The Taste of an Orange.
I think it’s only appropriate that I begin this blog with a quote that I fully relate to: “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” – Hunter S. Thompson.
Under the Influence was a theme that I had been looking forward to for a long time. There is so much substance (no pun intended) and it’s still a little taboo. Sure, we’re all told that drugs are bad and we hear about all of the awful things that can happen due to drug use. But that’s it! It’s a rare occurence that we can have conversations about drugs that are illuminating and, dare I say it, even positive. At this point, the medical/scientific side of me can’t bear the thought of me going any further without some statistics:
Estimated Per Capita Death Rates by Drugs
|Drug||Users||Deaths per Year||Deaths per 100,000|
I would like to follow those statistics by stating that I DO NOT smoke cigarettes. Looks like we need to advise DARE on where they should put their emphasis!
When we think about all of the bad things related to drugs, it’s never tobacco that first pops up – even in the literature that was read for this last event. I personally read from Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test, and Johnny Boy and Bad Girl, which is an original piece from yours truly. Shockingly, tobacco wasn’t mentioned in a single one!
Okay, so what’s all the emphasis on the dangers of tobacco compared to other drugs? Well, to sum it up, I don’t think drugs are all that bad! There. I said it.
There are dangers to almost everything we do in life. To drive my car to work is to take a risk – you never know when someone will decide that today is the day that they blow that red light. To walk into a convenience store is a risk – it might be the day that someone hostile decides to hold the place up with a gun. But drugs?
Sure, there a risks involved in EVERYTHING we do on a day to day basis, but look at the statistics! I am pleased to say that I have experienced so much out of life so far – drugs included. I was very experimental in my early years and never once have I reflected on that as a bad thing. I learned a lot, had some amazing experiences, and I’m alive to speak of it. Sure, it wasn’t all peachy keen – but name one thing in life that is!! I do not regret a single drug or situation involving drugs that I’ve been in. In some ways, I believe that they can greatly enrich the short time we have in this thing called life. With drugs, there are many doors that can be opened, so many other worlds to explore. I’d like to include a conversation that I had with a colleague of mine about 8 years ago. He hadn’t tried any drug other than marijuana and was asking me to describe what it was like to be on a particular drug that shall remain unidentified (unless you can guess the molecule shown below). For privacy purposes, we’ll call him Mr. A.
Mr. A: “So what’s it like? I always assumed that it would be like smoking a lot of pot but much stronger.”
Greta: “It’s nothing like that at all. There is no comparison.”
Mr. A: “Well, then how would you describe it?”
Greta: “Let me ask you a question. How would you describe the taste of an orange to someone who has never once tried an orange?”
Mr. A: “I don’t know. I guess sweet, juicy, and tangy.”
Greta: “Do you see that? Right there you just described at least 2,417 things I could potentially put in my mouth.”
To end things on a lighter note, I’d like to share with you some quotes extracted by www.erowid.com from people who were sharing their thoughts while on drugs. The drug being used at the time is listed in parenthesis.
“I didn’t have a clue about drugs, somehow the cops from the DARE program had given me the idea pot was something deadly you huffed out of paper bags, I didn’t even know it came from a plant.” (Cannabis)
“Today the Kitchen, Tomorrow the Cataloging of My Socks!” (Methamphetamine)
“I’m pretty much straight edge now, except occasionally I drop acid or do shrooms, or take ecstasy or something of that sort.” (Cannabis)
“Before the trip, the world around me seemed stable and predictable. If there was a red apple in front of me, it would remain a red apple, and it would not turn into plaid ostrich and start speaking Hebrew!” (PCP)
“I’ve been lost in my room for over 5 hours now” [this was the entire report] (Morning Glory Seeds)