View Full Version : Drug-free?
I've made the point before that one is a hypocrite if they support the Drug War but consume nicotine, caffeine, or alcohol. Someone has put their money--specifically, their education--where my mouth is. It's an interesting effect:
"While not exactly the War of the Worlds," Flaherty wrote, "students and staff members did panic when they showed up for their morning cup and found signs that read:
In order to curb the use of caffeine at Amherst College, the sale and distribution of coffee are no longer permitted on campus. Effective Immediately." Questions were to be directed to the Caffeine Control Coordinator.For those who wonder about the power of caffeine, here is the first shot in a new campaign in the War Against Drugs; some students were willing to buy "black-market" espresso beans at elevated costs. Most of those affected were either confused or enraged.
Recruiting friends to act as black-market coffee dealers, they sat outside the dining hall offering bootleg java at inflated prices. "Hey, you need coffee?" Dan Farbman, 22, a senior, hissed from behind his dark glasses. To entice hard-core addicts looking for a quick hit, he added: "Espresso beans, 10 cents a bean." Some bought. Most just averted their eyes or said, "No thanks."
Several confused students attended a news conference at which Mr. Epstein enumerated the dangers of caffeine. "Is this for real?" a student reportedly asked Epstein, who also volunteers with November Coalition. That comment showed him he'd succeeded in illustrating his message.Seriously: go to your office and deprive your co-workers of their caffeine: empty out all the soda machines; ban the use of chocolate, aspirin, and tea leaf; threaten to fire any worker caught bringing coffee or Coca-Cola into the office. People will go nuts, despite the fact that when they stop dehydrating themselves with a highly-addictive substance, they'll feel better. Want to rub their noses in it? Offer non-intoxicant hempseed cakes in the meantime.
What about non-caffeinated uppers? You have to ban them, too, for surrogates are unacceptable, as the Drug War shows in its stance against Methadone (though it's almost preferable to let the junkies shoot heroin).
Do it for a week, and when you start hearing rumors of contraband, violate the hell out of your employees' rights: submit to strip and cavity searches or be fired; search desks at random; submit all "happy" people to intense questioning about where they're getting their caffeine--if you tell us, we won't fire you; we understand that you're a victim of this addictive drug, too.
What will you pay for your coffee? The price of gold?
"It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be," Mr. Thompson admitted to Flaherty. Mr. Epstein had originally proposed to stage his coffee ban next week - finals week. However, Mr. Thompson objected, feeling that that would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. It's not like this all should surprise anyone.
08-13-01, 04:38 PM
I get excitment, not highness on few moments. Other than those moments I'm a bloodless emotional vampire.
08-13-01, 07:50 PM
You left out option #5:
- all of the above and more!
:cool: :D :cool:
I have no excuse ... must be the drugs. ;)
Above: President Bush unveils his plan to get seniors "off the drugs and high on life."
WASHINGTON, DC--Pledging to help "the millions of elderly Americans who can't get through the day without popping pills or shooting up insulin," President Bush announced Monday that he is committed to wiping out prescription-drug use among seniors.
"Nearly three million of our nation's senior citizens are hopelessly hooked on substances like Norvasc and Cardizem CD," Bush said. "In the past, we as a nation have enabled such addiction through the billions of dollars we give to programs like Medicare, but this has got to stop."
To help combat the problem, Bush is proposing stricter regulations for both doctors and pharmacists.
"Right now, drugs like Donepezil and Vasotec can be obtained with little more than a single visit to the doctor. This can no longer be allowed to go on," Bush said. "We must attack the problem at the source: the HMO-backed medical professionals who prescribe, or 'deal,' cheap prescription drugs. If we crack down on them, seniors will have a lot harder time getting their fixes."
According to a recent report by the National Institute On Drug Abuse, as many as 1,800,000 Americans over the age of 65 may be dependent on Medicare-provided prescription drugs. Bush warned that the actual number of habitual users may be even higher.
"Surprising as it may be, young people are not the ones doing most of the prescription drugs," Bush said. "Seniors are responsible for a shocking 70 percent of Amiodarone abuse in this country. Nitroglycerine use among the elderly has reached similarly epidemic proportions. Because such substances are obtained legally, compounded with the clouded judgment which results from drug use, many of these addicts aren't even aware they have a problem. It's up to our government to step in and break the cycle."
Claire Lakewood, director of Partnership For A Prescription-Drug-Free America, said the cycle of abuse is hard to break if seniors don't want to be helped.
"Older Americans tend to give in to peer pressure," Lakewood said. "They just do what their doctor tells them because they want to 'be cool' or 'live,' and win their doctor's approval. They also want to fit in with all their other elderly friends, who, no doubt, are doing these prescription drugs, too."
Fortunately, prescription-drug addicts will not have to conquer their addictions alone. Bush said his plan will emphasize rehabilitation over punishment.
"Our only goal is to provide help to those in need," Bush said. "Locking up these seniors would be cruel, costly, and, in the long run, counterproductive. Treatment and counseling is the only real answer."
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson said his department is taking steps to help the drug-addicted. Outpatient treatment centers will be established at local senior centers, he said, and a 40-page booklet titled "Hugs, Not Dronabinol" will guide homebound seniors through the difficult road to clean living.
"Let's kick drugs out of our nursing homes and senior centers once and for all," Thompson said.
As part of Bush's anti-prescription-drug effort, a PSA campaign will soon be launched. The first such ad will feature "Sammy The Senior," a cartoon octogenarian kicking up his heels with the aid of a walker, accompanied by the slogan, "I've Got Better Things To Do Than Take Prescription Drugs!"
Hazel Tenney, a 72-year-old Tulsa, OK, resident, is among the many older Americans now questioning their drug use.
"Every day, for nearly seven years, I've taken Hydralazine to treat my high blood pressure," Tenney said. "But after hearing what President Bush said, I threw my pills away. Today, I'm feeling short of breath and dizzy, but if I can just make it through these withdrawal symptoms, with God's help, I will finally be drug-free."
08-27-01, 07:23 AM
Seriously: go to your office and deprive your co-workers of their caffeine: empty out all the soda machines; ban the use of chocolate, aspirin, and tea leaf; threaten to fire any worker caught bringing coffee or Coca-Cola into the office. People will go nuts, despite the fact that when they stop dehydrating themselves with a highly-addictive substance, they'll feel better. Want to rub their noses in it? Offer non-intoxicant hempseed cakes in the meantime.
Do you think that workers should be deprived of Marijuana? I would personally rather a plumber, electrician, builder, accountant addicted to Caffeine then smoking pot on the job. But I know that Marijuana isn't addictive so I'll give you that one.
What will you pay for your coffee? The price of gold?
I would just stop drinking it.
I think that Marijuana would be ok for medicianal use(prescription based). Example someone who is in constant pain and/or terminally ill. Queen Victoria smoked pot for medicinal use.
But for getting high? Save some money and buy some cheap wine. Reduces the chances of you getting cancer from (a)wine has been found to do this, (b)Marijuana has many bad chemicals like Tobacco. Remove nicotine and I would still dislike cigerrette smoking because of all of the bad chemicals.
Also, cheap wine as Caffiene doesn't give you flashbacks like Marijuana and won't be directly caused to getting schizophrenia(sp?) in later life.
08-28-01, 12:11 AM
"Queen Victoria smoked pot for medicinal use"
Yeah I bet!!!!, in that case I use it because my brain doesn't produce sufficient levels of dopemein and hence I need it to boost those levels...is that medical???
"But for getting high? Save some money and buy some cheap wine."
There's some good advice, avoid pot and become an alcoholic....great advice Deadwood!!!
