, the director of the LA County Sheriff's Department. He said he'd been a criminologist for 31 years and that the technology since he started has changed tremendously. He said they used to call themselves "pee boilers" because that was part of the process of testing for barbiturates in urine. His mood was buoyant and tone was cordial.


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