Tuesday, October 10, 2017

drug use

From "Reefer Madness" to this morning's local front-page announcement, marijuana has come a long way, baby. Or anyway, in my consciousness. The perfectly-awful cautionary celluloid tale that warned of the dangers of cannabis in the late 1930's, turns a corner with this morning's headline noting the installation of four medical-marijuana billboards Massachusetts where I live. What was once inexpressibly evil in some minds now has some benevolent attributes ... not the least of which, I suspect, is taxes.

Drugs, taxes... my mind lounges still further into the past when the dangers of cocaine were memorialized in a turn-of-the-20th-century folk song whose refrain was:
Listen to me
Listen to me
Drink corn liquor,
Let the cocaine be.
Cocaine gonna kill my honey dead.

In between folk song and morning headline, of course, was Prohibition (1920-1933) -- the outlawing of alcohol that proved such an undying flop that it was subsequently repealed and alcohol was legalized ... leading to its being the leading cause of drug addiction in my country. Without the criminal gains Prohibition encouraged, John F. Kennedy would never have become president, I suspect: His dad, Joseph, made a bundle off booze.

And of course drugs have a longer history than my meager consciousnesses.

Still ... drugs.

These days, the buzz fear is "opiod addiction," the use and abuse of opiods to take the edge off life's sharp edges. Doctors care, I imagine, not least because their malpractice insurance rates have gone up ... or anyway, that's what I imagine. Pain killers are ... well, pain killers ... and there is a lot of of sub rosa pain to be had these days when the wealthy hope to become wealthier.

What is it that makes a change or reconfiguration of consciousness so attractive? Is it just the sheer fun? The step back into a more cozy time? The re-invigoration of a much-battered "me?" The demand to see things through expanded rose-colored glasses under cover of a wide-wider-widest mind? The longing not to be afraid or flawed? Somehow, what is is just not good enough, pleasing enough, fulfilling enough. Perhaps drugs offer the potential to unlock locked doors.

Marijuana now has a toe hold. It's medicinal ... just as opiods and alcohol once eased the aches. But it is hard not to think that a toehold today is a foothold tomorrow. That is not a judgment, just an observation.

What can anyone learn that they don't already know?


  1. I believe in the shamanic use of hallucinogens. And marijuana was never as dangerous as alcohol. But like liquor, drugs are big business, as is the tax backed effort to eradicate them and the prison industry that absorbs the overload. I imagine it's the shifting and shouldering of different financial interests that promote the paradigm shift. Beware the advertising.

  2. Are you the same Genkaku who was active on a Buddhism board some years back?

  3. Noobtube -- I have been involved, but the question is a bit vague. Sorry.

  4. Just wanted to know if you were the same person, he too had a blog. I can't find the board anymore nor do I remember what it was called. Though I do recall Genkaku gave advice a few times. Thanks.

  5. Noobtube -- I have contributed to a couple of Buddhist chat boards in the past. I do have a blog. But I have no clue if I am the person you are looking for.