"Reduces the chances of you getting cancer from (a)wine has been found to do this, "
Red wine in moderation has been found to benefit the heart (first time i've heard cancer though)....cheap wine hasn't...infact cheap wine isn't even really wine....think about the chemicals in a bladder of Goon (for those who don't know what goon is...its cheap arse cask wine)
"(b)Marijuana has many bad chemicals like Tobacco. "
Marijuana doesn't contain Tobacco...
As I have it from various sources, Queen Victoria smoked pot in order to reduce the cramping she experienced in her menstural cycle; I know many women who use marijuana for the same reasons. Just thought to throw a couple of cents in there.
Yes, marijuana contains some of the same chemicals that can be found in any burned organic product, but are the ratios right to be carcinogenic? There is no evidence of that today, and we might note here that, individually, alcohol, tobacco, and aspirin are three common drugs with infinitely higher death tolls than pot. (The asprin/marijuana ratios taken from actuarial data are infinite--10,000). Someone once trumped the potentially carcinogenic chemicals in marijuana in a post at Sciforums; that potential has not been actualized in life.
Besides, if marijuana wasn't illegal, most people I know would eat it instead of smoke it; most of the problem is solved right there.
I would just stop drinking it. And I applaud you, without sarcasm. However, I'm inclined to wonder what a caffeine prohibition against the culture would cause. ;)
It's too bad, though, that the public policy that makes marijuana so expensive has no factual foundation. Can you imagine blaming the unemployment rate on coffee?
08-31-01, 03:29 AM
Besides, if marijuana wasn't illegal, most people I know would eat it instead of smoke it; most of the problem is solved right there.
Are you serious, people would eat it?
Actually, did you know that you can make clothes from hemp? Or even biodegradable plastic? This is definitely a plus for the argument of making hemp legal. But the hemp that they would grow would only give you a headache if you smoked an entire field. But that is still not legalized.
But is hemp and Marijuana the same thing? I am told two different things and am confused. But anyway they still belong to the same Family, as in there Genus and Species differs.
But another argument is that though Tobacco is legal, people still chew on that but the vast majority still smoke it. Both is bad anyway in regards to Tobacco.
But if Marijuana was legalized I would probably like some rule like you can't smoke it or be high in public. Because I wouldn't feel comfortable having a bunch of people laughing at nothing.
However, I'm inclined to wonder what a caffeine prohibition against the culture would cause.
Definitely increased tea sales. Because I used to always think that tea contained cafeine but now I am always told otherwise. It is supposed to contain some other ingredient or something.
It's too bad, though, that the public policy that makes marijuana so expensive has no factual foundation.
Well, since its illegal its the dealers who do it. I'm not sure about US terminology but a stick over here costs AUD$25(US$12.50) last I heard. A stick has so many cones just incase the US terminology is different. One stick could get someone high about 2 or 3 times. So its not that expensive I guess compared to the cheap wine.
Can you imagine blaming the unemployment rate on coffee?
Well actually you can blame the dot-com companies on the unemployment rate. I think that when they went out of business coffee sales would have dropped because IT people consume large amounts of coffee. ;)
Briefly; I'm on a smoke break from moving.
Are you serious, people would eat it?Oh, yeah. Hemp is an amazing food; when I have more time I'll dig up the nutritional breakdown on it.
But is hemp and Marijuana the same thing?As you noted, there are species differences; the genus is Cannabis. The hemp used in industrial debates is pretty much the same, it's just a variety that grows more fibrous and less intoxicating; attempting to smoke this would, indeed, make you feel ill. I thought about doing Thanksgiving (a US holiday where we celebrate the beginning of the great white continental domination) as a marijuana meal, but combining that much THC with tryptophan from the turkey would probably bury my guests. Besides, dinner for six would probably cost in the neighborhood of $US 700.
I'm not sure about US terminology but a stick over here costs AUD$25(US$12.50) last I heard.Currently, the street price is fairly steady in the American Pacific Northwest; in Seattle, the street price is about $US 40 for 3.3 grams (1/8 oz.) Some friends of ours up from San Francisco report the street price $50-60 per 1/8, and that covers a large quality differential.
And the dot-coms are a fair analysis ... what if, indeed .... ;)
09-01-01, 01:26 AM
Oh, yeah. Hemp is an amazing food; when I have more time I'll dig up the nutritional breakdown on it.
It might be nutritiouness but would it taste nice? Because mostly eveyrthing thats good for you doesn't taste nice.
Besides, dinner for six would probably cost in the neighborhood of $US 700.
What, are you planning on cooking that over an open fire by any chance? :D
Currently, the street price is fairly steady in the American Pacific Northwest; in Seattle, the street price is about $US 40 for 3.3 grams (1/8 oz.) Some friends of ours up from San Francisco report the street price $50-60 per 1/8, and that covers a large quality differential.
Thats AUD$80! For that you could buy 16 750ml bottles of cheap wine @ AUD$4.80 each. And still have AUD$3.80 cents left over.
Your price is expensive compared to Australia way expensive. I would have thought the US to be much cheaper even with our shocking cross rates.
I am now beginning to see why you want it legalized so bad...
I drink coffee. I like coffee. I've never known anybody who killed anybody while under the influence of coffee. I've never heard of anybody breaking into somebody's house and robbing them just to support their coffee habit. I've never been approached by shriveled wrecks with sunken eyes and twitchy mannerisms begging on street corners for just a hit of latte. I've known people who get cranky without their morning coffee, but they get over it without having to check into a rehab clinic. People don't destroy the hopes and dreams of themselves and their families for the sake of coffee.
I can already hear "That's because coffee is readily available and you can just go down to Starbuck's and get it." Well, if we're really losing the Drug War, then the drugs are just as available.
Granted, some people can use drugs and lead normal lives. Most of the ones we hear about choose to abuse the stuff, however. They care nothing for self-restraint, imbibing the stuff without considering how it affects other people, including people they may actually care about.
For those of you who shoot up or whatever in the privacy of your own homes, showing enough common sense to NOT decide to try such things as driving or goofing around with a gun, your intelligence and self-control is much appreciated by the rest of us. Please try to get the less disciplined among you to follow suit.
I drink coffee. I like coffee. I've never known anybody who killed anybody while under the influence of coffee.I agree that I've never known anybody who killed anyone under the influence of coffee. Nor have I known anyone who killed under the influence of marijuana. Of course, there's the cocaine- and meth-related aspect when we're talking about full legalization. But if we look at the drug-fueled crimes of passion, again we find alcohol way up on the list. But there is no caffeine-index that informs us how many of the people who shoot their lovers or their lovers' lovers are have had coffee in the last couple of hours. Is it important? Only insofar as it is important to determine the role of any foreign substance in the bloodstream in the decision to commit a crime.
I've never been approached by shriveled wrecks with sunken eyes and twitchy mannerisms begging on street corners for just a hit of latte.I live in Seattle, and must grin wryly as I advise that it happens all the time. Coffee, beer, smack, crank--many people around here are honest when they beg: it seems that in a stoner city we, the fortunate, hold ourselves to be more sympathetic toward substance use; it's twisted, yes, and arrogant, but it's kind of how we are these days.
But when you write I've never heard of anybody breaking into somebody's house and robbing them just to support their coffee habit, I am indeed compelled to resort to market availability. That law enforcement is losing the War on Drugs speaks little of their current price; overhead in the Black Market is just this side of ridiculous. (We might introduce the open-market capitalists and the fact that they are perhaps a degree more prone to shame, but that is a complcating moral factor that we can leave for another day.) Without the Drug War, the price comes down and junkies are less prone to theft. Consider the capitalist markup on iced tea: when I worked pizza, our iced tea cost approximately 18 cents to make a 2-gallon container (corporate numbers), and sold the stuff for eighty-nine cents for 16 ice-diluted ounces. Assuming the startup for my growing equipment is paid off, I could put marijuana on the street for $150/lb plus my time, all told no more than $500/lb. End cost including baggie, four dollars per eighth-ounce. Give me some room for adequate profit, anywhere from seven to nine dollars per eighth. On a pound, I would bring in $140 profit, approximately 28%, which is better than I could expect franchising for McDonald's. Why, then, does marijuana cost forty to sixty dollars per eighth?
