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Happy 4/20! Yay Chemical Dependency

Happy 4/20!!! Let’s talk about drugs. It’s kind of hard for me to really talk about drugs from a fully informed point of view because I’ve never used them… not the illegal kinds anyway. So with that in mind, let’s put all the drugs in the same category: chemical alterants.D n' A We’ll define them as compounds or substances used to cause a change of state. By this definition, I hope you’ll understand that I mean to include liquor, antibiotics, and everything else we have become accustomed to using for good and bad purposes.

I want to be clear that I’m one of those crazy people that believe that all chemical alterants should be legal. There will be those who decide to try stuff, and they’ll probably be the same people who’d try them even now while they’re illegal. I think they should be taxed and used to generate productive revenue, as opposed to being used to criminalize people who are often participating in the economy the only way this system allows them to excel in. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: the so-called “War on Drugs” has done more damage to this countries than allowing natural selection take its course ever could have. And since I’ve already told you all about how wonderful legalizing chemical alterants would be for the nation, I want to talk about the kinds of drugs I wish we would start moderating.

US of PharmaWhy is it that GMO foods don’t have to be labeled? Shouldn’t I get to decide if I want to eat chicken that has been injected and tampered with? Shouldn’t I get to decide if I want to eat apples that have been modified to be less attractive to insects? Why do corporations get to decide that I’m not intelligent enough to make my own decisions about what I eat and most important to them, what I spend my money on? I was having a conversation with a friend many months ago about how people would feel differently about GMO foods if they had a better grasp of science, how chemicals work, and how many of them actually occur in nature. My response: “Arsenic occurs naturally… as does lactose. I prefer to limit my intake of both.” Of course I said more, but this is the result of that conversation:
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So if you listened to my mini rant/argument against GMOs, you’ll understand that I think our use of chemical alterants are diminishing our ability to evolve in a positive direction. Imagine how many more people would have died from polio if we hadn’t come up with the vaccine. Add to that the fact that  it has been argued that people are now being born immune to polio. How much longer would it have taken for us to evolve into polio immunity? How about the flu: how many different strains of the flu have there been? Is it just me or do they seem to be getting more resilient? Why do people still bother getting flu shots when there’s supposedly “no way” to tell if it’ll actually work against whichever flu virus is being spread this week, month, year? How many people run out and get an antibiotic every time they get sick and find themselves sick again after a few weeks of “getting over” a cold?

We’ve become a chemically dependent lot. Not just on pills that have loose bowels, cerebral hemorrhage, and death as side-effects, but on the antibiotics they put intoModified Corn our vegetables without telling us, the hormones they feed cows before they grind them into hamburger meat, and the high fructose corn syrup they think should be included in everything. Why would anyone want to take an antidepressant that will cause suicidal thoughts? Counterproductive much? People seem content believing that all they have to do is “say no to drugs” to stay chemically safe, but have become completely complacent about medicating their ADHD afflicted children into oblivious zombies. Jailing people for marijuana possession has become big business, meanwhile Wal-Mart has its own liquor store… but more people have died at the hands of drunk people and from alcohol poisoning than I’ve ever heard of dying from smoking a joint.

No War on DrugsI’m not the only one who sees it. There are meme’s all over the internet about the disparities. I’m just saying that on this 4/20, we should make sure they know that we’re paying attention. Well, we should actually start paying attention. Not just to the legalization of weed, but to the decriminalization of marijuana selling AND to the release of the people who have been imprisoned for possession and intent to sell/distribute. We should be paying attention to their willingness to medicate us into compliant obedience.

We should care that there are more medications that mask symptoms out there than there are cures for what plagues us. These things are important. Its not just about being a liberal animal loving tree hugger. This one is about wanting to make sure that we’re fighting for the right things for the right reasons. There’s a reason why they added the word “medical” on to marijuana. I’ve heard it described as medical grade marijuana as a selling point. Is it really stronger? Do they add extra stuff to it to make it safer? Or is it just so they can continue criminalizing all the street corner pharmacists? Why aren’t we more concerned about doctors who’d rather write a prescription than actually treat a patient; like really listen then properly diagnose and possibly cure whatever is ailing their patient? Why aren’t we criminalizing Pfizer, Norco, or Purdue for manufacturing, marketing, and selling chemical alterants that are addictive and actually cause death? Why do they get to pay a fine and keep doing business as usual? I’m sure some of you are out there looking at your pill bottles and medicine cabinets; feeling like you need to take another puff to save you from the anxiety attack that the thought of your favorite pill’s not being available to you will cause. Last time I checked marijuana grows everywhere. You can drink it, smoke it, put it in some brownie mix and bake it… I read somewhere that there are weed gummies. People have told me that they focus better with marijuana in their system. I can honestly say I’d rather give a kid with ADHD some gummies than a chemical cocktail that dulls their shine, their senses, and their creativity, and has the potential of delayed growth, sleep problems, and tics among other things… but that’s just me.

