I'm probably going to surprise and aggravate some of you by what I write today. Yeah, I'm perfectly aware that nobody reads this shit (well....maybe 10 or 15 people do) and I started out doing it to have some fun and try to amuse myself and others. But it's hard to do when there are so many things happening and the wheels start turning in my mind. This is going to run long, so I'm gonna have to cut this into a few pieces over the next week.
I hear all the time about how drugs are crippling our country and destroying the nations youths. Well, you know what? Bullshit. I won't sit here and tell you that drugs and alcohol are not a problem in this country, but I will tell you that our inability to talk openly about drugs and alcohol and be truthful about it is just as big a problem. I'm fairly convinced that our weakness and lack of sensibility is contributing to drug/alcohol abuse just as much as any pushers on the street. We need to be accountable to our children, our society, our culture, and our planet.
Altering consciousness and our feelings have been around since the beginning of mankind. This didn't start with jazz musicians, hippies, or Chinese opium dens. Most of us try to alter how we think and feel every single day. Yeah.....YOU too. And then, you expect that your children shouldn't do the same? We rely on schools and government to tell our kids about the dangers of drugs and when they do....and when we finally sack up to tell them ourselves, we aren't honest about it. We empower drugs and alcohol daily. We give some sort of mystical and evil power to them. A shot of whiskey is just a shot of whiskey. A cigarette is just a cigarette. A joint is just a joint. A xanax is just a xanax. It's when these things are used that they become more than just objects with no effect on us. So, why wouldn't we want to be truthful and upfront with our young people about the effects and the repercussions of their use? Why wouldn't we want to spell out what these things can lead to? Why wouldn't we talk about responsibility?
I will stick with some of my own experience to explain where I'm going with this. I love bourbon......good bourbon. Do I think bourbon is evil? Not at all. Will bourbon destroy my life? No. It could.....but it won't. If I have two drinks on a Friday night and enjoy my bourbon responsibly and let my children know that it's not the bourbon that's the problem....it's a persons decision to abuse it that is. I think it's necessary that children and teenagers not be overly sheltered from what awaits them. Do they need to learn a hard lesson about abusing alcohol, to find out about its' danger? No, they don't. Some do, but not all. Alcohol can be enjoyable and enhance social engagements, when used responsibly. I believe we should let kids know the bad....and the good. I'm not saying advocate it, but I am saying tell them the whole story. It can kill you. It can make you do terrible things. But, it can also feel pretty good to sit around with your friends and get a little buzz and have a happy time.
Moving on to drugs. I'm a firm believer in "all things in moderation". Not to say that I advocate kids doing meth or whatever.....even in moderation. I find myself in support of cocaine (and it's off shoots, ie, crack, crank), meth, heroin, LSD and the like being illegal. Those things can quickly lead to addiction and real harm to a persons mind and ability to hold relationships, jobs, and stability. The libertarian in me says that perhaps those should be legal for use. The parent and socially conscious part of me says that those are substances better left alone. I believe that focus of the war on drugs should be taken off marijuana and put squarely on synthetic drugs and that includes prescription medicine. Prescription pain killers and mind altering pills are really easy for kids to get their hands on. And they are really addictive and can be really dangerous to development. Let's not leave this to schools. Let's take back the discussion about drugs. We need to educate ourselves on the truths and lies about these substances, so we can give a truly informed lesson to our kids. The Internet is a great place to find out about the effects (good and bad) of drugs. Hell, you can find out how to use natural drugs (ie, pot, mushrooms) in a safe way that can enhance thought. But, what you need to look for first is pictures and descriptions of what can happen when you take that first hit off a crack or meth pipe. And don't make a blanket statement like this........
