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January 08 2011

The Real Gateway Drug

high_times_encyclopedia_recreational_drugs.jpgWhen I was a teenager one of my friends had a subscription to High Times Magazine and back then, as a bonus, he received "The Encyclopedia of Recreational Drugs" which we used to marvel at and brashly proclaim

"Oh such little time, and so many substance to try"
- keep in mind that we were young and reckless, LSD and cocaine was prevalent, as were magic mushrooms, speed and MDA were occasionally around and of course lot's of weed, hash and hash-oil. Personally I was not attracted to any synthetic drug. I always felt that my group were spoiled in the selection of recreational drugs available to us but mostly all we did was smoke weed and drink beer. I managed to experiment with Peyote, which intrigued me because I'd been reading Carlos Castaneda back in the 80's and then happened to meet a Dude in a pipeline construction camp, while I was working inside the Arctic Circle, who had a stash of Peyote buttons, real true mescaline, what an experience that was, I'll never forget it. Then not long after that I left Canada for Australia and traveled through South East Asia where I experimented a little with opium, and smoked more great weed. Once I arrived in Australia I discovered that there was heroine but aside from smoking a few puffs through a bic pen (tube), which was interesting, I never had the desire to inject it but I was well aware of it's effect

Over the years I've witnessed a major shift in the mindset of young people when it comes to recreational drugs. I pride myself on remaining up-to-date with the trends in our society. Hanging out with hip people all over the world, and having lived on both coasts of the USA, I've been back-stage, in the back-rooms and in the limos with the movers and shakers of popular culture. I am qualified to know a thing or two about the modern-day use of recreational drugs. The pusher today is big-pharm, the drug of choice comes in a pill, and kids know how to use a combination of these potent pharmaceuticals like a simple recipe but the gateway drug, now more than ever is alcohol. As much as things change, some things remain the same, such as an otherwise honor roll student, losing their sensibility and suffering a momentary lapse of judgement and making a stupid mistake, by putting a harmless-looking little pill in their mouth, or getting in the car with the cool kids outside the party, it always happens much, much easier, after a few drinks.

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Maybe this has been said a thousand times and stated in a thousand different ways but there is no comparison in the dangers of marijuana, compared to alcohol, so I'll try it again, and make this statement one thousand and one:

marijuana reduces the risk of danger to young people - alcohol is the true gateway drug
One of the things that prompted me to write this article was televised statements from Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske related to the release of a major study last month, by the office of National Drug Policy Control in which he talks about the rise in the number of young people admitting to smoking marijuana, which he blames on the medical marijuana movement. He is so upside down as to be out of touch with reality. And on a side note I think that he's been wrongly nick-named and Drug Czar should be changed to Drug Warlord. However, the point is that the real problem is much different than what we're told and his statement is completely bogus but Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML already identified the SPIN and sets the record straight on his blog and then again on theHill.com.

drugs_graph.gif

There were two other reasons I decided to write this piece, which has accidentally turned into a rant. One of this blogs readers asked if I could mention how out-of-control modern day pharmaceutical drug addiction has gotten, specifically how today's teenagers are getting addicted to pills and how epidemic this problem is. This particular reader is of the belief, as am I, that cannabis may actually hold the key to combating this problem. The other reason for my writing this article was for a family from a very wealthy community in South Florida, good friends, who have suffered so terribly and now recovering from having their family torn to pieces by an Oxy abuse problem with their teenage son, whom they save through intervention. I witnessed first-hand the psychological scars on the family as well as the damaged attitude of the youth, it was scary. Another friend from Las Vegas wasn't as lucky and his son crashed his BMW at high speed, taking with him his life and those of 2 passengers and left behind massive tragedy.

The last time I heard, the family from South Florida have managed to save the sanity of their son and keep the family together but they have become so convinced about the promise of marijuana in changing or at least addressing the huge problem of designer drug abuse that they've decided to sell their house in Florida and are looking to buy a Marijuana Dispensary in California and they don't even smoke weed.

December 14 2010

That Dirty White Flake

cocaine_debate.jpgI never wanted to publish the word cocaine on this blog and always avoided writing about the dirty white flake but how could a modern-day story be told, honestly, and have pertinent details be omitted? How would I be able to honestly tell the story of the people I've met and the places I've been if I omitted the details about the substances they were abusing? Does that make me a bad person, or for that matter them? Would I be guilty just by association? Could Hollywood portray a story about a bachelor party, for example, without the characters carving-out lines on a mirror. How about the stereo type of the party-girl in the bathroom at the nightclub? Popular culture is filled with references to the white powder and how many movies have featured the inner-city black dude who rises and falls as the purveyor of the stinky rock? The reason these stories have been told over and over is because our culture is completely saturated with cocaine, if we were using cancer as a comparison we'd be diagnosed at level 4 and talking about the term metastasis, meaning that it's beyond malignant and moved to other parts of the body.

The worst drugs are as bad as anybody's told you. It's just a dumb trip, which I can't condemn people if they get into it, because one gets into it for one's own personal, social, emotional reasons. It's something to be avoided if one can help it. ~ John Lennon

In the past few years I've traveled to major cities on 3 continents and seen pretty much the same signs in all of them - crack-blight. The other day I saw a photo of a pregnant woman from my city, Sao Paulo, smoking crack in an area of the city called Cracklandia - see what I mean about metastasis? The poor people here can afford to smoke the rock in the ghetto but have no shoes, what's with that? Now I know I once stated that I didn't want this blog to turn into a drug war rant but last night I watched the John Lennon documentary and couldn't stop thinking about his efforts to change the way we think about peace, he definitely made a difference, even though it wasn't overnight. I think John would have loved the Internet because it enables people to work on causes in an intellectual, peaceful way, which shouldn't be entirely offensive to the masses, or attract radicals. Therefore I'm going to suggest we give peace a chance and try a new method of dealing with drug abuse, since war doesn't seem to work....

One thing I believe is that cannabis can be used to solve addiction problems, of all kinds, from all substances. The magical green herb can be especially effective to combat the dirty white flake. It's shameful how little is being spent to study this method, and yet lot's of people know it to be true. It's even more shameful how much money is spent on addiction treatment in comparison to how much is spent on eradication or law enforcement. So I guess I've had my little rant and in case you're wondering why the expression "dirty?" it's because of all the blood stains.

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