We don’t have to be chemical dependents. Our fruits, vegetables, meats and grains were good without chemical alteration. It has been argued that GMO foods could help end starvation in places where they have issues accessing food. If that’s want they’re striving for, why are the corporations Flicked jointhoarding the seeds? Why aren’t they letting starving nations with fertile farm land grow the food themselves? They gave some of the food away for free? Was that when people started getting sick and dropping dead of “unknown” causes? It’s like my mother says; “Piss on my head and tell me it’s raining.” Believe what you want folks, but *takes drag from imaginary joint* I’m not buying it. Don’t get me wrong, I have benefited from pharmaceuticals throughout my life. On the other hand, I have to acknowledge that there are some things that we shouldn’t be chemically altering. And until someone starts a company that can be trusted to put #AllLives ahead of profits, I’m going to keep shaking my fist and raising my voice on behalf of my personal interests…

… because #DoMoreRequireBetter

Let me talk to you for a moment…

The following is just from me to you. No one asked me to write this. The post isn’t sponsored by anyone or any company.

One of the early issues I had as a child was pretty common. As an only child I wasn’t really good with meeting new people because I didn’t know how to socialize. So I was incredibly shy. And as you can imagine, after knowing someone for a fairly long amount of time that would change and I would open up. But it made for some hilarious, and some annoying for most people situations. It also led to a point in life where I was perceived as I talked about in the Viva La Bad Girls post, as cold and detached. Well that of course has its downsides. Odd as it is, to this day that is why some people think I’m nice. I’m not, and my friends know that, but if you haven’t gotten past a couple of trust checkpoints and/or I’m not your business or political opposition(formerly included mock trial opponents) I tend to be generally non-offensive, which in our world today is considered nice.

Anyway, this went on for years even into adolescence with a lot of effects. The effect I didn’t notice was that I perceived people as not wanting to be close to me. That feeling got worse after my father’s death, and never really recovered for quite a long time. What some people can already recognize is what I will tell the rest of you. I was headed for depression and had no idea. As I got older it really just got worse and worse. I didn’t deal with a lot. I let a lot overwhelm me. And when it got too much, well you can already imagine what I did instead of asking someone for help. When I didn’t end up a very nicely written obituary I set to getting my life and self back together. Rebuilding what I was by fixing who I was. And 10 years later things have worked out mostly(damn bar exam). Now I know this is going to sound like an its gets better ad, or something meant to humanize me, or a just don’t do it type of blog post. Frankly though I don’t mind you taking that position on it. I was a very depressed person who just happened to luck out and not end up dead each time. I kind of expect you to think I’m talking about it now for some particular effect.

Really though this is being written because I remember that I have to keep myself strong of mind when the worst things happen. And since this stretch from Halloween to Valentine’s Day comprises about 3 months with 5 holidays I know statistically, for someone who reads WDDIJ this is mentally taxing and they are as depressed or worse than I was. And the hard part is, even me typing this isn’t going to pull you out of it. Because all those voices of reason and supposed love that were around me didn’t affect me enough to pull out of it. Because you can’t do it alone. Everyone’s answer is different. Everyone’s path is different. So what brought you to this point is different from what it did for me, and I understand that. I’m not judging that. Instead, I’m saying for once ask for a hand with what you’re going through. I’m not telling you to ask for that from friends, or family necessarily either.

One of the worst things about going through what was a 6 year major battle with depression was that I had to deal with family and friends. I don’t mean that to be generally perplexing. When you tell a friend or a family member “I’m depressed, and I’ve tried, and continue to think about killing myself.” they usually react by overwhelming you with attention and time or having every psychologist and psychiatrist they know or can get a number for call or visit you. Given how important church was in my family, my particular story includes meetings with the Pastor, the then Co-Pastor,  various prayer sessions, and a lot of other stuff that you already know added to my annoyance. Some of you may have guessed why that annoyed me. Because I knew it wasn’t genuine or long term. And also because that wasn’t why I told them. Since my recovery began I’ve had 4 friends of mine either be suicidally depressed, or attempt suicide. And a couple who have talked to me about it before hand. Each time I remembered where I was, and tried to give them the same respect I wanted, but didn’t receive.

Because recovery is a lifelong thing in most cases, I can’t say I don’t get the annoying flash thought of, “You really don’t have to put up with this,” or “why am I still here?” or the worst one for me, “And this is why I’m right. No one you think cares about you really does.” That voice is ever present in the bad moments, when the chips are down, I’m off my game, and what I want to accomplish looks like its impossible. And its in those moments I, like you should think about doing, talk to someone. Not about the situation, sometimes not even about me, but I reach out to someone I haven’t talked to in a while, or at least someone who isn’t aware of the thing I’m trying to do, and just talk like a human being for a bit. And then its a bit easier. I’m an odd case, and you probably feel like you are. Or that no one is going to get it. Fine they won’t, so don’t ask them to. Just let yourself be human for a bit. Let yourself come back from what is wearing on you to just exist for a few moments in time. Above all remember you have things you still want to do. “Don’t settle for a nicely written bit in a paper.” That ultimately is what has had the most staying power for me in my recovery. That I can look out and see I have things I want to do in life. Not really things I wanted to have, not necessarily places I wanted to go, but things I want to do and haven’t done. Because I think you’ll agree life is at least worth living to do the things you want to do in it. And because in the end, for all my antics and attitude, I want you to give yourself a chance to accomplish what you want.

