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Citrus Growers Manufacture Huge Amounts

of DMT
By Morris Crowley on Friday, 13 June 2014, hits: 49422
It may surprise
you to learn that
common citrus
trees like oranges
and lemons are
actually Schedule
I substances, in
the same legal
heroin. I know it
sounds absurd,
absolutely true.
analysis publishe
d in the Journal
of Agricultural
(Servillo et al.
2013) found that
plants, including
oranges, contain
N,Ndimethyltryptamine (DMT) and 5-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (bufotenine). Both of these
compounds are powerful hallucinogens and are designated as Schedule I substances under the
federal Controlled Substances Act in the United States. Under that same law, any material
containing any quantity of a Schedule I drug is itself legally equivalent to that drug.
The upshot of this is that domestic citrus producers are in fact operating a massive drug
manufacturing enterprise, legally speaking. And the scale of this manufacture is not trivial. Let's
estimate 150 orange trees per acre, and conservatively suppose that each tree contains one kilogram
of leaves. Then in the state of Florida alone, where approximately 550,000 acres are under
cultivation, the crop would contain somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 kilograms of bufotenine
-- roughly 5 million doses -- and 5 kilograms of DMT -- roughly 150,000 doses. But that's not all!
Since the entire mass of any material containing these substances is legally equivalent to the pure
substance, the entire biomass of the groves would be treated as pure DMT or pure bufotenine if the
growers were charged with manufacturing a controlled substance.
But these compounds do not only occur in the leaves... they occur in the fruit as well. Though the
data have not been formally published, the same team of researchers reported that the juice from
oranges and lemons contain DMT in a concentration of approximately 0.030.05 mg/kg (Servillo et
al. 2012). This has huge implications: Every orange in your local grocery store is a Schedule I
substance. Every person who buys them is a potential criminal. Every company that imports either
the fruit or its juice is engaged in the international trafficking of a Schedule I substance.

You might wonder why I am characterizing an entire branch of agriculture as a massive drug
manufacturing operation. That characterization, however, is not mine. Under federal law, they are a
massive drug manufacturing operation. I am merely drawing attention to the issue.
Regardless of how you feel about the war on drugs, this issue should cause you serious concern.
The Controlled Substances Act is written in a way that makes all manner of mundane materials
illegal. Its not just oranges. Depending on where you live, there is a reasonable chance that the
grass in your lawn contains Schedule I substances. In fact, so many materials contain detectable
quantities of controlled substances that nearly everyone is breaking the law all the time.
Ironically, the best defense is to remain assiduously ignorant. The Controlled Substances Act
defines crimes of intent; the criminality of the act depends on whether one knowingly or
intentionally possesses the scheduled material. That means that as long as you are not aware that
oranges (or certain grasses, or many common pets) contain controlled substances, then you cannot
be guilty of the possession, manufacture, or distribution of those controlled substances. Once you
take the effort to become informed about the ubiquity of controlled substances in the world around
you, it becomes nearly impossible to avoid crossing the line into criminal behavior.

About the author

Morris Crowley is an independent writer who studies the history and chemistry of visionary plants
and their interaction with humankind. You can follow him on Facebook and on
Twitter @morris_crowley.


Servillo, L., Giovane, A., Balestrieri, M. L., Cautela, D., and Castaldo, D. 2012. N-Methylated
tryptamine derivatives in Citrus genus plants: Identification of N,N,N-trimethyltryptamine in
bergamot. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60(37): 95129518. Epub 7 Sep
Servillo, L., Giovane, A., Balestrieri, M. L., Casale, R., Cautela, D., and Castaldo, D. 2013. Citrus
genus plants contain N-methylated tryptamine derivatives and their 5-hydroxylated forms. Journal
Chemistry 61(21):
Title image from Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Photo by Ellen Levy Finch.