To make this more relevant to the theft issue, because I just don't know any exclusive stoners/trippers who steal for their habits, we can look at a market that I don't know very well: heroin. In addition to the price markup, there is also a dimension of quality control: purity. Inconsistent purity on the heroin market brings much death and encourages consumption habits that feed the various facets of addiction. Overdoses often result from a junkie getting too pure a product and, thinking the product to be severely diluted as usual, uses too much of a "good" product. Quality inconsistencies also create a more frequent need; junkies shoot up more often, and become accustomed to doing so. (If this concept seems strange, consider cigarette smokers: I, myself, notice first the absence of the gritty feeling in my throat, a procedural dependency, long before nicotine withdrawal sets in--"long", in this case, being about an hour and a half differential.) Legalization provides a number of benefits experienced both by the user and the community when heroin is the issue.
* Quality control brings better use habits, reduces overdose mortality rates, and makes addiction more consistent in its manifestations, and thus makes addiction easier to address.
* Lower prices mean less junkies stealing your car stereo to pay for a fix.
* Removal of criminal status gives rehabilitation a better appearance of practicality to an edged-out thief. There will be less felonies to confess to in order to obtain help, and this, while it is not necessarily determined to make junkies more likely to seek treatment, removes some of the traditional psychological barriers that prevent them from seeking treatment.
Furthermore, learning the stereotypes of drug users I did when I was growing up, there is an element of distrust assigned a known user of any illegal substance. Turns out, these stereotypes are both as hollow and as accurate as any other stereotype. When one admits to drug use, one is accepting that people with alcohol-related problems and caffeine-based arrogance look down on them. For some reason, nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine are viewed as different forms of drugs than others. This hypocrisy continues to cloud the air. I don't want to take anyone's coffee away from them; I don't want to take anyone's whiskey away from them; not their cigarettes or cigars or perfumed bidis; nor do I want to take a person's bong away (did you know a bong is a federal offense?) But by any right, alcohol and nicotine should be illegal, and marijuana, psylocybin, and peyote at least ought to be legal. I, personally, am a big fan of opium resin, but the number of safety warnings that would have to go on the package would, indeed, scare off most potential users--wait a minute, isn't that the point?
Which raises a vital point: how is it that I can (generally) keep my vices in such order as to remain a functional member of society? On the one hand, we can write it up to individual diversity, but this does little to address the actual issue. How is it that I can delve into addictive substances like opium without developing habitual use patterns? How is it that a friend of mine can maintain a cocaine habit that bears no outward withdrawl symptoms, interrupts itself frequently and irregularly, and generally takes as little toll on him as the drug allows? How is it that I come across these kinds of people within my circle? This, as opposed to the devastating addiction that is normally associated with drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine, and opium? It is not that we are supersmokers or anything like that, but that we learned a great deal (comparatively) about how the drugs we use work with our bodies. Applicably, we can control certain aspects of the results/consequences of our use the same way we control hangovers. And we're not talking graduate-degree knowledge, here, but something rather along the lines of the old joke about the difference between knowledge and wisdom. ("I'm smart enough to know that smoking cigarettes will kill me, but I'm not wise enough to do anything about it." And so on ....)
Think in terms of alcohol: a classic excuse for bad behavior on alcohol is, "I hadn't eaten anything yesterday." Well, the wisdom end of this is to stop and grab a bite before you lay into the bottle for the evening. I can say confidently, Trust me on this one. Cocaine does something odd to me in withdrawal that I don't understand well, partially for lack of data. The result, however, is that I don't do cocaine; it's a pretty simple equation. But learning these ideas is difficult under the spectre of prohibition. It was among the drug-using community that I learned how to best interact with my substance choices. That is, I learned best about how to control my substances in an environment where substance use is not demonized, marginalized, ostracized, disapproved, slandered, or ignored. Open communication makes things quite a bit safer for everyone involved.
Communication? Well, we have the Constitution safeguarding communication in the US; one of the reasons the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act of 1999 failed in the US Congress was that it violated the Constitution in a manner that A) would have hurt people badly, and B) would never have endured legal challenge. But let's say that you are worried about a friend's methamphetamine use, and you go out on a search engine (say, Google) to learn about how to deal with a friend on meth. If the page is not condemning of the substance, it would have beein illegal under MAPA'99. To post online information regarding "How to keep an overdose alive long enough for the paramedics to get there" would have been felonious. Now, we understand that the Constitution would have put an end to this sort of nastiness, but pray tell what compels this kind of paranoia? And what is the result? The drug-warriors have become quite blind to anything but their target, and the casualty list is mounting (police-sponsored murders, abductions, and tortures aside).
When approaching hard drugs like coke and heroin, consider that many of the same ideas you listed in your opening paragraph do apply. Now consider a sense of equality here: that we harass and search and violate and lock up people showing signs of having consumed too much alcohol in the same way we treat people showing signs of other drug use. How quickly would the jails fill up? Now at this point, it becomes a matter of priorities: what's more dangerous, what blanket assumptions will hurt, ad nauseam. Yet education is an untested field for a solution. Instead of teaching a condescending, prohibitionist disapproval, a more honest approach to substance-related education is a must. It isn't that we should teach kids how to do drugs, but we could at least stop lying to them in such a manner as to encourage further experimentation when they find out that the marijuana and mushroom tales were lies. And we need to end this odd separation of alcohol- and smoking-related nastiness from heroin-, coke-, and other-related nastiness. It's all the same idea: a foreign substance introduced electively into the bloodstream affecting a person's behavior, perception, judgement, and capabilities. As I have learned, so can others learn; and we might hope they learn a better, easier way. Sure I've never shot heroin, but my hedging curiosity about it officially terminated when an associate of mine died of AIDS; whether it was sexually- or intravenously-contracted we don't know, but I don't shoot heroin and I don't have sex with people who do. I know it sounds like a stupid version of education, but I am at a loss to explain what seems so hard for people to figure out about it. Driving drunk? I chose to stop driving because I was dangerous to other people on the road for any number of reasons several months before either of two states who knew bothered to tell me that my license had been suspended. But what cracks me up about it is that the suspension isn't for driving drunk, per se, but for a curious twist thereupon: the third time's a charm, and the third time I got run through a sobriety test while beneath the state BAC limit, I failed it. For all the times my BAC was probably over the limit that I didn't get caught, it all balances out. But the fact of the matter is that I never got in a wreck because of it, and I never got stopped while I was actually over the limit (it took a woman trying to sprawl out in the bench seat of a small pickup while driving at 2:30am after being on the road for a day and a half ....) But, strangely, I got my license suspended because after getting arrested, I went home and got civilly drunk and stayed that way for four months, missing my court appearances. The point is that people are determined to do stupid things, whether it's, No, I'm okay to drive, or, But this is really good sh-t, and you can't get addicted the first time, people are going to put themselves through it. The majority of the culture does, and it's the sad difference we make between alcohol and other drugs that creates a good portion of the problems individuals have distinguishing good and bad judgement where other drugs are concerned.