This is what drugs will do to you;
Be honest....that's what METH can and will do to you. That's what CRACK can and will do to you. That's not what marijuana will do to you. Synthetic drugs are highly addictive and that addiction comes on rapidly....sometimes within a couple of uses. And here is why you should be specific when talking to young people about drugs.............because they are likely to try a drug at some point. And if they do, and it's marijuana and they realize that it doesn't turn them into criminals or dope fiends, or they find out that it's not going to kill them, you lose credibility. Why then should they believe what you say about meth, if you were not upfront with them? Depending on the maturity of a child, adults should give them as much truthful information as possible. And, in turn, you may actually influence other children, by giving your kids the information they need.
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Addiction and overdose are the two main destroyers of lives when we talk about the effects of drugs. And again, neither of those apply to marijuana. And marijuana is where we are spending the bulk of our time and money (not to mention jailing common users as well as dealers) in regards to education, rehab, criminality, and border defense. Every nickel that goes to eradicating marijuana or setting up stings to catch users is a nickel that won't go towards finding meth labs, crack pushers, and the influx of heroin and cocaine into our country. It's nonsense and it's time we started standing up to what's right. I urge you, whether you agree with me or not, to educate yourself on these drugs. And learn about both sides of the debate. If you spend all your time researching your own position only, you will strengthen that position, but you won't really be making up your own mind and it will impede your ability to discuss it with your kids or whoever in a knowledgeable and intellectually honest viewpoint.
I said earlier that most people have their own drugs, even if they are not called pot, meth, crank, crack, beer, whiskey, or cigarettes. Want examples? OK, I'll give you examples. And if you stop to really consider these things, instead of moving on to watching an Ace Ventura movie, you may fire off a few neurons in your brain and change the way you think about your world, your life, and the children that you love and want to protect.
Coffee: Yeah, some of you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you HAVE to have a cup every morning to get it going, you are an addict. Go without it a day or so and see how good you feel. But, you don't have any problem drinking it all day and right in front of your kids. But, it's hardening your arteries. And it's altering your mind, mood, and body. Too much caffeine can kill you.
Cola: See above. Sugared, caffeinated, and corn syrup cola is more dangerous to your health than marijuana. Too much of this and it can lead to diabetes and other health issues. Too much caffeine can kill you.
Roller Coasters: How good does that adrenaline feel pumping through your veins? Feels great. And you brought it on artificially, by inducing your body to release it.
Child's Play: Ever see kids spinning in circles until they get dizzy and doing it over and over? Ever hear of kids holding their breath while another kid hugs them? The reason kids do these things (and probably you when you were young) is the rush and the mind alteration. It feels strange. It feels good. It's fun.
Cigarettes: Again, more dangerous than marijuana. Almost all tobacco....and I'll say it again almost ALL tobacco is sprayed with radioactive chemicals. So, not to mention the carcinogens involved, you have to deal with burning radioactive substances and sucking in the toxins. Cigarettes can and will kill you....eventually.
Mental medicines (Zoloft, Effexor, Ritalin, etc): What do these things do? Well, they change your mood. They make you feel better than you normally would. They enhance your ability to function. They are also highly addictive and can cause psychosis and suicidal behaviors in some people. They also hurt the liver and can cause a person to gain or lose weight. Funny how we have no problem shoving that shit in a kids mouth if he/she is a little excitable and then turn around and whip their ass or send them to rehab for getting caught smoking a joint. An overdoes can kill you.
Pain killers: You know what I'm talking about. This is becoming a huge problem for our youth. They can get it almost anywhere and the signs of use are hard to read. When you take your pain relievers, why do you do it? To make yourself feel better. And sometimes....come on admit it, even when you are not feeling much pain, you'll take one, simply to take the edge off your day, right? How is that not abuse? An overdose can kill you.
Sports Fandom: Ahhh.....yes. Go to the game. Watch the kids run up and down the floor. Jump up in euphoria and high five the guy next to you after a nasty dunk!!! Chemical reactions folks. You are altering your mindset, emotions, and physical feelings. How do you feel when your team loses....especially to a rival? You think hardcore fandom isn't a drug? Think again.
