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Ok, so banana+egg yolk is a bit arbitrary, but let's say someone discovers one day that some combination of natural products produces a chemical reaction of some sorts, which results in a substance with drug like effects.

A few ground rules:

  • The substances (like egg yolk and banana) are safe to eat in isolation (but aren't likely to be combined). We all know non-edible substances will have some funky effects on our bodies :)
  • The substances are fairly difficult to ban
  • The produced substance is somewhere on a level of say cocaine or LSD (I haven't tried either though so forgive me if that's vague!) - it will feel nice but probably do a moderate amount of harm in the long term.

My question is, what is the reaction? Do world governments try to ban it? Do they employ ingenious methods try and prevent people from consuming either or both (eg. headlines - "Science confirms bananas cause cancer")? How do citizens react - presumably there'd be groups of anti- and pro-substance activists?

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    $\begingroup$ This reminds me a bit of the bath salt craze. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Oct 28 '15 at 5:25
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    $\begingroup$ You should decide more specifically what are the exact effects of the drug. For example, LSD is non-addictive and pretty much safe unless you decide you can fly or headbutt a running train. It's also not exactly hallucinogenic - you could more say that your imagination running wild starts mixing with the real world. Cocaine on the other hand is strongly addictive and doesn't really affect your cognitive functions, influencing emotional layer instead: giving sense of strength, power, invincibility, neutralizing pain and fatigue, and possibly increasing aggression. $\endgroup$ – SF. Oct 28 '15 at 9:18
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    $\begingroup$ (cont). That means the reaction to a hard-to-combat drug would depend largely on the level of danger to the society. For example Datura is deemed to be a stronger drug than LSD, but the vivid hallucinogenic high (with impaired judgment, making the subject believe in the hallucinations) is completely legal - because the high is way too frequently unpleasant, so people don't feel inclined to retry it, the social effects are marginal, and it's a common plant that's impossible to combat. LSD is harder to make, thus easier to ban. $\endgroup$ – SF. Oct 28 '15 at 9:26
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    $\begingroup$ Banana bread becomes a huge hit! $\endgroup$ – Serban Tanasa Oct 28 '15 at 11:54
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    $\begingroup$ The illegal drug trade collapses, leading to quality of life improvements for millions and a significant reduction in criminal activity? $\endgroup$ – Dan Smolinske Oct 28 '15 at 21:34
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There are a few important things to be considered in this regard:

  1. Is it possible to remove the drug properties by treating one or both of the ingredients with something? If it possible to treat banana skins with some chemical to remove the drug properties, all bananas would be treated before they are sold. Or if it is possible to remove the drug properties of eggs by first soaking them in a strongly saline solution, all eggs available in the supermarkets would be salinity treated and poultry farmers would be strictly monitored to stop egg-smuggling.
  2. If the drug properties are found in only certain types of bananas or eggs, those types can be banned while the others stay legal.
  3. If neither of the above solutions is possible then the government could have another approach. Here, the ingredients which is an important component of diet is freely sold as before, while the ingredient which is used in smaller quantities cannot be taken home and must be consumed within the selling premises. You want to eat bananas? No problem. Go to any restaurant and eat as many as you want. Only you cannot get them packed for taking home. Same applies for banana shake.
  4. It might also be chosen by some governments to cycle the ingredients in supermarkets. For example, one week you can get bananas in the market but no eggs. Next week you can get eggs but no bananas. And both are genetically modified so that special conditions are required for long term storage and in normal home refrigerators, they would start decomposing and become inedible within 6 hours if stored raw.
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  • $\begingroup$ Number 4 is interesting - hadn't thought of the cycle idea! $\endgroup$ – Matt Lyons Oct 28 '15 at 7:28
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    $\begingroup$ Number 4 is interesting. Especially if you consider just how insane the epidemic must be before government mandated GMOs become the solution. Those are some crazy egg yolks, yo! $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Oct 28 '15 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ Those are, comrade! They sure are ;) $\endgroup$ – Youstay Igo Oct 28 '15 at 17:34
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    $\begingroup$ wait, how many kinds of bananas are there, i was unaware they all were not clones of one type which is supposedly why a single virus could render them extinct. $\endgroup$ – Ryan Mar 18 '16 at 16:04
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The government will not ban either of these substances as the people experiment in drugs is a minority in comparison to the general public. As a result this drug will probably replace all similar drugs (such as cocaine) because of it's cheapness and easiness to make. Also for the first few weeks after the drug is discovered it will still be legal, and by the time (if ever) the government decides to ban the combination of the these two substances there would be loads of addicted people.

So that's the first few weeks of the drug. Going back to the government trying to ban it, the police will experiment. This will involve unpopular stoppages in the sale of some of these products however that will be swiftly stopped after outraged consumer's complain. But anyone found with this drug made will be sent to jail. As a result their might still be dealers as people do not want to risk making the drugs themselves.