Now I generally feel coffee/marijuana is a fair juxtaposition; two things are now officially true about drugs and the workplace that I can speak to definitively: A) there is a period of adjustment required when one starts getting high before going to work; B) after a while, people notice it when you're sober: Did you get enough sleep? or Are you getting sick? My mother has the best one: You look so much healthier since you stopped smoking pot. (Again, I reiterate that I never made that claim; my mother apparently did not require drugs to enter a separate reality that day.)
And it just so happens that one morning, about two years ago, a grumpy manager from a different department came stomping upstairs one morning and, instead of addressing her complaint to my associate's boss, as per standard policy, marched into his cube and began loudly cussing him out. Now, my associate got right back up in her face, and got fired for it; despite the written policy, the out-of-line manager suffered no consequence to her job. Later gossip around the cigarette huddle turned up the idea that "It must have been different; K___ (the manager) would never yell and cuss like that." But, indeed she did, for we heard her across the building. And what was the excuse? "She must not have had her morning coffee before she went upstairs to see him."
I spent a short period recently away from the sweet leaf; specifically, I stopped buying and, strangely, my friends kept me appropriately high for appropriate events (David Lee Roth concerts, &c.) During that period, I did indeed experience a rise in my temper, but it was unusual; I haven't felt that temper for oh, about 10 years. It wasn't the pissy-mood temper that my job, ex-girlfriend, or family generally bring on, but a youthful angry-at-everything zeal that literally has been absent since I was about 18 and hit the working world officially. During that period, one of my less-responsible co-workers chose to stop showing up; because of whatever it is that management has done to this company, we're under a hiring freeze, so nobody wanted to fire him. Guess who spent an average of 60% of his work week doing someone else's job (all day)? Right-o. And, yes, I was exceptionally grumpy about it. Do you really think the excuse would suffice should someone say, Don't worry about it, he just hasn't had his morning bong rip, yet?
(Thankfully, my excuse is something far more abstract; something about the way I work and play with others, or something; you'd think that, for a bunch of sober people, they could actually explain it ;) )
* http://www.mckinley.uiuc.edu/health-info/drug-alc/caffeine.html What cracks me up is how certain "gray areas" exist that also exist for marijuana.
* http://www.jr2.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/band58/b58-4.html Interstingly enough, one can protect their ... ah, reduce their risk of colorectal cancer with coffee, but ... for every 23 pregnant women who consume more than two cups of coffee or six cups of tea a day, one will have a spontaneous abortion who would not have had they not consumed this much caffeine. Hmmm ... sounds like a health risk. 4.3%? Better make it illegal, at least for pregnant women ;)
* http://www.coffeescience.org/heart.html is, of course, a pro-coffee site, but I figure I'll include them just to be fair. See, the thing is that this kind of presentation is not accepted when it's a cigarette company or a pro-marijuana advocate discussing their respective products. Of course, coffee, being legal, is subject to much more legitimate science (and illegitimate, as such) and therefore the researchers can pull from a larger data set. When you read, There are studies that show ..., please consider that such research is dismissed out-of-hand when it's presented on behalf of tobacco (which is its own thing; if we've really got the companies nailed, why did EPA do irresponsible research?), and that such studies are unavailable for marijuana for another few years, at least, and this due to prohibition.
Granted, some people can use drugs and lead normal lives. Most of the ones we hear about choose to abuse the stuff, however. They care nothing for self-restraint, imbibing the stuff without considering how it affects other people, including people they may actually care about. Key phrase: most of the ones we hear about. I'm a stickler here, because it's something I lambaste other ideas for. Certes, one can have religion and carry on a normal life, but most of the ones we hear about (insert Tiassa's tirade here) .... Ten per cent of the American population uses marijuana; how many of them do you hear about killing one another, stealing for their habits?
I'll leave out comment about the people they actually care about; that's psychological to a degree that to make such an idea a factor in why a person should quit using drugs is similar to telling a suicidal to stop and think about how badly they're about to hurt the family that loves them (and thus has made them miserable). We can put Bob in treatment after wrecking one car while drunk, hitting his kid in a coke-fed fury, gambling away his wife's car, ad nauseam. But if we treat that symptom (Gamblers' Anon., Alcoholics Anon., Addicts Anon.), are we ever getting to the root of why Bob does what he does? Okay, so I didn't leave it out. Sorry.
For those of you who shoot up or whatever in the privacy of your own homes, showing enough common sense to NOT decide to try such things as driving or goofing around with a gun, your intelligence and self-control is much appreciated by the rest of us. Please try to get the less disciplined among you to follow suit.A) We were, originally, speaking of marijuana versus coffee; much of your response seems to cover the greater portion of illicit drugs and, while that's fine, I'm inclined to ask if you're broadening the topic in order to make this particular point.
B) We're trying, but communication among the drug subculture is a little tough when said communication leads men in blue with search warrants into the area.
C) It would be a lot easier to convince those less fortunate of our friends who are addicted to substances like cocaine and heroin to seek treatment if that did not involve a confession of felonious behavior. I smoke cigarettes, but don't consider my addiction a disease; yet we treat alcoholism and overeating as diseases. From where I see it, it's up to a person to decide to get help and up to that person's friends to help them. If, however, we treat addiction as a disease, we might indeed take phrases like "less-disciplined" and throw them into the rubbish bin where they belong. It's all a matter of perspective. But one of the big things we need to fix is the idea that one is felonious for using drugs and helping their friends use drugs. It's a nice idea to call it aiding and abetting from the ivory tower; but down in the dirty street it's a living, and it's day-to-day, hand-to-mouth, and constantly seeking diversion from misery.
Great post. I do notice however, that when the subject of drugs and violence comes up, you use marijuana as the example. What about something that doesn't have the common side effect of little more than the munchies? What about PCP? I also notice that you compare marijuana to caffeine. I rather more liken it to alcohol (except that you don't get a contact high in a room full of drunks ;)).
I favor the legalization of marijuana houses or some such set-up. I'd rather have the users someplace safe, as opposed to, say, being in the car next to me at 70 mph getting high. (A true case. It's pretty frightening, I can tell you, when a Chevy Silverado is careening across the lanes at you because "Jasper" couldn't wait until he got home to slow his reflexes by 10 seconds or more.) I've personally witnessed a few other examples similar, most of which involved harder stuff than marijuana, which I believe should be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol.
I also favor education above legislation. The drug education I got in school (the stuff that didn't come from my friends) was pathetic and grossly inaccurate. It was the equivalent of Mr. Garrison from "South Park" standing in front of the class and saying "Drugs are bad...mm-kay?" Despite that, I managed to stay away from them, instead having to watch as they sent people I once thought of as pretty cool into the gutter. Some were able to clean themselves up and confided to me that they wished they had never touched it in the first place.
That, I suppose, is the biggest reason for our difference of opinion. We have seen apparently separate results. I'm sure you've seen some people get totally messed up by drugs. Maybe not the majority. Likewise, I know some people who get high on a regular basis and are perferctly happy with their lives. But I get the picture that most of the drug users you've known (correct me if I'm wrong) are essentially just a bunch of dudes and dudettes who have fun, get high, and don't hurt anybody. More power to them, especially on the last part. Most of the users I've been exposed to are the typical low-life ghetto junkies and their dealers who actually followed you down the street pressuring you to buy. There was no police protection unless you phoned for it. You couldn't walk through the courtyard without stepping on needles, and deals were done not three feet from my front door.
I know the argument. If it was all legalized, this sort of thing wouldn't happen. Well, they raised the 55 mph speed limit here in California to 65 mph because nobody was obeying it anyway. They were all doing 65, even in full view of the Highway Patrol. What happened? People just started driving faster. If the drugs are legalized, the problem will not go away. They'll just find more illicit things to deal in. Part of what makes them appealing is the idea that they are illegal. As long as that aspect is around, we are not curing anything with total legalization.
