We reported in our blog in July of last year (Naked Carjacking in Phoenix) on the rather bizarre case of a John Brigham, who allegedly caused at least two collisions, resulting injuries to a number of people in Scottsdale, as well as a carjacking. Not all that crazy, unless you consider that during at least a portion of the time he was naked. Following the incident, there was understandably some speculation on whether the suspect was under the influence of drugs. Police say that chemical tests indicate he had PCP (chemical name phencyclidine) in his system. PCP, also known as angel dust, can produce unpredictable effects, including euphoria, disorientation, paranoia, sweating, and audio and visual hallucinations, among others. In any event, Brigham was charged with a number of offenses. He initially pled not guilty to all charges. This past December, however, he was offered and he accepted a plea arrangement, and entered a plea of guilty to charges of robbery, aggravated assault, theft of means of transportation and endangerment. At the time the plea deal was announced, even though it would lead to time behind bars, a number of the alleged victims expressed disappointment at the result. Well, it appears that the critics of the plea bargain will get their wish. On Friday, attorneys for Brigham announced that their client was withdrawing his guilty plea, entering a new plea of not guilty, and was going to proceed to trial. We aren’t reviewing the case to look at criminal procedure issues regarding entering and withdrawing pleas; rather, we’re curious to understand what it is about PCP that seems to encourage users to shed their clothing in public. Indeed, if you Google “PCP Naked”, you’ll be deluged by search results describing naked antics by people who have the drug in their systems. The reason is apparently related to the fact that PCP makes you hot, and causes you to lose your inhibitions. One writer put it into a formula: hot + no inhibitions = naked. We’re not sure the formula tells the entire story. We will tell you that PCP causes problems – lots of them. It was developed after World War I as an anesthetic, but was found to be unsafe. Testing on the drug continued in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and for a while it was used as an animal tranquilizer, but today is not manufactured legally in the United States. It periodically has shown up on the street, but even the illegal market has been reduced because of the drug’s reputation of causing serious problems, some of them long lasting even after a single use.

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Phoenix, AZ 85004
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CategoryDrug Crimes

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