The Low Down on Getting High

I often find myself wondering about drug laws because there doesn’t seem to be any real rhyme or reason to them. Some potentially harmful synthetic drugs are regulated and sold as medicine, while other more natural and less harmful ones remain illegal. Alcohol is legal as long as you meet the age requirement, don’t drive with it, and purchase it at the correct locations between the correct times as county laws dictate. But, if you go through the correct channels, there is a veritable buffet of prescription medications that can do everything from taking away a headache to creating a terrifyingly massive erection. There are also a number of, completely legal, store bought items that can get you loaded. A balloon full of nitrous oxide will get you feeling great for a few minutes and, I’m told, computer duster will put you on Neptune for brief periods of time. You can even soak a rag in varnish and just go to huff city until you piss yourself and slip into a coma, and the police can’t do a thing about it. Honestly, if you think creatively, just about anything can get you so high that only dogs can hear you. Take a look around, what constitutes a drug is only limited by your own imagination.

That’s kind of why I get so confused about marijuana. We already have drugs that act as painkillers that come with a warning label, why not try one without? Marijuana has been proven to alleviate pain and is practically impossible to overdose on. I could go take a bottle of Tylenol, hop in the bathtub and be dead in a few hours. If I tried that by eating a dozen pot brownies, I’d just end up talking about the exceptionally intense and weird night I spent in the bathtub and how much extra sleep I got. The chances of something terrible happening seem pretty negligible.

I don’t really use marijuana, mostly due to its ever fluxing legality, but I’m aware that the science seems to point to it being a viable solution to a lot of physical and mental ailments. I had two friends that both suffered from schizophrenia and both claimed that smoking pot was one of the best ways to suppress their anxiety, stabilize their mood and prevent an undesirable episode. Sure, there are plenty of people out there getting high just for the sake of getting high. They range from everyday people seeking a recreational activity to these dusty and musty underachievers who just want to watch bad television, eat cheese puffs and feel good all day. Both of these types of people exist in, and out, of the drug culture though. So why do we care if someone is smoking weed all day? I would be content to live in a world where we could continually  dislike something without imposing some kind of rule that stopped everyone else from doing it. If someone wants to enjoy a drink after work, that’s fine. If someone wants to smoke crack until they look like they could host Tales from the Crypt, that’s their business too. We should be offering help, not giving people a criminal record so they can be guaranteed a future of difficulty in finding a good job and achieving a fulfilling life.

How can we have freedom of religion and freedom of speech without also having the freedom of substances and our own bodies? People across the country are angry because other people are trying to regulate their food choices. They are outraged and fighting against the guidelines restricting the use of trans-fat and sugar, and why shouldn’t they be? It should be your right to fill your body with garbage if you want to. It is definitely against someone’s best interest to binge on crystal meth but putting them into jail for possession isn’t helping them out. It’s just ensuring that their life is ruined for the long term. With background and credit checks, you can’t afford to stray too far out of the guidelines set by society. It’s sort of strange because, the more you think about it, the more pervasive and needlessly rigid it all seems.

The “because I said so” argument didn’t work on me when I was six and it isn’t going to work any better now that I am an adult. It hinges entirely on coming from a place of authority and could easily be substituted for “because I am in charge.” It’s a quick way for parents to assert dominance and maintain the status quo without offering understanding– and it works identically when issued by your government, church or school. If you have access to information (and everyone reading this does), then you can’t really accept this as a valid argument. Everything is so much more complicated than that and drugs are no exception. They don’t express a morality or have an agenda; they simply do what their chemical properties allow them to do. Stimulants offer an additional burst of energy and the focus required to get much needed work finished. Opioids eliminate physical pain and relax the body. Psychedelics offer a new way to perceive reality. They give perspective and a change of venue that would be otherwise unachievable. The novelty offered by drugs can breed creativity and wisdom instead of something purely negative.

I sometimes cannot believe that I live in a country that will allow me to buy a case of Tussin DM and a handgun but not one lousy jazz cigarette. I’ll probably have a lot more fun with the guns and Tussin, but it seems strange that I can’t have a sprig of some plant to smoke. In the end, I don’t really care if I can’t purchase marijuana or have my own personal supply of Benzedrine, but I would like to understand why that choice was made for me and the reasoning behind it. We live a life that is often far removed from the decisions that have been made to shape it. People, even the really stupid ones, need to be able to make up their own minds. We should all do some serious and sober thinking about how, and if, we should be getting totally high.

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24 Responses to The Low Down on Getting High

  1. Ang says:

    Hmm. I suppose drugs are illegal because people are supposed to be productive, not jagoffs. What about those bath salts that turn people into crazy cannibals? But you make interesting points, if people want to get messed up they’re going to find a way. The problem is when it affects others in a negative way and that’s why it is regulated though it doesn’t seem to do any good huh? Interesting read. Thanks.

    • Posky says:

      Prior to 2012 Bath Salts weren’t illegal- they were entirely unregulated. Also, despite early claims, the face-eating cannibal wasn’t even on bath salts. Take a moment to read this article from Time:

      What about the numerous cases of alcohol related violence? I’m not trying to make the claim that all drugs should be made readily available, I’m trying to start a discussion that maybe our current mindset isn’t a particularly objective one. We need to talk about this rationally and consider that maybe drugs aren’t the root of a problem but they can be part of one. I want’ to be able to make up my own mind and have others do the same. We, and our government, are too easily swayed by sensationalist media and smooth talking lobbyists. I people to have a real discussion for once.

