The War on Some Drugs
“Drugs are bad, mmmkay?”
We repeat this tired mantra over and over, chanting it as though we might reach enlightenment pondering upon this gross oversimplification of life. “Drugs are bad. Drugs are bad. Drugs are bad.” Goebbels once famously state “Repeat a lie often enough, and loud enough and soon it will be believed.” The funniest thing about the statement is the fact that our lives are made possible by drug combinations and interactions within our bodies.
Perhaps that is why the ridiculous notion that “drugs=bad” is so pernicious. The truth is, in our society, only some drugs are considered dangerous or bad. Some drugs are good, and yet others still are unnoticed or unregarded as drugs, such as sugar. Some of America’s most beloved and even sanctioned drugs are some of our most dangerous killers. Poisoned tobacco comes most reading to mind, as does alcohol. Which, ironically, was once poisoned by the US government in an effort to keep the citizens safe from the drug.
Probably one of the most prevalent and damaging class of drugs are the opioids, both on and off the street. People become hooked to them due to lax controls and easy access. After which, according to many accounts, when prescription painkillers become difficult to procure for whatever reason, heroin becomes the go-to source for a fix. Unfortunately the street variety fluctuates wildly in terms of quality and potency.
In the USA, the problem is increasing seen in the middle class, and in the suburbs, across all ethnicities. Even more disturbing is the historic, and of course entirely coincidental, sharp rise in opium production from just 1 country. The same country which had nearly eradicated opium from their fields in the previous year before catching a giant US boot in the face. They have since skyrocketed to the #1 producer in the world and the youth of our nation have the privilege of defending these fields with their lives.
For your freedom again, of course. The freedom to acquire these toxic substances from your doctor, who may or maybe not accepting payment from pharmaceutical giants to push their products. After you have gone through all your money and are left with crippling addiction, you can look forward to being caged on a modern plantation. Sorry, they are more commonly referred to as “private prisons”, where you will become a slave for corporations. However, if you are lucky you could earn as much as $0.16 per hour, while making consumer goods for the people who haven’t made it into the system with you. However, there are at least TWO different states (Texas & Arkansas) that do not pay prison inmates for their labor.
It’s as Robert Anton Wilson used to say, there is no war on drugs. It’s a war on SOME of the drugs, some of the time. Alcohol, tobacco, and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) all get a free pass while killing million contrasted with Marijuana which can see you kidnapped and caged. With no victim, the State creates one from the cultivators, the distributors and the consumers of a natural and harmless plant. The only victim is the person charged with the ‘criminal offense’.
There are innumerable substances in the USA which are still legal while harming more people in one year than marijuana has in 10,000 years. It is an affront to intelligence and freedom, that the criminals of DC can claim the authority to deny us access, and cage us for our use of natural medicines, whether it be Marijuana, Peyote, or Psilocybin, we are creatures of our Earth, and we should have free access to the tools provided to us on our planet. This is not to say teenagers and children should be encouraged in their use. Quite the opposite, and this author believes that our world could benefit greatly from educating the population about these substances, including their use of these drugs, the risks they carry, the benefits they may have and most importantly, safe handling, i.e. to teach people the importance of set and setting.
This author is firmly of the belief that modern society could benefit tremendously from a sort of ‘rite of passage’, administered under doctor supervision or with a doctor or trained observer in the vicinity to assist with any adverse reactions a person may experience. People on psychedelics are highly susceptible, and by extension, quite easy to calm if one can also remain calm and is prepared. Fear is contagious, and very dangerous in these situations, but because the tripper is open to suggestion, a trained assistant can talk down the person in a matter of moments.
Lysergic Acid Diethalymide specifically has been shown to put the brain of the user into a state akin to infancy, when you are more susceptible to a phenomenon called “Imprinting”, which can be grossly oversimplified in the analogy of reprogramming your mind like a flash drive. These psychedelics are not only powerful tools, but as with all tools, they can also be somewhat dangerous in their casual misuse, but that does not mean adults should be prohibited from their acquisition or ingestion. We as a society would reap innumerable rewards for a shift towards a sane, rational drug policy meant to address not only freedom of Adults to choose, but also our current drug epidemic in the nation.
We need to review how our current policy has failed & look to not only the approach taken by Portugal in 2001, but also programs like A.N.G.E.L., piloted by the heroic and commendable Sheriff Leonard Campanello. This program sees people offered rehab and assistance for heroin addicts who turned themselves in, instead of shipping them to prison. It has worked out so well, other police departments have started mirroring the program, easing the burden on not only the jail system, but society and the people who are trying to recover. Drug addiction is a disease, just as schizophrenia, and caging people who are, by all rights medically ill is a great disservice to all parties right down to the tax victims. (One might be tempted to euphemistically call them ‘payers’, however that implies some degree of volunteerism. More info coming in an upcoming essay.)
Many societies throughout Human history have had a close relationship with psychedelics & psychoactive substances. In modern times, we have seemingly tried to disassociate ourselves from our heritage and the essential role that these drug-tools play in our lives. Even Fundamentalist Materialists have to admit the spiritual role that drugs have fit into for most of our march through Time and history. And it is specifically both the Fundamentalist camps, Materialists and Theists who could benefit more greatly than any other from one good, high dose trip on N,N-Dimethlytrytamine under proper conditions. That is to say, in a relaxed, non-recreational setting with a mind that is ready to be blown WIDE OPEN by Terrence McKenna’s famous ‘heroic doses’.
Thanks for reading and I hope it provides food for thought and prompts a thoughtful discussion.
See you on the other side of Hyperspace!