The next thing would be what to do about long term affects. Now an interesting point to bring up is if the government realised such a strong drug was possible to make from supermarket ingredients, they may just give up on banning drugs. This may be just because there is no great alternative. If the police would make a good attempt to stop the drug it would involve tons of money for little result. As everyone would just make the drug and have it straight away. There is no long shipping process from South America.

How do non-addicted people react, money people after learning the bad affects of the drug. My guess is it will be similar to the current situation with drugs like cocaine, however people will give up after realising the fact that stopping this drug is impossible. Unfortunately, all these same people will be fighting against a raise in price of eggs and bananas.

Really the only scenario I see working is the government to legalise drugs.

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  1. Immediate effects: When this is initially discovered, there would probably be a significant number of people who immediately experiment with this combination of products and become addicted. Note that these are most likely the same people who would probably be willing to try "normal" drugs anyways, though there'd probably be some people who just want to try it. Governments would try to impose restrictions on the sale of one or both of the products.

(Alternative option: The government finds out the results of the research before everyone else. The findings would not be released to the public, and little would change.)

  1. Short/medium-term effects:

    • Some organizations would start programs to make people aware of the danger of consuming these products together.
    • More research is initiated into the subject of how and why this interaction occurs, and possibly how to "treat" one of the products such - that it can not be used to create the drug.
    • Restrictions may be imposed on the sale of one of the products (limited quantities available for purchase, high sales tax, etcetera)
    • Addiction rates would likely continue to climb, as more people want to experiment with this easily-made drug.
    • People addicted to cocaine or LSD (which you said are similar to this new drug) would most likely switch over to this new "homemade" drug, as it is probably much less expensive and provides a similar effect.
  2. Longer term effects:

    • People have been educated that this substance is a drug, and is as dangerous as any other drug.
    • Most companies dealing with these substances would process them in some way to attempt to limit the hallucinogenic effects.
    • There'd probably still be some governmental regulations regarding the sale and use of these products.
    • All in all, there'd be no giant descent into chaos, but the percentage of people addicted to hallucinogenic substances would most likely rise.
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Some counter-questions:

  • Is your drug going to be physically addictive? Most hallucinogens are not; the body doesn't go through a withdrawal phase of not having the chemical that is painful or otherwise unpleasant. There can be mental addiction involved, where people like the "trip" more than reality, but all it takes is one bad trip to remove most mental desire.
  • How easy is the drug to produce? If it's as simple as consuming sufficient quantities of two or three common foods in stoichiometric ratio (and it's possible for a human to eat the required quantities in a sitting, like 2 bananas and 3 yolks), that's one thing, but if there's a recipe requiring things you wouldn't consider food or food additives (or equipment not found in the average kitchen) that's quite another.
  • Is seeing weird stuff the only effect of the drug's "high"? If so, my inclination is that the government will just let people see what they see. If judgment or decision-making is impaired, energy levels or physical aggression is increased, or the drug produces euphoria or a pain-numbing effect, these are generally the things that get a chemical on the controlled substance list.

If the drug is not physically addictive, easy to make from ordinary food ingredients, and produces no effects beyond making colors a bit trippier, I can't foresee any efforts to ban it being successful. I also don't foresee much public interest in banning it, especially if doing so involved outlawing a formerly popular food, like bananas or eggs at least until someone gets in a car wreck because they saw a red light being green (and that happens plenty of times daily without any altered brain chemistry).

If the drug has other effects, like euphoria or pain relief, even if the drug is not physically addictive (and even if it isn't, your own "normal" might not be something you want to live with once you've experienced the high), then people are going to become interested in regulating it. At the very least, if the drug's as effective as oxycodone or fentanyl for pain relief, Big Pharma has a vested economic interest in smearing this compound's public image any way it can (bananas are full of potassium which is lethal in large doses; eggs, especially raw, harbor all sorts of sickening bacteria). If the drug causes people to not want to eat anything else, saving all their room for bananas and eggs, the malnutrition it would eventually cause will bring in health groups advocating against it along the same lines as those advocating against fast foods.

At the very, very least, there will be a built-in economic disadvantage to using this drug; even if it turns out to be the "perfect drug" (all benefits, no drawbacks), once enough people know about it the ingredients will be nearly impossible to find in stores and will be ridiculously expensive even after production of the ingredients ramps up to meet demand. The suppliers will produce enough that everyone gets what they want, but it will be at prices 3 to 5 times higher than the ingredients sold for beore this discovery.

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Nothing would append as there is nothing cultural about it.

There are perfectly valid hallucinogen mushroom in every european forest.
Do european eat hallucinogen mushrooms?
They certainly do. They work all year long, take holiday in Mexico, get high on mushrooms then go back home and get high on beer.

No one will be interested in a new drug until you create some buzz about it. Like a tale about "Banana head" owling at the full moon.

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