The first time I took ecstasy, I used the home phone of the friend’s house I was at to call another friend at home and tell him how good of a friend he was.
For what it’s worth, the person I called is still my best friend to this day, almost two decades later.
As I reflected upon this the next day, I was certain this drug could change the world. As a fourteen-year-old kid who was most likely suffering from depression and anxiety and didn’t know it, MDMA was the solution to the problem I didn’t know I had. All I knew was I wanted to feel like that all the time.
I was talkative, outgoing, creative and for a lack of a better term, full of life. It felt like the drug was not transforming me into someone I wasn’t but rather releasing who I truly was from deep within me.
Mainstream media and the court of public opinion deemed it a sex and club drug — but all I ever really wanted to do on it was hang out in my friends living room, listen to music, smoke a few joints and talk about life.
I took it before school on some days. What was a club and party drug for others, was a regular mood booster I took as often as possible, just to go deal with life. I didn’t even understand where it got its sex drug reputation from as anytime I was with my girlfriend on it, I tended to just want to have deep conversations with her and tell her how beautiful I thought she was.
I recall once telling her when I was on it, I believed she was an angel God handcrafted for me personally, to save me from me.
This was the same drug the Federal Government more than doubled the sentencing guidelines for in 2001, as anyone with caught with 2000 grams or less than was slapped with a mandatory five-year sentence and anyone caught with more than that — a ten-year sentence.
Despite pleas from the scientific community not to, stating the drug had very obvious medical benefits — and that the new guidelines would do more harm than good.
The same drug which has since been widely reported as a beyond effective treatment not only for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but various other mental conditions or illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
I realized at age fourteen, what the Federal Government refused to acknowledge or listen to groups of scientists about, as recently as 2003. Though they now may be listening, or at least pretending to — very little has been done to bring about real change. Change that could alter the lives of millions and better our society as a whole.
My tendency to be ahead of the times and curve merely started here.
The pot I was selling, smoking and seeing my friends go to prison for, is now something that can be legally purchased for recreational use at a legitimate business establishment in eleven states and counting today here in America.
It is legally prescribed by doctors for treating a wide variety of ailments and conditions in 33 others. The states in which it is still fully illegal to possess it, are now the minority — and very much behind the times in pretty much every sense of the phrase.
I knew growing up, what entire state Governments can’t seem to come to terms with still in 2019 — which is that Marijuana is not only harmless, it’s beneficial. Both to those suffering from conditions like depression, anxiety, insomnia, and even cancer patients, as well as those who just prefer to come home after a hard days work and relax with a joint rather than a beer.
There really is no comparison as far as long term negative effects of using alcohol as opposed to marijuana go, mainly because there are no legitimate, definitive and significant long term negative effects of using marijuana.
It’s just good to see the country coming to terms with facts and observations I was able to make as barely a teen.
The magic mushrooms my friends and I would take at random and have amazing times and experiences on, along with other psychedelics — are now being pushed by politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as something the Federal Government needs to make it easier to study the medical uses of. Go figure.
The kinds of kids who viewed me and my friends as losers for taking magic mushrooms are the same ones now micro-dosing it because they read in a wellness journal it may help with depression.
The Vietnam Veteran Uncle of mine who once caught me smoking a joint and ostracized me for it is the same one who now vapes THC to help with his PTSD from all of the horrific things he saw and did during the war.
The alarming part about all of this is not only how behind a nation of teens who were backed by scientist claims even then, this country’s laws, legislation and federal government were — but the fact many who are in a position to give way to change, still are.
As well as how behind the statistics and facts our laws still are when it comes to many drugs.
All while opioids, which have led to more deaths than any illegal drug are openly and legally prescribed by millions of doctors across the country.
There are still people who associate marijuana with lazy stoners and I personally find that to be one of the laziest stereotypes I’ve heard.
I just read an article this morning claiming more and more athletes are finding marijuana to be helpful both before and after their workouts, despite the fact I’ve used it before and after working out from the very first day I started doing so.
It’s not that I’m ahead of the times, it’s that so many others are behind reality. It takes them decades to even be willing to look at possible solutions and cures, based on false preconceived notions and what others say and think.
Despite all of the glaring evidence, statistical facts, and scientific findings, many are still stuck in the “reefer madness” mind states that led to millions being sent to prison unnecessarily.
It took Kim Kardashian to point out how fucked our criminal justice system is to finally get someone in a position of power to listen — and he only listened because her husband thinks his hat and slogan is like, really rad.
In the words of Bob Dylan, the times they are a changing. But they’re changing painfully slow. Many of these changes are ones that should’ve taken place sometime around when Bob Dylan released the song I quoted of the same name in 1963.
The observations I made and conclusions I was able to clearly come to as a teenager, were there for anyone else to make — they just chose not to. Their motivations for such vary from greed, corruption, stubbornness, to pure ignorance.
I just hope we as a nation can learn from our mistakes and actually do something that brings about real change. While I’m not an advocate of simply legalizing all drugs universally, I’m of the belief many have many benefits that outweigh the negatives. We treat drug addicts as criminals when we should be treating them as what they are, sick people with a medical condition, who need help.
Though society and science may be coming around, we’ve still got a long way to go as far as our Federal and even many state governments are concerned.
I just hope I live to see the day when people are free to make their own choices. One where they have access to the substance or drug that could provide them with much-needed relief, without having to buy it on a corner and they aren’t stigmatized as an outcast for doing so.