Deadwood seems incredulous that pot is indeed edible. Further, when done right, and fresh it is awesome. When I was young and bullet proof I fixed some one time. I gave a couple to a friend. About 40 minutes later he fell asleep with his face looking up into the rain and that was in the morning. After it has cooled it is usually a little gritty, things like nuts and coconut can help with the masking of that problem. By personal experience I can tell you, you have never used it until...
Coffee has side effects when the user is long time consumer. My mother who is 75 now, says without her coffee she gets headaches. A cup of joe gets rid of them. And yes I like my coffee though I have never experienced headaches from the lack of it. I do notice that it takes a little longer to come around to the realization that it is indeed another day without it. Like I started crawling instead of walking. But no one has to rush to get out of my way under such conditions, for I plod rather steadily.
All my life I have studiously avoided the needle or anything remotely connected. I have a phobia about them I would rather keep.
As one last thing, Do you know anyone who has flashbacks? I have always heard of such but have never known anyone who actually said so.
09-05-01, 06:06 AM
As one last thing, Do you know anyone who has flashbacks? I have always heard of such but have never known anyone who actually said so.
One of my classmates had flashbacks in a Physical Education lesson (ie. Sport class, you americans may call it gym).
Lucky he didn't have flashbacks in a classroom environment. But that particular classmate had been high during classes and a couple of times 'tripping on acid' also while in class. The things kids get up to these days.
If you want to ruin your life, thats one way to go about it. Go for the instant gratification not caring for the long term future.
I thank you for your kind words.
I do notice however, that when the subject of drugs and violence comes up, you use marijuana as the example. What about something that doesn't have the common side effect of little more than the munchies? What about PCP? It's a fair question. The answer is multifold. The first part of it, however, is a simple reality check: not all "drugs" should be legalized. Part of the problem with drug "schedules" of harm and addiction is that they are political tools and by nature necessarily wrongly-classed. Consider that the US government considers marijuana more addictive and to have a higher potential for inherent user harm than methamphetamine. This does not make any sense. (I believe the failed MAPA'99 would have reclassed methamphetamine to Schedule 1, but the last schedule I saw was about 4 years old and I can't recall whatever happened to the rewrite of the 99 bill.)
But this is part of the problem with the paradigm-label "drugs". As we learn about drugs in life, we learn about them under this spectral label that compels generalization. Marijuana, obviously, bears different concerns than crack cocaine, and crack cocaine bears different concerns than heroin. But we can, if we ignore the official Schedules, get some sense of generalization that is not entirely false. Drugs like marijuana and psilocybin and peyote should be legalized. Let me say, of experience, that driving on psilocybin is not impossible, but I've only heard of it being done; at no time in my pleasant, ten-year history with the substance have I had the urge to drive while on mushrooms. Yes, I've driven high, but among the reasons I quit driving before I knew my license was suspended was that it was getting too hard to do; I chose to be stoned instead. I cannot expect this decision process of every stoner, but all things being equal, one of the reasons you don't hear about stoners causing huge accidents is that they generally don't. Nobody's going to assert that they are perfect drivers by any means, but when you're in traffic in the morning, and watching people apply makeup, shave, read novels or do crossword puzzles while driving, I will assert that these sober folk (and not all of them are sober, this we recognize) are more dangerous to you and your family on the road than stoners. I do worry when people try to drive and smoke pipes; it takes too much concentration to drive well when both hands are on the piece.
But here I go again justifying marijuana. The larger point, that drugs are different, is actually the important one. Obviously, people will obtain and abuse prescription drugs, so pigeonholing something like PCP onto a medical schedule doesn't necessarily work. But PCP, like crank, can be made in a home lab; I'm not suggesting the liberty to make these drugs in your kitchen--I accept liquor regulation and don't try to make moonshine in my back shed, so it seems largely the same to me. And kitchen drug manufacture is a joke; you might blow yourself up, but the odds are that your neighbors will smell what you're doing and the cops will show up with HAZMAT before you get the chance. It is entirely possible to regulate against "illegal drugs"--unlicensed, unregulated manufacture--while fostering a more healthful market.
I'll insert observationally that the use numbers available are interesting. 1997 estimates advise that 3.9% of graduating high school seniors had tried PCP. ( http://www.nida.nih.gov/infofax/pcp.html ) However, as with most crappy drugs, I will assert that use will decline in a drug-legal environment. The desperation to get high by any means available is greatly reduced, and people don't resort to doing dumb things. In poor, urban Brazil, the destitute will sniff solvents: we cannot make these substances illegal, and it's not like it doesn't happen in the US. (I never got high in high school; rather, I got high, but on filched booze and, believe it or not, the occasional mild inhalant--I wouldn't go sniffing Testor's glue or paint, but I knew what commonplace chemicals around the school would lighten my brainpan for a few minutes. It's something you learn early on, and why ditto machines had to go; we were getting high on pens and reprgraphic fluids in third grade; fifth grade brought cough drops and syrup ... I have to admit that it rarely occurs to me how commonplace getting high was in my life; I'm surprised at my initial reluctance to smoke pot ... believe it or not, I didn't like the taste.) The point of this is to stress that people will consistently seek an altered state of mind, and running marathons can kill you, too. ;) (A Robin Williams routine.)
As each drug is different, and each user is different, and acknowledging that the general human trend is toward altered states of mind, the obligation is twofold. There is the idea of harnessing vices for the benefit of society; while well-constructed on paper (I'm thinking of Hirschmann's Passions and the Interests, as I can't remember entirely who he was drawing from), it is, indeed, a difficult idea to apply practically. But much of the art we actually enjoy (as opposed to argue over, but nonetheless ...) is influenced by various drugs. While no justification is inherent here, it does go to reinforce the idea that benefits can be found among society. In the end, though, people are going to destroy themselves to get high if that's the only option we leave them. Legalization is one way to reduce the harm of that, and perhaps the most potentially effective.
Legalization, however, is as much a generalization asdrugs. The word legalization means different things for different drugs. Certes, one should be able to go grab a pack of marijuana much like buying liquor or cigarettes. (We have "Liquor Stores" in Washington, so I'm all for restricting sales to specifically-sanctioned outlets, as opposed to California, where one can buy Jack Daniels at Safeway; while I'm all for the elimination of Liquor Stores in the Washington/Oregon style in general, they provide an interesting concept for marijuana availability.) Obviously, commercially-available pot should be strictly regulated, and I'm all for boosting that $10 eighth to a $20/3.0 grams for tax revenue. But I do think marijuana and hashish should be available on a regulated market. Cocaine is "legal", technically; if you can establish a medical purpose, then go for it, as some dentists do. Morphine and other opiates are "legal" in this sense. I tend to think opium resin should be available, though I'm not settled on the question of to what extent. Crank? Let's put it this way: you put cough medicine and diesel and a few other things in your oven. This is a bad idea, and even if you legalize it, you still can't allow those kinds of conditions for manufacture. Quality control and market considerations, and then the "criminals" are those making it illegally and actually endangering their community, as opposed to those who use it and have the "potential" for harm. (Anyone has the potential to be harmful to their community; we understand concerns about LSD--I've seen people in a bad state there, too--or crack cocaine, or heroin addiction and use habits. But we're arresting people on the presumption of their harm to the community, and that's not right, since anyone can go ballistic at any time. We can, conceivably, start extrapolating statistics to demonstrate religions to be harmful in the fact that there are more domestic violence cases among than [insert other faith], so [first faith] should be reviewed for its "legality" on the basis of its potential for harm.) But legalization does not mean that you should be able to go down to the store and pick up a family-pak of PCP. Marijuana has huge commercial potential in all of its presently-persecuted incarnations, I'll spare you the benevolence litany. It should be legal to grow, as well. Peyote should not be illegal; Ecstasy is a drug I disapprove of (I've got a thing about meth drugs) but that I cannot see the reason for criminalizing. Psilocybin should be legal. In the case of mushrooms and peyote, if you're willing to eat mushrooms grown in shite or spend [i]that much time on the Other Side, then you should be able to; especially with peyote I have to point toward the drug subculture, in which curious persons are often pointed away from the drug by more experienced users ... we do try to take care of our own. LSD users frequently warn acid virgins away from the drug for its instability and intensity. In both cases, mushrooms are recommended as the alternative. And we might add that since these drugs are reputed to alter consciousness, or at least the fundamentals of conscious perception, there are certain psychological sensations that I do not believe sober persons can account for: I have no declaration against doing acid again, but my after cruising for six hours on a perfect liquid hit, I feel no compulsion to try to one-up the experience. Perhaps I'm unusual, but I tend to think that my most immediate contemporaries have learned a great deal from our hippie forefathers and mothers. I need more than my two hands to count the number of hard trippers who have, during my time among them, simply stopped doing acid without any grand declaration. In fact, the phrase "It's good enough" is the best you can usually extract from them about why. "After last time, it's good enough." It is possible to regulate oneself.
