@ryanmega on Drugs

on Drugs

 

 

There lies some innate wanting within us all to get out of our bodies. The humor is that we can’t of course, no matter how many ways we try. From the second we are birthed from the wombs of our mothers, until the day we are sewn shut in a casket, our body is all we have.   Your mind, that precious tool that separates man from beast, will fade, but as long as you have an inkling of a heartbeat or a flash of brain activity, you are alive. It’s basic, but that’s all it takes to be alive. Still, we all know that isn’t living. That’s the catch with this modern life. Things are easier than ever, considering the evolution of humanity. Nomadic tribes are dead and we all pay taxes. Our survival is only challenged by our fellow man; man versus nature has been supplanted with man versus self.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still places in the world where survival is dependent on hunting and gathering, of course. But for the rest of us, there is a false certainty that tomorrow will come and be just as easy today. That’s why we invest in stocks, and vote in elections, and try to make the world better. And when you just can’t deal with trying, when you tire from the monotony of a life too safe or certain, you escape the way most people with too much time on their hands do – by using recreational drugs.

Don’t go thinking just because you don’t shoot a needle in your arm or support Marlboro, you aren’t a drug addict. We all get outside of ourselves somehow. What’s your therapy? There is a chance that your drug of choice is just as dangerous for your mind, if not on your body.  Is it sex? Gambling? Shopping? Cursing even? Neurologists have long detected different parts of the brain that influence addictive behaviors. Whether that behavior is expressed by shopping or smoking is definitely of huge merit, but that difference is far more miniscule than the similarities in our brain functions when expressing these behaviors. The brainwaves on the junkie about to score mimic that of the shoe addict when she sees a sale and the addiction and relapse cycles are the same, sans the few drugs that have dramatic physical withdrawals.  We all know some chick with $10,000 in shoe debt because she just can’t get enough Sex and the City style points.  We are more the same than we have ever been, and the huge majority of us don’t shop addictively. We just like to get fucked up from time to time.

But, alas, the reality is its all fun and games until you’re in a back alley sucking a dick to support that addiction. And no one has ever sucked a dick for video game addiction.  So kids, where did we go wrong? Where did we stop choosing safe avenues for escape and start shooting up and snorting up and smoking up everything in our kitchen cabinets? When did peaceful meditation cease to be enough? So many people risk their entire lives by getting involved with known debilitants; it’s safe to wonder who hasn’t tried something to take the edge off at least once.

As it stands, it seems there was never a time when peaceful meditation was enough. Let’s go back to that magical time before drugs were illegal. You’ll find we don’t have to travel far. For your information, Sharia law forbade alcoholic intake, and that is known as the first drug law recorded. That means people were definitely getting fucked up on alcohol long before Muhammad wrote the Koran, or Jesus turned water into wine. As it stands, that didn’t stop the world, including some Muslim nations, from getting throwed on the good water. What one society deemed as a sin (Christians hated weed, loved booze), another deemed heavenly (Muslims loved hashish, hated booze). Your people knew how to get fucked up, if only to numb the pain of caveman surgery or death. Drug laws were likely always around, but also quite varying. There was probably some village elder who wanted the young to avoid peyote and others who forced it upon the young in coming of age rituals. There is no reason to most drug laws. Did you know that coffee was almost illegal in Europe? Well it was viewed as a narcotic in 17th century Europe, not because of the effects but chiefly because it came from Ethiopia, some might argue. Let’s not forget that little war the British started nearly 200 years ago, to protect their drug trade interests in China, where drug reform became a necessity due to the abundant use of opium.

 

 

 

The first drug laws in America were also to prohibit opium use. While vice taxes carried over from England as tradition in colonial America, San Francisco was the first to enact an ordinance in 1875 and it targeted Chinese immigrants specifically. While it didn’t outlaw opium ingested, it outlawed the smoking of opium, which was common to the local immigrant population only. The laws were as absurd as the modern notion of cocaine and crack dealers being punished at 1:6 ratios for the same narcotic.  A few decades after these codes were used in San Francisco, the Harrison Act was ratified to regulate the sale of cocaine and opiates nationally. As a result, restrictions were put on doctors acting as drug dealers, who at the turn of the 20th century were more alchemist than MD, mixing concoctions and potions with opiates and cocaine for their addicted patients. These same doctors were now prohibited from prescribing any illegal narcotic to a patient, even in the course of treatment for addiction.  It’s no surprise that the rise of cocaine and heroin crime worlds in America took place after the ban on its prescription by educated physicians.   We all know the results of the decade long ban on alcohol in America (and Boardwalk Empire fans are more the happier for it). There would be more insane laws to come, as the time of Harry Anslinger, FBN Chief was dawning. If you don’t know him, he’s the guy behind the marijuana propaganda of the 1930s and the reason the drug is illegal now. The Marijuana Tax Act wasn’t enough. Anslinger’s suggestion that marijuana caused insanity, murder, and rape was the lie projected to harass and arrest the new black aristocracy in places like Harlem and Chicago, where jazz, business, and culture were cannoned by the people who immigrated from the south during the first great migration, and Mexican migrants who stayed in the burgeoning southwest US, bringing their barrio boy habit of smoking grass. Of course, people still did drugs and white men still went to Harlem to score heroin away from their judging fathers, and Allen Ginsberg still wrote Howl, and a huge minority of people refused to give in to this false stigma put on by the government. This beat generation carried on for a few decades before the government decided to just make marijuana illegal and convict the drugs users, the hippies. By the time Richard Nixon was done with the drug laws in America, the suffering of prohibition was not taxation, but criminalization. Rockefeller drug laws and mandatory sentences for drug convictions were enacted in many states and the industrial prison population was born.

