By Mike Pomranz
Updated April 19, 2016
Credit: © Digital Zoo/Getty Images

Here’s the fundamental problem with the war on drugs: People will always find ways to get high. Case in point, the Pakistani news site Dawn recently reported on the increasing popularity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of people smoking dead scorpions to get a buzz.

According to one scorpion smoker, the experience causes a wild high that lasts for almost ten hours, with the first six of those hours being more painful than pleasant – which I guess is unsurprising being that users are literally smoking venom. However, things eventually turn more enjoyable. “Everything appears like it is dancing… The roads, the vehicles, everything in front of me,” said Sohbat Khan, a 74-year-old former user who started back in the mid-‘60s. “It’s a worst form of addiction.”

A former member of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s narcotics control department named Azeemullah told Dawn the increase in scorpion smoking has other repercussions as well. Scorpions can also be used for legitimate medicinal purposes and recreational use may create a scorpion shortage. “We need laws in place to stop the killing of scorpions,” he said. Unfortunately, scorpion smoking can be tough to track. The UN doesn’t even keep any data on the practice.

It’s a lot to try to wrap your head around. Maybe we’re better off just smoking some good old-fashioned marijuana and forgetting about the whole thing.