And here I'll make an abstract assertion about why. My circle has been visibly irresponsible. We smoke pot on the street if we think we can get away with it, at concerts and even baseball games, and that sort of thing. But part of what that flouting of the law has created is a mindset in which we view our habits without the full quantity of fear that comes from sequestering oneself with their vices. This has been helpful, behaving without alienation in a stoner town where most people who spot you huffing a hoot on the streetcorner will either smile and pass you by, or stop and ask if they might trouble you for a hit. Spending less time worrying about fear has allowed us greater perspective and liberty of consideration regarding our habits. And this helps us control our behavior and our consumption.
Addictive drugs? A little stickier. In ten years in I've only seen one hard intervention, and that was for Valium. The casualties of my time are restricted to meth and heroin, and no overdoses. These casualties are the results of the environment of use; a friend died "working" for methamphetamine, and an acquaintance succumbed to AIDS. Kym shouldn't have had to spread herself so thin for a stigmatized habit, and Cue shouldn't have ... well, the AIDS death is a testament to the need for needle exchanges in the current environment. Oh, that's right--believe it or not, I have had a leather jacket stolen by an addict to pay for meth, but I'd forgotten over time, since I was stoned at the time (and for much the intervening period), and that's actually not a joke. But my experience among the addictive drug users is that much of what's wrong can be more easily addressed and remedied in a more open environment.
Given the use trends of drugs like PCP, though, I think "legalization" would actually work toward the reduction of certain fringe-drug trends. Inhalant use would decline, as marijuana became more affordable, and these useless users would be just as useless, only less prone to dangerous freak-outs. Availability of coca leaf would have marked effect on the cocaine market; we would see a reduction in escalated cocaine use in favor of a consistent leaf-habit. The benefit we get from heroin decrim would be much as we would see in the crack portion of the cocaine market: a more open environment in which addicts can get help, and in which families can intervene on firmer, more honest footing. This way, as well, those unscrupulous persons who choose to maintain black-market ways, say crack-pimps, can spend the appropriate amount of time in prison for making whores out of teenagers, instead of turning back out to the street so they can lock up another deadhead.
And yet I ramble on .... The quick recap, of course:
* Drugs is too broad a paradigm, as each "drug" is quite different.
* Bearing that in mind, Legalization is too broad a paradigm, as it means different things for different drugs.
* Addiction and other behavior patterns are more easily controlled, modified, and manipulated in an open environment.
* I do think people should not fear legalization; many of their fears will prove either unfounded, or be realized to a degree considerably less severe than projected.
I wanted to comment, though in less rambling depth, that I agree that we may simply have seen different proportions in our results. Regarding the needles in front of your door: legalization changes the scene for the users, and street deals lose their necessity. I can in any theoretical sense promise you that such conditions would find some abatement at least, but the practical side of me says that humanity should never surprise me, so I would expect to be wrong on that. And yes, I've seen plenty of people torn down by illegal drugs. I've seen plenty of people torn down by legal drugs. And gambling (even the lottery). Marriage. Athletic ambition. Sports fanhood. For everyone down in the gutter of what they do, it's largely a matter of education. A guy who beats his wife sober is no better than a man who does it drunk, or on glue, or whatnot. I tend to think that by freeing the pressure that clamps against our vices, our vices will tend to be less obsessive. Since they are, after all, vices, dwelling on them only seems to exacerbate addictive and compulsive vices. I once invoked the idea of destigmatizing sexuality, since my observational experience is that a good amount of the psychological damage I observed among my friends in high school who learned the meaning of the word "rape" firsthand comes from puritanical reservations about sex. Perhaps the most harrowing of these moments, which I've recalled before, is the idea of a young woman crying in your arms because she wasn't a virgin the first time you were together; I'm ashamed of the weight I learned to put on sexuality, and while I still feel I answered "correctly" for the situation, I would feel much more comfortable giving that answer from my contemporary perspective. The parallel I'm reaching for here has to do with the stigma of drugs and how the users behave when they are conscious of that condemnation. It polarizes the issues, adds the weight of guilt and considerations that need not be there. (I am not after a trauma or experiential comparison 'twixt drugs and forceful sex ... there is no relevant connection that I can see.) Such unnecessary issues are distractions from the true focus; okay, there's a nearly-relevant yet tenuous connection: I could have done much more for the young lady of my sordid example had at least one of us been free of that stigmata; likewise, I would assert that both the junkie and the rehab specialist would benefit from clearing the air of criminal insinuations and the environmental pressures perceived being A) an addict, and B) a felon. Yes, it's a risky parallel, but I'm willing to stand on it for now. Something about depth, though ....
And I won't assert that "these things won't happen"; part of what we hold against drug users--and feel justified in that condemnation for the illegality of the drugs--includes behaviors that, while not necessarily acceptable, we overlook in "legal" drugs. If I'm irritable about my legal habit--nicotine--people will call me on it; not for the benefit of my health, but because I'm just another nicotine addict who happens to be annoying them. If someone is just as annoying about their morning cup of joe, people generally don't call you out for that. In the same sense, the behavior of those using illegal drugs is subject to a more judgemental scrutiny than those using legal drugs. If one is loud and obnoxious, sure, another might call the police. If one is loud and drunk, though, as opposed to loud and high? ("... and he's on drugs!") And how much easier would those calls be to handle? ("Are you drunk, sir?" No. As opposed to: "Are you cranked up, sir?" You don't have probable cause to be asking that! In this sense, we clear up the idea of where one officer's duty ends and his next begins. Given that, in some states, a field sobriety test requires an attorney's presence, we might wonder at whether or not police should be asking someone under a noise complaint whether or not they're doing anything illegal, since denial can be used to establish cause. The whole issue goes out the window, and the cops are able to better mediate whatever dispute is involved. But the general discourtesy of an illegal drug user meets less social forgiveness than the equivalent of a "legal" drug user, and this is something that I feel would be of benefit if society got over it.
They'll just find more illicit things to deal in. Part of what makes them appealing is the idea that they are illegal. I truly don't think this will be as big a problem in the removed aspect of this specific citation. Part of it is that at some point, the substances that get you high by damaging you will eventually destroy you. Not like heroin, mind you, but by the simple nature of the immediate chemical reaction. Soon enough, we'll be using electronics to benefit our brains, and it would seem rather stupid if one was only allowed by law to enhance themselves in a utilitarian manner, and not in a perceptive or even entertaining manner.