      • Ang says:

        Oh, I wasn’t disagreeing with you. Your post was really thought provoking and made me look at drug use in a way I hadn’t before. I guess if my concern is for my kids I have to impress upon them to stay away the same way I do for alcohol. I was just commenting on the purpose of regulation. Like another poster, I am hard pressed to put ANY drug in my body including acetaminophen. Thanks for the post, it was great.

      • Posky says:

        Ideally you’re sort of the perfect person to solve the problem then. You’re someone who has no interest in drug usage (probably a pretty healthy mindset) who isn’t entirely opposed to the idea of other people using them. The fact that you’re thinking about the topic makes me happy because thinking leads to discussion. And that’s a great starting point to a better solution to something that has become a bit of a problem.

  2. I disagree entirely with anyone who disagrees with your post.

    I mean hell, I’m writing these words on a MacBook; had it not been for LSD, I’d be using Windows. Pftt. (nothing against Windows, I just love these Apple things)

    Noam Chomsky puts forward some interesting points that I’d never even considered in this video.

    Sweet post. You’ve inspired me to think about writing something similar.

  3. NecroKitten says:

    I completely agree with everything you said and I’ve had the same discussions with people so many times. And of course the ever popular discussion of wondering why alcohol is legal when it’s caused so much more trouble, but I haven’t heard anything really in regards to any pot related accidents or incidents that were harmful to others or the person using.

    I don’t even like taking Tylenol when I have a headache, I’m not a fan of substances that altar my current body feelings because I usually don’t react well, but I have so many creative and intelligent friends that smoke pot and they’re some of the best friends I have amazing discussions with while I’m completely sober. I just spammed you with a wall of text, I swear I had a point here.
    Good post and I look forward to whatever adventure your next post will be!

  4. prenin says:

    The way that farmers of cannabis plants took over houses and started huge indoor growing projects isn’t the problem: Their efforts to grow ever stronger versions with incredibly high levels of THC is.

    As a psychiatric patient I saw the results of cannabis on mental patients, the drug actually making them worse when they came down off their highs! :(

    Today the drug is widely used in my area by the ‘bad boys’ who cannot stop using it even though the consequences of arrest mean ruined lives!

    It is now used so often in my area that the stink of Skunk cannabis is rarely absent and I live with a lot of poor people who are also regular users, so I can tell who got paid their benefits by the smell in the block!

    When they reduced cannabis from Class B to Class C the massive increase in use led to a massive increase in local crime.

    Today I no longer know if it is Class C or class B, because there have been so many strange reports from the politicians.

    One thing is sure though: If alcohol was invented today they’d ban it!!! :)

  5. urbannight says:

    Early alcohol was like a liquid bread that gave people a massive calorie boost while keeping them buzzed. I guess it is harder to outlaw something that has gone hand in hand with civilization almost from the moment hunter gatherers looks at a spot and thought it would be nice to settle down for a while.

  6. The “War on Drugs” is a dismal failure and it really doesn’t do what it is set to do. While I don’t know about legalizing all drugs out there, meth does some very heinous things to people, marijuana is fairly benign. I wouldn’t smoke pot even if legalized, I don’t want to, but actually don’t have a problem with those that do. The over-regulation has actually led to the production of more deadly drugs and the introduction of Mexican cartels (there are probably other country cartels as well) into large areas of the country. This has become more common as it becomes more difficult to get Sudafed for a cold. And these laws don’t stop usage. Recipes for these products change almost as soon as the new laws against them take effect.

    I find it hard to argue the point that Marijuana should be illegal when compared to alcohol its effects are much more benign. Good post

  7. The thing that’s impossibly aggravating for me is that there are people who are suffering with terminal cancer who would benefit completely from marijuana. I’ve never used an illegal substance in my life, but if I were dying of bone cancer or any other excruciatingly painful disease I would want to try anything or check out entirely – if smoking a joint gave me a little more time with the people I love, then I’d smoke it. I come from a very conservative background, live in the Bible belt but jeez, common sense needs to come into play at some point.

    • Ang says:

      You know they provide marijuana in pill form for suffering patients. My Dad was RXd it when he was dying from pancreatic cancer.

      • I didn’t know that and I wonder if that is true for every state. I live in the South and believe me, we are several years behind the rest of the country on practically EVERYTHING… And I’m terribly sorry about your dad…

  8. If people who worry so much about marijuana would just redirect their energy, they could probably solve the problem of world peace.

  9. That’s quite a brood, you’re not leaving the kids far behind?

  10. peculiarpotato says:

    Ummm Posky terribly sorry my friend. I bit into a rather bitter shellfish and I need to use your bathroom..I must release the crab back into the sea!

  11. nanafeneba says:

    Reblogged this on nanafeneba.

  12. taoinsk says:

    Actually you can blame newspapers for marijuana being illegal. “Back in the day” when a lot of the newspaper companies were starting up they were afraid that hemp paper would overtake the paper that they used, so they lobbied to have it illegalized. Lots of propaganda films in that time period depicted what would happen to you if you took drugs as well, the most well known film is Reefer Madness I believe. Basically marijuana turns you into a violent zombie according to that film. The cocaine one is quite depressing as well.

    • Posky says:

      There’s a Cocaine Madness film? I have to see it. Reefer Madness is too funny to miss, I can only imagine how good all future installments must be.

      • taoinsk says:

        Cocaine Blues, I think. And it’s one of the propaganda films. Sadly no one has done a parody of it, like they did with Reefer Madness. I’ll admit that I’ve only really watched the musical and not the original film it makes fun of.

  13. abbeyh91 says:

    This is probably why Cannabis is still illegal : – It’s complete madness, we can try to cure ourselves with completely toxic radiation, but a natural source? Hmm …

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