A frosty pink Angel's Trumpet flower (Genus Brugmasia).

Inmates at Maple Ridge prison poisoned by hallucinogenic plant

12 women taken to hospital after ingesting Angel's Trumpet which they found on the grounds of the Alouette Women's Correction Centre

Twelve inmates from a Maple Ridge women’s prison were taken to hospital Sunday after they ate a hallucinogenic plant.

The women ingested seeds from Angel’s Trumpet, a noxious fragrant flowering plant, which they found on the grounds of the provincial prison off 248th Street.

The first inmate was spotted by corrections officers “under the influence of a substance and hallucinating” around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, prompting an investigation that revealed she wasn’t the only inmate who had eaten the plant.

All the inmates spent the night in hospital. The last inmate returned to the prison at 9 a.m. Monday.

“It is B.C. Corrections’ number one priority to maintain a safe and secure environment for staff and inmates,” said spokesperson Marnie Mayhew.

“Any injury or use of a substance in this manner is a great concern, and we are taking this incident very seriously.”

B.C. Corrections removed all traces of Angel’s Trumpet from the grounds but are also searching the prison grounds for other plants that might have hallucinogenic properties. The grounds of eight other provincial prisons are also being checked.

“Despite available supports and strict protocols, people with addictions will take extraordinary measures in an attempt to become intoxicated,” said Mayhew.

“It is important to note that this is the first time a situation like this has ever occurred in the history of any of our correctional centres.”

Angel’s Trumpet, also known as tree datura (genus Brugmansia) has a long history of shamanic use in South America. Drinking a tea made from the plants or eating its seeds produces hallucinations, but they often progress to extremely unpleasant experiences.

Ingesting the plant can be also deadly as it quickens the heart rate. Symptoms also include confusion and delirium followed by drowsiness.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows ball hockey goalie gets call up to Team Canada

Matteo Petrelli will mind net for U20 team at world championships in Switzerland this summer

Maple Ridge’s Brandon Yip to play in KHL all star game in Moscow Sunday morning

Yip currently captains the Kunlun Red Stars who are based in Beijing

The value of a prison education

Kevin Heinze teaches continuing education at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in Maple Ridge.

Along the Fraser: RIP Parker (1991-2019)

The Canadian Liver Foundation raises funds by recycling or scrapping old vehicles.

Letter: Allen Way rail crossing proposed in 1980

Pitt Meadows mayor at time wanted it at north Bonson.

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Most Read