But people who jump off bridges and ride bicycles down the face of mountains do it for "the high" it creates. On the one hand, it is statistically safer, but how many of those "facing death on a bicycle moments" are really facing death? Yes, these people are producing their own high, but it does speak to dangerous things people will do to create an altered state of mind.
Okay, I'm officially wandering and repeating myself unnecessarily, I think. That's what happens when I spend the morning writing on breaks instead of blowing off portions of the day. C'est la vie, or something to that effect. But, yeah ... that's my soapbox.
Yes, I have heard of flashbacks and personally know someone who still experiences them. He had been an acid head. What's really funny is when you set the pointer on his computer to show trails. He usually wigs out for a moment or two. This isn't as cruel as it sounds. He thinks it's pretty funny.
Tiassa- I would like to draw one major distinction between alcohol and marijuana. If I'm sitting next to somebody who has had too much to drink, the most that happens is I smell it. If I'm sitting next to someone who is smoking a joint, not only do I smell it, but I get a nice dosage of the part that gets you high, even if I don't want to get high myself. If I am in a situation where simply getting away from the person is not possible, say in an assigned-seating situation, and assuming this person is of the "everybody must get stoned" attitude, where do his or her rights end and mine begin? Cigarette smoke may be as invasive, but at least it won't impair me except to make me cough a couple of times. I do believe that cigarette smoke even contains fewer carcinogens than marijuana smoke. I'll check my sources on that.
It is a sticky set of considerations that come with smoking pot in public. The law has actually become among the least of my immediate concerns. It becomes a secondary concern to offending someone who might actually call the cops down to haul you away. But one does receive a sense of courage at, say, a Phish show, when the wave of smoke pours over the top of the amphitheater rim and nobody's complaining because it has become "part of the show"--the shoe is, so to speak, on the other foot in the sense that those who don't smoke pot are expected to expect copious clouds of the stuff. Down in the General Admission at most large concerts I go to, you're more prone to draw envy than spite. I've even been in a number of bars that let it go on in modest amounts because they're neighborhood bars, nobody ever fights anyway (as if a stoner's going to brawl ...), and very few people are actually driving home. There have been jazz clubs where rooms have been designed to maximize the pleasures of pot, and which make it rather easy to sneak a toke.
To the other, there are bars I won't even carry the stuff into: it's a matter of who's where and how they feel about it. In Oregon, I came up drinking in strip clubs; I never carried in there since the state was itching for a shot to harass these clubs. But it is a matter of knowing what you can get away with, and always staying a certain degree shy of that line.
The word "normalization" keeps popping into my head, and I'm not sure why or in what context. I'm sure it will occur to me eventually, so I'll wait until to dredge up those ideas.
09-06-01, 12:37 PM
Maybe Normalization starts when other people, exept the weed smokers, do not have difficulties anymore with the smoking of it in public.
Don't see the problem, you don't hurt any one if you are smoking outside.
Normalization starts when people who are in pain and have weed to stop the pain, dare to say in public they have weed for the pain, without feeling uneasy, because they use weed.
Normalization starts when the public exepts weed as being a pain killer and a good smoke.
No fighting if there are only people smoking weed.
It is not like alcohol. That's what most people get agressive of, alcohol. And that you can drink as much as you want for it is an allowed drug. It is more bad for your brain and the rest of your body, so maybe people have to start and think good about this weed 'problem', for it is no problem......Maybe it is a solution......
it seems to me the problem with the drugwar and public awareness is education,the american public(can't really speak for the uk or rest of the world) has been horribly miseducated about drugs from the very beginning hell our founding fathers wrote the constituion on hemp paper,and grew fields of hemp as a cash crop,the american school system and government have been feeding anti-drug propaganda to the public since the turn of the 19th century mainly the excuse the government had to making marijuana in particular illegal was mexican immigrants during the depression were coming in from mexico looking for work,these workers brought with them the tradition of smoking marijuana with them from mexico,that and some other factors of the cotton industry trying to get a hand in where the hemp industry was doing business(hemp was used during ww2 to produce parachutes and other necessities for the war),the cotton businesses basically struck a deal and bought out some govt officials and as you know money greases the wheels of any controlling party.also marijuana was used alot in speak easy's and jazz bars where whites and blacks were mingling together and at the time racial harmony wasn't exactly on the agenda,so marijuana in particular has never been proven to be as harmful as the government would lead you believe infact several medical journals as of lately has disproven most of the 'facts' the government has about marijuana.the bottom line is people need to educate themselfs about what is dangerous and whats not you can't live your life by the advice of other people,the government once considered slavery humane because after blacks weren't as human as whites,so before you believe everything you've been told,open your mind look at the world and question EVERYTHING
also for more information about drugs and the war on drugs check out
09-07-01, 04:23 AM
Tshort, you said that well
May peace be on your way
You understand the whole thing.....
To defend alcohol in regards to a common misperception, alcohol does not induce violence. Alcohol lowers inhibitions. Most of the drunks I have known want nothing more than a good time. I drink. On the occassions when I get plastered I find that I am less offended by anyone's snide remarks about me or anybody I'm with. Normally, I'd knock the block off of anybody who came around spoiling for a fight. When I'm 8 sheets to the wind I usually just raise my glass and say something like "Yeah, I remember my first beer." (Dang! I quote Robin Williams when I'm drunk? I must have been wasted!)
Keeping the subject on marijuana, it's not an innocent substance. As I said, the smoke from marijuana has a substantially greater amount of carcinogens than the smoke from the much-villified cigarette. Neither one is a good thing to use if you're pregnant. Marijuana is not a health food. (Put down that brownie. :))
Marijuana, however, is not "the most violence-inducing drug in America". This was a quote in a Wm. Hearst newspaper. Hearst had every reason to begin spreading nasty rumors about pot. Hearst controlled lumber mills that were producing paper. All of his newspapers were printed on paper made from trees. He didn't control any hemp fields. His competition was printing on paper made from hemp plants. His competition made many other things from hemp. They were of a higher quality. Hearst's big friend, Dupont, was trying to push its plastic lanyard as an alternative to natural rope. Hemp rope was outselling it like crazy. Hearst, therefore, started playing up hemp like it was the driving force behind all of the evil in the world. Because he controlled so many newspapers, he was able to effectivley use a tactic employed successfully in Europe by Dr. Paul Josef Goebbels:
The big lie, repeated often enough, becomes the truth. Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public's ignorance of the substance coupled with their (by modern standards) staggering lack of healthy cynicism, made them pigeons ready for plucking by the self-serving Hearst. "They can't put it in the papers if it's not true." There was even an episode of "Dragnet" where one kid snuck a joint into a theater and sparked up, which drove the other patrons in the theater into a wild, uncontrollable frenzy. Hey, if you can't trust Sgt. Friday, who can you trust?
Of course, with marijuana "obviously" at the root of all this violence and discord in America (What? PTSD from WW2 and Korea? Don't be silly. Our boys weren't screwed up by the war. They came back as healthy, happy heroes and resumed their places as productive, well-adjusted members of society. Besides, as real men, they could handle it.) all that had to be done was to lump it inextricably with the worse stuff in the minds of the public and voila!, Hearst no longer has any competition to worry about.
Kinda makes Bill Gates look like a cherub, doesn't it?
09-09-01, 05:12 AM
This sounds like the America I hate............
Can't you see people do believe what others write down. And because it is an important figure, it has to be true.
There are pro's and con's to alcohol and weed, Every thing has a negative side if you let that happen. Most of the times you have to teach yourself to use it well. Sometimes you loose and it becomes a great problem.