See you next time friend. Cue my theme music. And remember the catch phrase, because Words Don’t Do YOU Justice.

– THE Ruthless Wonder

A Happy New Year: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Hello and welcome to our second week of 2014! There are many things I enjoy about starting off a new year: not choosing a New Year’s Resolution, hearing about what awesome member of the animal kingdom was chosen to represent this year in the Chinese Zodiac—2014 is the year of the horse—and the political sideshow resulting from the previous November’s election day. Thankfully, this year does not disappoint. If you follow current events like your elementary school social studies teacher taught you to, you already know what has me all kinds of giddy: Colorado & Weed. [Cue Applause]

That’s right folks; Colorado has legalized the recreational use of marijuana! The enlightenment era has begun, albeit one state at a time. Disclaimer: I have never and never will be in favor of *MY* personal use of drugs. I barely drink. I won’t smoke. Those things just don’t appeal to me. However, just because I choose to live my life a certain way, doesn’t mean that I want to be the one to decide how any or everyone else chooses to live theirs. Variety is the spice of life and personal preferences are no exception.

I know what you’re thinking… I mean, I don’t live in Colorado. I don’t have any intention of personally reaping any benefit from its legalization. “Why Reign? Why is this such an exciting development?” Why, you ask?  Because it means that as a nation, we United States of Americans are one step closer to having restored “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as the foundation of how we treat our people, and the rest of the world. It means that at least some State governments can put the needs of its constituents ahead of their personal senses of political correctness. But mostly it’s exciting because we will finally have a real-time example of what common-sense drug legislation can do for an economy; I’m talking taxes, jobs, and a much needed 21st century boom that can literally hold its own weight for generations to come. On the first day of legalized recreational Marijuana sales in Colorado, the revenue topped 1 million dollars… yes, that’s $1,000,000.00 in one day.

Now, I could talk about the jobs created by simply opening stores… perhaps I’d rather talk about the government jobs created specifically for managing the oversight of the “new” industry. Or maybe I should skip to the jobs that should be created for the sole purpose of reintroducing the people who were incarcerated under now antiquated laws… I should probably even make a point about the fact that many of them already know the best ways to grow and move product in the most efficient and cost effective methods. No. Better stick to the generic: Yay Jobs!

And of course there’s my favorite point of all… Marijuana is after all a “gateway drug.” Once the government gets the taste of the addictive tax dollars from Marijuana revenues, they’ll probably start checking out all the other cool taxable narcotics. That is what all the cool kids are doing… right? So let’s get a bit serious for a moment…

Has the illegal status of any drug solved any drug related problem? NO. Has it made any difference in the so called “War on Drugs?” NO. Has it stopped people from getting or taking drugs when they want it? NO. Which kinds of people make up the greater population of those in prisons and jailhouses nationwide? The poor, the under educated, we the so-called minorities. More importantly, which group of people is making the greatest profit from the peddling and use thereafter of said narcotics? I’m not answering that question because you should already know the answer.

Let me step back so you can get a better picture of what I’m getting at…

The legalization of illegal intoxicants (sounds better than drugs or narcotics, right?) could make it less attractive to rebellious youths. It could make seeking help for rehabilitation easier for those ready to take that step. It might encourage the scientific community to do more research on the effects of drugs that is more objective and less presumptuous. It might help suffering cancer patients feel more comfortable seeking the relief that marijuana has been clinically found to provide. It might help find other medicinal uses for other intoxicants. I highly doubt that anyone who has not tried any drugs will run out and start snorting, injecting, or smoking just because it’s legal. More often than not, we want those things that we can’t have. Now that it’s no longer taboo,  I can’t imagine someone like me waking up one day to hear that intoxicants are no longer illegal and deciding to go buy a bit of Crystal Meth, some ecstasy, or even an ounce of Purple Haze. I just don’t see it.

As a matter of fact, even if present-day non-users were to start using just because it’s no longer illegal, the worst that could happen would be an increase of happy people walking around seeing flying monkeys and talking to street signs. There might be an increasing amount of people “trippin” out for no apparent reason. There would probably be a huge increase of absenteeism in schools and the workplace. Companies might have to include a “Coke Hour” or periodic “Weed Breaks” in their daily schedules. There could be bars with the different kinds of Ecstasy on their menu.

Businesses could give people who don’t do drugs higher salaries because they need fewer breaks throughout the day and have an easier time actually getting their work done. Commercials and TV shows would be sooo friggin funny–because half the people on creative teams would be on one hallucinogen or another.

But I digress… [Figuratively stepping forward, returning to our present reality] What we have now is one state serving as an awesome example of how government can get out of its own way and use something that people are unwilling to give up to their advantage. I think it’s Tony the Tiger level Grrrrrreeaat! So here’s hoping for more governmental #EpicPass moments. Considering Washington State and the city of Portland, Maine are in the process of solidifying their marijuana sales regulations, it looks like this might not be the last time I have something to applaud the government for this year. Maybe we can finally get our tax dollars’ worth out of them after all.