“Many people would agree that drug culture reform is needed, but we must recognize that “the drug culture” now includes everyone. Modern life involves daily decisions about psychoactives. The option of caffeine use is encountered multiple times a day. It is rare to watch an hour-long television show without seeing an advertisement for a mind altering pharmaceutical or a legal recreational drug.”
From Towards a Culture of Responsible Psychoactive Drug Use by Earth & Fire of Erowid
Neal Stephenson on drug abuse:
“I’m remembering the advent of late ’60s/early ’70s drug culture when I was a kid. Authority figures would try to scare us away from drugs, and whether or not we were actually using drugs, we would just laugh at them because their threats and warnings seemed so overwrought. We all knew people who used various kinds of drugs but managed to stay healthy and out of trouble. Much later, it became obvious to me that the middle-class kids I tended to hang out with were cushioned from possible negative effects of drugs by their intellectual, financial, and social capital. Their parents and friends and neighbors kept an eye on them; Dad was always there to bail them out; they knew lawyers and doctors who could get them out of trouble. But that wasn’t true of lower-class drug users. Poor people and communities really did suffer terrible effects from drugs because they lacked that cushion.”
Dr. Sanjay Gupta was offered the job of Surgeon General of the United States. He turned it down, but note that he can be seen describing the theraputetic benefits of MDMA in this video.
“To my mind, the two golden, childlike properties of a brain are curiosity and creativity. Many adult activities (jobs, hobbies, pastimes) use one or the other of these properties, in particular the sciences (mainly curiosity) and the arts (mainly creativity).”
From Curtains Without Windows by Jim Loy
Most people, at some point in their life, cross a line. On one side of the line is carefree youth, when every day is a chance for new discovery and experience. On the other side is mature adulthood, when every day is just another in the endless grind, full of stress and worry and pain.
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The machinery of society is a strange beast. Practices are instituted at great expense and for specific purposes - so far, so good. But over time, these practices calcify into rituals, devoid of their original meaning. They continue year after year, decade after decade, century after century - with the dogmatic and unthinking rhythm of mantras chanted in a tongue whose language has been forgotten, but the sound of the words retained. They become so embedded in the culture of the society that hardly anyone ever stops to think of changing them.
Take drug testing. The staggering pointlessness of this practice does not prevent private and public sector alike from spending hundreds of millions on it every year. Standard drug testing kits do not detect the vast majority of recreational drugs; and the one it does detect (pot) lingers so long in the blood stream that a “failed” drug test is essentially worthless information. (What relevance does a joint you smoked two weeks ago have on the job you are applying for today?) On top of all this, these tests (like anything) are not 100% accurate; every year, tens of thousands of non-pot-smoking workers are forced to fight for their jobs via embarrassing and costly lawsuits due to false positives.
Check out this entertaining article on the subject of drug testing at the LA Times (the very publication that the article appears in), which sums up the entire matter quite nicely.