These are the facts. Everything else will be subjective, but the evidence is astounding as to why we have drug laws in the first place. There is no such thing as a War on Drugs. Do not believe that you can ever go to war with an inanimate object.  In order to understand my opinion on drugs and drug users, you must know that I denounce all drug laws for the racist undertones in most of the laws created. More importantly, as a blibertarian (black libertarian) I think you should be able to do your body whatever you like, whether that is tattoos, injections, gerbils in the ass, or slit wrists. Drug laws should involve zoning and taxation at best.  While there is always a need to regulate drugs (think- Coca Cola had real cocaine in it and was advertised for pregnant women to use), there should never be an all-out ban or criminalization.

Imagine you are a hungry caveman or cavewoman walking in the forest, and you eat bad fruit but didn’t know it was a hallucinogen. Is it your fault? What if you enjoy it so much, you decide to gather the fruit and use it again? What if you need the fruit to ease the pain of a fucking saber tooth tiger bite? What harm does it do to me for you to use the fruit in the privacy of your own cave? If I decide that they are a detriment to society, how could I possible eradicate all the fruits of this nature from earth, and would there be another way to prevent the fall of society without killing all the fruit or putting you in jail? This seems to be the only logical way to approach drug prohibition, because in the end, the drugs that people use are born in nature and have been used by humans since the dawn of time but we are locking people up for wanting to do something that is totally natural – get fucked up. At what point in the conversation does it become okay to lock away a person for a drug that they didn’t make or sell? How do you justify taking a life, imprisonment for a drug that couldn’t kill a life? This is why I think current drug laws are absurd. We chose to regulate the drug so we can regulate the users (Chinese immigrants, pregnant and lonely housewives overdosing on doc’s #2, African emigrants, and Mexican migrant workers) – no other reason at all.

Here’s another absurdity of our drug law. Marijuana can’t kill you. Let’s argue it can somehow though. I know it can’t, but I will just for the sake of arguing. Imagine how many people die each year because of drunk drivers and if you think driving high on weed is akin to driving drunk, which I know isn’t the same, lets concede that marijuana may have led to 10,000 deaths last year (though you are more likely to read about a drunk driver killing someone. I have yet to see a headline that says super stoned driver mows down a preschooler). Now when you consider how many people have died because of liver diseases caused by alcohol, as well as the number of violent incidents associated with alcohol that don’t lead to death (rape, domestic violence, Lil Jon songs), it’d be easy to argue that maybe the Budweiser man at the ball park should be carrying primo weed rolled in Garcia Vegas instead.  What about prescription pills? Heath Ledger. Anna Nicole Smith. Michael Jackson. But Snoop and Wiz Khalifa are still smoking. Cigarettes kill 100,000 each year and cause a lot more damage and medical bills due the damage on the heart and lungs.  If you smoke cigarettes, you ingest toxins and bleach that cigarette makers add to flavor and lessen the harsh taste of raw tobacco. These chemicals are known to cause cancerous growths in mice. Check the stats. You can do the math.

You can see the hypocrisy of US drug laws in the difference in actual differences in the two plants – marijuana and tobacco. Weed is ingested as it comes from the earth. In fact, the purer the weed the better. The stronger the strand, the less ingestion you need, so the less your lungs are effected by smoke (emphysema at worst). Weed is natural and tastes good in a brownie, unlike tobacco. If anything should be illegal, its tobacco. It’s horrible unless you’re addicted to them. The only reason that cigarettes are legal is because the federal government has a tobacco lobby whose coffers supported the imperial campaigns waged by our government since the start of the 20th century. Who smokes more cigs than a former British or American colony and what’s more all American than a Marlboro?

Imagine if cigarettes became illegal to sell, make, or use tomorrow. Would you want to convict the people who stashed cartons today and parceled them to friends in need of a quick fix? What if homeowners started growing small patches of swag tobacco on collective property? Should the feds raid the home and shut it down?  If you know a cigarette smoker like I do, you definitely know their addiction. They smell like shit. Their teeth and fingers are stained. They have holes in their clothes. They are always trying to bum one from you. They huddle in dark alleys and entryways in the dead of winter for one hit. And with each hit, they know they are killing themselves. But still we have love for these addicts. Why not the rest?