Game hunting: Oh, yeah. Sit in a tree and wait. Sweet....look at that buck. Your heart races. You raise the rifle. You look down the scope. You fire. You hit. WOW!!!! One helluva feeling, huh?
Beer/Liquor: Well....I don't think I have to get very graphic with this. But it's legal right? So, is it OK to destroy your body and maybe your life? Alcohol drastically changes behavior and thought. Too much will kill you.
Now, let's compare that stuff to hard drugs.....
Crystal Meth: It is highly addictive and just a few uses can lead to addiction. You lose too much weight, and muscle mass. Your teeth rot and fall out. Your mind produces too much dopamine and eventually you lose the ability to do that and you have to smoke much heavier amounts. It damages your internal organs.
Cocaine: Again, it's really addictive. It leads to heart disease. It can give you a heart attack. Use too much and you may well have a stroke. Yes....this drug too, can kill you.
Heroin: Rapid addiction to this drug and the horror of getting off of it makes this enough to steer clear of. It can clog arteries and is very harmful to the respiratory system. The liver and kidneys are also easily damaged by this drug. And....it can kill you.
Marijuana: If smoked over a long period of time, it can lead to lung problems. But, it does not contain the same carcinogens as tobacco and vaporizing marijuana takes the effects of burning the plant out of the equation and is a better option. Short term memory gets impaired. You can't become physically addicted to it. Oh....and it CAN NOT kill you. You can not overdose on pot. You can eat enough raw potato's to kill you. You can drink enough water to kill you. You can drink enough coffee to kill you. You can take enough aspirin to kill you. But, you can't smoke enough marijuana to kill you. OK....honestly it can. If you smoke 1,500 lbs of pot in 15 or so minutes....yeah, you could die. Give it a shot!
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The world is a tough place and people look for all sorts of ways to have fun and blow off steam. Our youth has it tough. They are growing up faster than any generation before them. Mostly because of what they are exposed to at an early age. Through television, music, and print media, kids see lots of violence, see a lot about drinking and drugs, and are sexually aware very quickly. With all I've written, I think it's fairly convincing that the problem isn't the drugs and alcohol, it's our inability to reach out to kids on a truthful, personal level that contributes to the damage. Honestly, I don't know if anyone under the age of 30 should use very much alcohol or take drugs. The first 30 years of life hold many changes. And putting in temporary influences when you are starting to stake out your worldview slants the ability to see things as they are, as life experience isn't something that is easily drawn on at younger ages. Relationships, education, employment, and critical thinking should be developed and nothing needs to get in the way of that. At the same time, I fully realize that using marijuana or using psychedelics can really take your mind to the other side of the way one currently thinks, and I believe that to be a good thing. It's a win when you can stake out a belief , but also understand why others don't subscribe to your beliefs. We should be helping our younger generations make decisions that come from knowledge of the truth and not fear or lies. But, if young people are going to try drugs or whatever, doesn't it make sense that they have good information? And, if you are doing your job, by creating a trusting environment, and letting them know the truths about the pratfalls and experiences in life, they will at least make decisions from a good place. I don't want my kids deciding to do anything based on what one of their friends or MTV has to say.....do you?
This has gotten WAAAAAY long. I hope you were able to get to here. This is part one. Other things I want to address is our enslavement to corporate interests, including our own governmental policies (think war in the middle east, taxation, and social issues). I also want to talk about how patents are being issued for living cells and organisms, and there are entities out there trying to control the earth's drinking water. I really hope this was interesting and informative. Again, I'm fully aware that some or most of you won't agree with me. But I do appreciate you taking the time to read this and hopefully, if nothing else, I got you to think about some things.
I want a new drug
One that won't make me sick
One that won' make me crash my car
Or make me feel three feet thick
One that won't make me sick
One that won' make me crash my car
Or make me feel three feet thick
I Want A New Drug - Huey Lewis & The News