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January 13, 1975

The Jimson-Weed High

Author Affiliations

Kent General Hospital Dover, Del

JAMA. 1975;231(2):138. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240140012014

To the Editor.—  Published cases of stramonium intoxication date back to 1676.1 Dean2 reported in 1963 the first cases of deliberate ingestion of stramonium in the recent American literature. These three cases involved the consumption of Asthmador, a stramonium-belladonna mixture prepared from the leaves of the Jimson weed. Since then, there have been numerous reports of ingestion of Asthmador for hallucinogenic effects. However, there are no reports of intentional self-ingestion of seeds from the Jimson weed for mind-altering or psychedelic purposes. Five such cases are described here.

Report of Cases.—  Five adolescents between 14 and 16 years old were seen in the emergency department of Kent General Hospital after ingesting seeds from the Jimson weed. Three patients were in an acute psychotic state; each was confused, agitated, disoriented, and hallucinating. Abnormalities included tachycardia, dry oral mucosa, widely dilated pupils unresponsive to light, and flushed skin. These three male