                 “All of my heroes did dope”

-Andre “3000” Benjamin

Everybody has their something. I doubt the Amish or any other holy tribe can avoid the worldly temptations of pharmaceuticals and narcotics. What’s aspirin to a bad back – drugs muthafucka! Drugs. The addicted are friends, family, and the famous fucks whose debacles we follow. To think drugs were once taboo in Hollywood. We attack regular people who dabble but we encourage it on celebrities. We cheer for sex, drugs, and rock and roll, until it’s in the room next door, coked out, playing White Snake at full blast round midnight.  I’ll share a few dozen names of famous people who have died from drugs.  Each of their lives is romanticized by their deaths, to the point that their lives have been glamourized by our infatuation with famous drug abusers. They are the scapegoat for those afraid to admit the people like to get fucked up.

Jean Michael Basquiat – Heroin. John Belushi – Speedball. Len Bias – Cocaine. Bam Bam Bigelow – Cocaine and Anxiolytic. Lenny Bruce – Morphine.  Pimp C – Codeine and Promethazine.  Ryan Dunn – Alcohol. Chris Farley – Coke and Morphine. DJ AM – Oxycontin, Coke, Hydrocodone Dramine.  Brynn Hartman (killed husband Phil Hartman ) – Zoloft, Cocaine, and Alcohol . Jimi Hendrix – Barbiturates and Alcohol. Billie Holiday – Alcoholism. Shannon Hoon – Cocaine. Whitney Houston – Cocaine, Marijuana, Benadryl, Xanax, and Florlax. Michael Jackson – Proposal and Lorazapram.  Old Dirty Bastard – Cocaine and Tramadol. Frankie Lymon – Heroin. Anna Nicole Smith – Chloral Hydrate and Benzodiazepine. Billie Mays – Cocaine. Marilyn Monroe – Barbiturates. Chris Penn – Codeine. River Phoenix – Heroin. Elvis Codeine and Barbiturates. Britney Murphy – Hydrocodone and Flu Medicine. Jim Morrison – Heroin. Janis Joplin- Heroin. Bradley Nowell (Sublime) – Heroin. Harold Hunter (Skater) – Cocaine. Ike Turner – Cocaine. David Ruffin – Cocaine. Sid Vicious – Heroin. (Ed. Note: Nobody dies from marijuana.)

 

 

The list above is not fair to the individual’s circumstances of course, but it shows the frequency with the number of famous deaths due to drugs. These are not even half of the celebrities I could have named. These are the ones whose deaths I noticed, the once who made me say, “I don’t want to fuck with that drug.” Yes. Dead drug addled Hollywood role models get me to sober up. So when we have these deaths’ what do we do? We romanticize the fame and talk about how we knew this would happen, but never do we stop and check the drugs that were responsible. Michael Jackson’s doctor went to jail so people would never have to hear about the drug that killed him. Can’t taint the brand name. These drugs companies are putting up billions to stay legal despite the results on rats. There is no way you can beat that if the government won’t even concede a failed “drug war”. One day, you might vote for a balanced drug law in America. But you can change your mind about the drug war today. Stop blaming the victim and start to identify what the true issue is. We simply have no control on drugs.

 

 

I think the only way to view drugs is the effect. How much does it cost the society? Weigh that, sprinkle some taxation with the legislation, and make a law. I am not sure if cigarettes are the worst drug in the world, but the argument is that they cost a lot of fucking money to keep legal.

 

These are the numbers from drugwarfacts.org:

Cause of death (Data from 2009 unless otherwise noted)1

Number

All Causes

2,437,163

Diseases of Heart

599,413

Malignant Neoplasms

567,628

Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases

137,353

Cerebrovascular Diseases

128,842

Lack of Health Insurance3 (2005)

44,789

Poisoning

41,592

Drug-Induced2

39,147

Intentional Self-Harm (Suicide)

36,909

Septicemia

35,639

Motor Vehicle Accidents

34,485

Firearm Injuries

31,347

Alcohol-Induced

24,518

Illicit Drugs (2000)

17,0004

Homicide

16,799

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

9,406

Viral hepatitis

7,694

Cannabis (Marijuana)

0

 

The current criminal code doesn’t mirror these stats of course.  The damage on the body is what’s missing. As long as the facts about the effects on drugs don’t become public, people will continue the bamboozling from what they don’t know. This is why marijuana has been viewed differently and legalized recently – because people know the truth about it. It doesn’t harm you like Nancy Reagan said it would. The CDC doesn’t care to do any studies on any drugs that aren’t going for patent though, so unless Pfizer or Merck get behind it, the feds aren’t wasting time with research to make the policies fair.

 

I say all of that to say this. It’s about me and you. It’s not about the twisted as federal government, or the president raiding dispensaries. It’s not about college girls on Adderall having the best spring break ever before one of them ODs. It’s not about the Hollywood actor doing coke on TMZ. It’s about me and you. When I see you, will I look you in the eye or turn away because I know you were once a victim to drug abuse. Will you make judgment on me before you see my pupils are not dilated? There are many different drugs, intoxicants, and addictions that we all can fall victim to. Accept this and find a way to educate people about the real dangers of drugs, financially, physically and then, prove the seriousness of it by enacting fair laws and investing more into rehab then prison.  Some drugs will kill you We should stop pretending that all drugs are the same and then maybe we can begin to treat their addictions differently, instead of putting all addicts together in some false sense of rectifying the issue.

 

 

 

 

 

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