But that is with every drug, even the sleeping pills you get from your doctor. That can be an addiction too. And a lot of people who have to say the most rotten things about weed, use this sleeping-, or calm down pills, which are far more addictive then weed is.
And so we can go on, and they stay the same narrow-minded persons who doesn't want to hear that they are addicted to their pills. Because that ones, you have gotten for free, from the doctor, so it is ok.
It is not. They are all liars, they do not want to know, so they do not have to think about that.
Crazy people....refuse to think, but judging every one who smokes marijuana.
Even free speech and the right to self-government has a negative side. But do the negative points outweigh the positive points, or vice-versa? And if there is a negative side to certain activities, does thefact that someone practices them involve the experience intruding on the life of someone who doesn't want to (i.e., a contact high, getting hit by a drunk driver, etc.)
I don't see very many positive things about, say, bungee jumping. I've never done it, and I don't care to put myself through that level of stress just for a rush. (Of course, if I ever worked up the nerve to try it, I might change my tune.) But I don't condemn bungee-jumping because the activity itself only involves the person doing the jumping. Now, if bungee-jumpers were in the habit of grabbing the nearest observer and taking them on the jump with them whether they wanted to go or not, then I'd be justified in condemning the activity. Fortunately, I don't know of any bungee-jumpers who are in that habit.
No offense to any bungee-jumpers out there. Just don't do like this one guy did and use 60' of bungee for a 75' drop.
* As I said, the smoke from marijuana has a substantially greater amount of carcinogens than the smoke from the much-villified cigarette. (9/8/2001)
* I do believe that cigarette smoke even contains fewer carcinogens than marijuana smoke. I'll check my sources on that. (9/5/2001)I'm inclined to ask if you found your source on that one; the only reason I'm picky on this point is twofold. First, a 1972 Bureau of Narcotics report to Congress documented little carcinogenic effect in marijuana and went so far as to include anecdotal data of Jamaican men who claimed to smoke marijuana all their lives without severe lung damage. By severe, we can suggest that the hardest of pot smokers face possible emphysema. The study downplayed the health risk compared to other, everyday habits of Americans (diet, &c).
Secondly, I have seen reports which note the presence of "potentially carcinogenic" substances in marijuana. Now, nobody's going to be so presumptuous and preposterous as to suggest that setting something on fire and inhaling it isn't unhealthy, but the presence of substances thought to be possibly carcinogenic, in uncertain quantities leaves many questions to be answered. Are the compounds themselves carcinogenic, or only in combination with other chemicals? Do any of those combinations exist? What is the proper balance that creates the carcinogenic effect, and does this chemical balance exist?
The '72 Bureau of Narcotics report is difficult to produce at present; I have in the past possessed a copy, but returned it to the University of Oregon library upon my departure as a matter of conscience.
What is most notable, however, is that if one looks a PDFA advocate in the eye over a report showing carcinogenic effect of marijuana and asks a simple question, the whole thing comes apart: How many of the marijuana users surveyed also smoked cigarettes? This is a vital question; marijuana has long been asserted to complicate health risks from cigarette smoking. In pursuit of the Devil's Weed, the warriors generally overlook mighty Nic.
And this leads back to another idea I've pushed here: if marijuana was legal, most people I know would eat the stuff. As I noted to Deadwood, Thanksgiving Dinner would probably run me about $700, all told.
To that end, let me note that the late Scott Cunningham, in Encyclopaedia of Magickal Herbs (it's buried in a box somewhere; full title and publication info later if necessary) notes that traditions indicate an hallucinogenic effect in bay leaf; one can, apparently, burn bay leaves, inhale the smoke, and receive "prophetic visions". You can't tell me this is any more or less healthy than smoking pot, yet nobody worries about the carcinogenic effect of bay leaves in their spaghetti sauce because it comes out when incinerated. I suggest the same of marijuana. Brownies, cookies, and the like are not the only place you can utilize it. Hemp-garlic butter is amazingly delectible, and goes well on bread, in white sauce, &c. The nutritional value of hemp is alleged to be amazing, and I apologize for not having those already-suggested statistics on hand. (DSL woes; I don't get nearly as much research time these last two weeks, so I write a little more quickly than wisdom suggests I should.) Given a free hand to learn how to cook the stuff more diversely, I doubt you'd have to put up with my secondhand smoke in public. Until then, that's me sneaking off into the shadows, guided by the beacon glow of a purple Bic disposable lighter.
I was actually going to identify the source, but when I went to put a footnote to my post doing so, I had lost the information. I will reserve comment on that subject, then, until I can point the way.
In regards to inhaling the fumes from a bay leaf as opposed to using it for cooking, well, any chef or holistic physician can tell you that it's all in how it's prepared. Cooking with alcohol won't get you drunk. Drinking it will. Snorting rosehips can't break up your bronchitis. Drinking it in a tea can.
See, there's no generalization. Nothing is all good or all bad. Cocaine is not all bad. It's use in hospitals is testimony to that. The same goes for a good number of other drugs when used in a supervised setting. What I don't believe is that legalizing them so that anybody who wants them can get them will solve anything except to get a bunch of junkies to overdose and kill themselves. Booze was a federal crime once. The Mafia moved in quickly and controlled the illegal trade. There was blood in the streets comparable to what we have now. Legalizing booze again didn't end the crime. It just moved it to a new market; drugs.
I do agree that laws that make it illegal to sensibly educate people regarding drugs is just a way of hiding our heads in the sand. The truth should be allowed to be told without propaganda from either side ("They'll make you start eating kitten brains!" or "They aren't harmful, you won't get hooked." are both a load of BS that represents the worst both sides have to offer.)
Perhaps we should, in the interest of free speech and education, find out how we go about getting such prudish sweep-it-under-the-rug-and-it'll-go-away laws repealed nationwide. We couldn't use a magazine like "High Times", since we would just be preaching to the choir. You sound pretty educated on the subject. Have you written any papers for publication?
09-11-01, 04:39 AM
Can you explain me how you can get a overdose from marijuana?
I never came to that point, most of the time I stop when I am done making them. Too much work.
The joints I mean.
How do you get an overdose from that??
09-11-01, 04:35 PM
As a long time tryptamine afficionado, I am curious to learn how to get these flashbacks that everyone assures me Iíll get. Iíve been told that tapping the base of my spine will induce them (no such luck), Iíve been told that smoking marijuana will. (alas) So how might I emulate those elusive people who have taken acid once and been sent on a permanent trip? I wouldnít, after all, mind saving the money that would otherwise be spend on LSD or psilocybin.
Overdose is simply overexposure. An overdose of TV, LSD, etc.
As far as flashbacks go, first you have to get off the stuff, then when you least expect it you have a sensual re-experience of a trip.
09-12-01, 05:59 AM
Mostly flashbacks come suddenly. I used a lot of LSD and Mescal a long time ago now. And sometimes when I smoke marijuana I get the trip back, if you can say it that way. It is nice when it comes, I like it, no problems with it.
But you don't get a whole trip back. You just feel a little 'trippy', you know what I mean??
So it doesn't come whenever you want, just now and then.
Suddenly, without warning, it happens and if you recognize the feeling, and don't freak out which some people do, then you can have a nice hour or so. But it is completely different from real tripping. A little bit, nicely deep inside, you feel it...
Let's also remember that it has a lot to do with the individual. I don't recall who, but someone on this site quite some time back had asserted that they had used cocaine but never got hooked, and from this tried to base an argument that cocaine, therefore, was really non-addictive and the government was just lying to us. I know of one person who has vivid flashbacks. Not necessarily a complete re-experience, but intense enough that he has staggered up to his friends and asked if he has taken anything.