For those who find marijuana to be in scarce supply, or are just interested in trying something new for their heads, broom may well be the answer.

Broom is a member of the bean family. Actually; there are three varieties, and all have much the same potency: Canary Island broom (Genista canariensis), Spanish broom (Spartium junceum), and Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius).

Today broom is grown legally in the United States in nurseries and home gardens. It can also be found running wild in vacant lots and on country hillsides.

To prepare broom, a supply of the plant's colorful blossoms are collected' and then aged for about ten days in a sealed jar. By the end of that time, they should be moldy and' dry. The blossoms are then ground to a marijuana-like consistency and rolled into joints for smoking.

,Normal dosage is one joint, which provides intoxicated, euphoric feelings for about two hours. Smoking a second joint stretches the broom trip to about four hours. Awareness of color is heightened and an even deeper state of relaxation is experienced. Mexican Indians often smoke broom when they want to get into heavy, contemplative thinking. A basically safe, semi-psychedelic' relaxant, broom will not cause hallucinations or visual distortion.

The drug usually has no bad side effects. It doesn't produce any hangover afterward, although in some instances a slight headache may be experienced right after smoking.

Broom's active ingredient is the toxic substance cytisine, which isn't toxic when smoked. Under no circumstances should broom be eaten. Cytisine, which comes from the same pharmacological family as nicotine, is very toxic when ingested and will cause a disturbing level of excitement, followed by a heavy, drunk feeling or even unconsciousness. Cytisine also acts as a heart stimulant, much like digitalis: Eating any quantity may put unnecessary strain on the heart.