RANGER AGAINST WAR: Does She or Doesn't She? <

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Does She or Doesn't She?

Living is easy with eyes closed,
misunderstanding all you see

It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out

It doesn't matter much to me

--Strawberry Fields Forever
, The Beatles

Semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower

Elementary penguin singing Hari Krishna

Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe

I am the eggman, they are the eggmen

--I am the Walrus
, The Beatles

There is none so blind

As he who will not see

We must not close our minds

We must let our thoughts be free

--Everything is Beautiful
Ray Stevens

The man who comes back

through the Door in the Wall

will never be quite the same

as the man who went out

--The Doors of Perception
, Aldous Huxley

This article on the agrarian origins of all things repressive and succor in alcohol led me to the following riffs on a recent post on the two old druggies glad-handing in the White House, command central for the war on drugs (Just say NO!)

Mr. Obama mightn't have fit in with the boys and become the cool cuke we call President had he not found himself while chilling out under the influence. Sir Paul couldn't have done Lucy in the Sky and Sgt. Peppers without benefit of his drug-enhanced breaking through to the other side (though we might've benefited by missing out on Yellow Submarine.) Most pop musicians have probably been one toke over the line at one point or another.

This is not to advocate for drug use. Life is surreal enough sober, and transcendental understandings can come as easily to a sober mind as one under the influence. But one in five of us smoke tobacco cigarettes (American Heart Association), and the Centers for Disease Control say 443,000 people in the U.S. die prematurely from the effects of smoking or secondhand smoke. Add to that the 15,000+/- deaths per year caused by drunk driving, and the reasons for prohibiting "drugs" seem rather feeble.

In a world without drugs, would all music be of the Amy Grant-Urban Christian variety, and all writing be like Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" or Anne Bradstreet's ode to her husband? Or worse, just vapid, like "Eat, Love, Pray"?

Of course, drugs are responsible for a lot of dross in the creative fields, too.
Maybe we neither need drugs, nor need to banish them. People want what they want, and they will find a way to obtain that thing, legally or no. They don't always do right, and it is not government's role to shepherd them into the right corral.

It is government's job to stay solvent to provide for necessary services; to provide for the general welfare. To this end, they are not doing well. Perhaps this is one spot where they could staunch the bleeding and turn an "enemy" into a profit-maker.

Just a thought.



Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Lisa,

Good post. As always, well said.

Not everyone that tries drugs will become hooked, which is one of the justifications for the PWOD. I've noticed that drug abusers, if they can't find drugs, will abuse just about anything--cigs, beer, hard liquor, chewing tobacco, food, Facebook, etc. It's in their nature. They're driven folks, and sometimes they succeed wildly in business or personal pursuits.


Friday, August 13, 2010 at 7:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks, Dave.

Yes, the public is often scared by conjured-up bogeymen, but usually society's outliers are not dangerous. Drugs-as-lifestyle choice (as you point out) are often the domain of the addictive/driven personality, who as often as not is a creative (if self-destructive) individual.

Drug-driven crime is the realm of the desperate or the imbalanced. The latter were released from mental institutions wholesale during Uncle Ronnie's reign, and the former emerge from dire economic situations.

Friday, August 13, 2010 at 9:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sometime, us drunks/drugies are scared by the rest of yall.

Friday, August 13, 2010 at 11:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

you can see the effect of the "war" on prices.

an oral or ocular surgeon with a legitimate use for cocaine can get an ounce of cocaine from sandoz laboratories for a bit less than $30. that's because making cocaine is relatively simple and doesn't require a lot of equipment or even time (after all the colombians do it in jungle tents).

i'm not sure what the price of coke on the streets is, but, back when i was using and buying it things stayed around $3K to $5K for an ounce that was suspect for quality and purity.

most of our drug laws end up being price supports for smugglers and full employment bills for violent criminals.

the latest bullshit meme making the rounds of the talking head shows is that "prohibition worked" we don't need to face failure and bankruptcy down, we need to get tougher.

