Is marijuana addictive? Yes, in the sense that most of the really pleasant things in life are worth endlessly repeating.
I had gotten caught with a shopping bag full of marijuana, a shopping bag full of love — I was in love with the weed and I did not for one minute think that anything was wrong with getting high. I had been getting high for four or five years and was convinced, with the zeal of a crusader, that marijuana was superior to lush [alcohol] — yet the rulers of the land seemed all to be lushes. I could not see how they were more justified in drinking than I was in blowing the gage.
It is absolutely typical of any human interest that if it is thwarted it will bulge or leak or mutate through the cracks in the constraints — drugs and sex are prime examples of how prohibition and repression make things vastly worse than they need be.
If they took all the drugs — nicotine, alcohol, caffeine — off the market for six days, they’d have to bring out the tanks to control you.
The nineteenth century was an era of great personal freedom with respect to psychoactive substances. There were no laws against using hashish in Europe and North America, where any respectable person could walk into a pharmacy and choose from a range of cannabis tinctures and pastes. After the U.S. Civil War, Gunjah Wallah Hasheesh Candy (“a most pleasurable and harmless stimulant”) was available via mail order from Sears-Roebuck.
It smelled overwhelmingly of floral air fresheners being used to disguise the scent of marijuana, which works like a charm if you only ask the people smoking the marijuana.
There are those who are so tightly meshed within physical reality that the soul is squeezed dry. They are tight, sore, and chafing beneath too-severe habits and ideas. For them momentary release, such as the drugs can give, is highly beneficial.
What all of us have known in the back of our minds is becoming clearer with each passing day: that the harm done by our attempts to enforce antidrug laws is greater than the harm done by the drugs themselves.
Follow seven beers with a couple of Scotches and a thimble of good marijuana, and it’s funny how sleep just sort of comes on its own. Often I never even made it to the bed. I’d squat down to pet the cat and wake up on the floor eight hours later, having lost a perfectly good excuse to change my clothes. I’m now told that this is not called “going to sleep” but rather “passing out,” a phrase that carries a distinct hint of judgment.
Sid said that drugs weren’t the problem, life was the problem. Drugs were the solution.
I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do. And if you don’t believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight. Take all your albums, all your tapes and all your CDs, and burn them. Because you know what, the musicians that made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years were real fucking high on drugs. The Beatles were so fucking high they let Ringo sing a couple of tunes.
Those who are offended by the idea that the swallowing of a pill may contribute to a genuinely religious experience should remember that all the standard mortifications — fasting, voluntary sleeplessness and self-torture — inflicted upon themselves by the ascetics of every religion for the purpose of acquiring merit are also, like the mind-changing drugs, powerful devices for altering the chemistry of the body in general and the nervous system in particular.
Our brains permit us to utilize such a wee fraction of their resources that, in a sense, everything we experience is a reduction. We employ drugs, yogic techniques, and poetics — and a thousand more clumsy methods — in an effort just to bring things back up to normal.
They say drugs are not the answer, but really, what is the question?