(i imagine that the folks pushing that bullshit the farthest are the folks who run for-profit prisons, they are the ones ginning up the fear and hate of immigrants in arizona the most. why not? they have the most to gain from our current shameful levels of incarceration)

Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 12:05:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Brooklyn Red Leg said...

The (illegal) War on Drugs has been a 1 trillion dollar rat hole we have poured money down. It has lead to perhaps millions of otherwise normal Americans being thrown into cages to be brutalized, raped and murdered because they smoked a WEED. Furthermore, it is an entirely unConstitutional set of laws as they violate Article 1, Sections 9 and 10 that FORBID the Congress and The States from passing ex post facto laws.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 2:14:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Red Leg,
One of my worst memories is that a student at BGSU o/a 1967 was a war protestor/sds and he got caught with 2 or 3 marijuana joints. 2 or 3 , not even ounces, and he got 12 years in prison.
And the fucking judge pontificated by saying-- I will not allow BG to become Berkeley.!!
This is a prime example of the stupidity that fuels the anti drug programs.
Incidentally i am not in favor of drug useage, but criminalising the behavior has destroyed way too many lives.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 5:59:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I pose you no danger.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 6:02:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Spot-on. There is profiteering to be had. Mendacity is all about in the air.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 7:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The link copied below is only peripherally related to "Does She or Doesn't She?" It concerns drug use and Iraq.


Jay in N.C.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 11:10:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

another quick thought about drug use. i did every drug known to man, and a few that weren't (the meos in cambodia had some pretty wild jungle juice). i have been clean and sober for nearly 20 years.

it was not legal consequences that made me get sober. i always figured in legal fees and hassles as a cost of doing business. i got sober on account of it was time, for me to do so.

drug laws are not a deterrent to a user. all we do is criminalize people who are not criminal.

portugal has been doing quite well with a decriminalization program that includes "hard" drugs. they didn't legalize anything, they simply quit giving a shit what private citizens do on their own time.

not one dire consequence that was predicted has taken place. there hasn't been an explosion of drug use. they haven't become a destination of choice for drug tourism. they haven't had a social breakdown or diminishing of national morality.

nope. they just quit locking up people who weren't causing any harm to anyone else in the first place.

check portugal's experience out. it's informative.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 12:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB, I have questions. The questions are not meant to start an argument or to take sides - just questions.

Does Portugal drug test employees or potential employees?

Do you know what Portugal's policy is on tobacco use?

If a crime is committed while under the influence of drugs or as the result of drug use, is the sentencing affected (either in terms of leniency or more hard-line) in light of the drug use?

How is the sale of drugs handled and are there any drugs that are still considered illegal?

We have a problem in this country with drug use by minors, some as early as 10 years old. Is this a problem in countries with lenient drug laws or lack of drug laws?

? Do you have any info regarding these questions?


Jay in N.C.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 12:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB, I just re-read your comment concerning Portugal and saw that you said Portugal has not "legalized" drugs, just sort of stopped prosecuting for drug use. I apologize for not reading more carefully. Still, do you have any info on my questions?


Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 12:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Congrats on your 20 years; here's to 20 more.

Like you say, it was time to be done (there is a time to every season.) For me, it seems once one knows there are other places to be, other perceptions and perspectives, that is enough. Why do I wish to abdicate my beautiful mind to a passive altered state? I wish to use that knowledge to better my life.

Thank you for sharing Portugal's experience. I have a contact there, and I will now ask him about this.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 7:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Brooklyn Red Leg said...

'Incidentally i am not in favor of drug useage, but criminalising the behavior has destroyed way too many lives.'

Neither am I. Never smoked so much as weed (can't stand the smell of it). However, I truly believe that people should be free to make the choices in their life, even if they are bad ones that lead them down the wrong path. The government is the LAST entity that should EVER be trusted with regards to morality. As it is all they have done is empower the gangbangers and other criminal scum the same way Prohibition empowered The Mob.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 11:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

glenn greenwald

it was from a presentation he did for the Cato institute.

Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 10:45:00 AM GMT-5  

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