Monday, 25 August 2008

Cocaine



As you I'm sure you've probably noticed, I try to stick to non-controversial topics.
So tonight will be no exception.

Since the Bank Holiday means that Monday night is kind of a Sunday night too, you get Music mixed into this post to a greater degree than normal.

All on that wonderfully non controversial little powder.

Cocaine.

Before we start, the results of whether or not you thought that Islam itself, meaning the actual religion, was the enemy of our lives.
You didn't.

You have a new issue to vote on this week- and I'm sure you already know what it is. But read the post before you get clicking on that poll.

I have chosen Cocaine for a very simple reason.

In 1920 the eighteenth amendment to the US constitution was passed prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol. It's widely agreed that one defining factor in this was that the brewing industry were saying 'ban spirits not beer', whilst the distilleries said 'ban beer not spirits'.

The point is, that Cocaine being a 'hard' drug, so called, it allows me to nail my colours to the mast and state; All prohibition is futile, stupid, and ultimately creates a culture where the law itself is tacitly despised as an ass.

Because all the arguments I am going to use here have relevance to other 'illegal drugs', and I'm assuming that if you can support legalising Cocaine, you are almost certainly behind legalising anything 'softer'.

Having said that, I don't want this post to be taken at ultimate face value and it be assumed that I propose legalising Heroin. This post does NOT propose blanket legalising for over the counter sale Heroin any more than it does Arsenic or Cyanide. And the reasons it why it doesn't, are exactly the same.

Now, let's just have a look at the underlying assumptions behind the war on drugs.
And actually, they can be summed up in one very simple phrase. One you've heard so many people use. It's a truism.

'If Alcohol had been discovered in the sixties, as opposed to having always been with us, they'd have banned it.'

Too damn right they would have done.

You compare Alcohol to almost any drug you can think of. It's an awful drug, if used in the wrong way. The town centres of any English city on a Friday night prove that. The police cells on a Saturday morning likewise prove it.

But would you really want to ban it?

Like a lot of things, its a kneejerk reaction. And of course, most people don't think.
The commonest image that most people who have never touched Cocaine have of Cocaine, is Daniella Westbrook facing the camera to reveal that in her case, where nostrils were concerned, two had become one.



And this of course, just adds more grist to the mill. Do a line of Coke, your nose falls out.

Ok.

Well, I guess the best thing for me to do here is put my hands up and admit I've done Cocaine in my life.
In fact, I'll go further. From your point of view, I've done a LOT of Cocaine. From Daniella Westbrook's point of view, I've hardly touched it.

You see, there IS a huge difference between USE and ABUSE. Something we seem to understand when it comes to alcohol. But not Ecstasy, Cannabis, or - Cocaine.

To be sure, if you abuse Cocaine, the results really aren't good. Ms Westbrook's septum proves that. But they'd never have used Oliver Reid in beer adverts either.

Francis Rossi- he of Status Quo fame and likewise a man who lost his septum- reckons he polished off about 150 kilos of the stuff in his lifetime.
Now this is abuse. It's not rational use- it's high level addiction funded by having more money than sense.



What you don't realise is that thousands of ordinary professional people shell out on Cocaine every weekend and have perfectly intact septums.

I think the problem with the 'drugs' debate (God I hate that word, the grouping together of so many diverse stimulants together in a blanket bag of evil), is that it's based on so many logical fallacies.

The anti drug lobby simply have to say 'It can do this, if you do too much', or 'We don't know yet what it might do, because not enough research has been done'.

What kind of arguments are these? And apologists spend too much time fighting these non-sequiters.
Firstly, the burden of proof should rest with those seeking to prohibit. Not those seeking to defend individual liberty.
Secondly, proof that something CAN prove harmful, if misused, does not mean that there might not be positives which distinctly outweigh those negatives.

Which is why Cocaine is such a good example to use.
Because Cocaine has obvious, tangible, demonstrable negatives.

It costs. It costs a lot of money. Most drugs are dirt cheap, so the argument that they cause people to commit crime- other than the crime of buying or selling them doesn't hold too much water. With Cocaine, the simple cost of the drug and its powerful attraction means that it can conceivably lead people to take drastic measures.

Non sequiter. This one very good example of a case where the fact that it is a seller's market and its a drug very much in demand, means that the street price of this drug is astronomical compared to production costs.

With most drugs, if you legalised them and taxed them at the same rate you do tobacco (about 80% of the price you pay being tax), the cost to the user would remain largely unchanged. With Cocaine, it would drop substantially.

The fact is, people are prepared to pay good money for it.

And the fact is, no one stops to ask why? Why are people prepared to pay so much money for an illegal drug? We ARE talking £40 approximately a gramme.
It's a lot of money.

Cocaine is NOT a drug you can use on income support. Crack, yes. But for reasons, I'm not going to go into here, that's actually a Cocaine PRODUCT, essentially transmuted into a narcotic. It's not the same thing.

I'll tell you what the real point about Cocaine is.

A huge number of people have actually already, through EXPERIENCE, made Cocaine their drug of choice. They've decided, one way or another, it gives value for money. In a way alcohol most certainly does not.

I used to use it loads. I hardly touch it now- but that's not for any particular reason other than I tend to be slightly less wild than I once was, and I have a career to think about. It's the law and the cost. But there are still times when I won't say no. The fact is, it's a very pleasurable stimulant.

It's difficult to explain to someone who has never used it what the attraction is. The best way I can explain it, is that is both an anaesthetic and a stimulant.

So it sedates you as well as stimulating you.

My favorite words to describe it are 'serene' and 'tranquil'.



It puts you in a calm frame of mind, it totally relaxes any nervous tension you might have, yet at the same time heightening your awareness and your co-ordination. It hones your thought patterns into straighter lines, it enhances your cognitive abilities.

You feel as Sauron does when he puts the ring on his finger.

It's not everyone's stimulant at all, not at all. Some people shouldn't use it. But some people shouldn't drink either.

Some of the most advanced thought processes in my life have happened whilst using Cocaine. Some of the post here that I would say were conceptually my best, weren't actually written on Cocaine, but they were composed on it. They were composed in conversations at parties and emerged in post form at some later point.

I'm not going to say that Cocaine doesn't have many negative qualities. Look at Daniella Westbrook's missing Septum and you'll see, of course it does.

But life is about balances and you can't get something for nothing. Everything has a price, and certainly Cocaine can demand a price, as can most things.

But it is my belief that people should have the right to make their own mind up on this things.

Cocaine, like anything else, can cause pleasure, but ultimately it can cause pain in terms of human cost, it can deliver misery too, I don't deny that.

It can cause enlightenment, transcendance, cognitive liberation, or even, just a great night with a wealth of beautiful emotions.



And in some cases it can fry people's brains and lead to drug induced psychosis. There's no denying that.

But does it actually OVERALL offer more positives than negatives to the potential user?
My view? If used in moderation, yes. I reckon over the last ten yours about four hundred grammes have gone up my nose. That might be four hundred grammes more than you, but it's 149,600 grammes LESS than it took to deprive Francis Rossi of his septum.

On the whole, weighing it up, most people who come across it, tend to find that it becomes their drug of choice. It doesn't mean they turn into crazy Coke fiends, just that all things being equal it is, when used in moderation, the thing that potentially gives MOST, in terms of value for money, and in terms of mental and physical recovery after usage, hurts least.

The law right now only offers us the people ONE drug of choice. And it's about the worst choice of the lot.
I think society would be a lot better off if we allowed people to make their OWN choices on this.
And actually allowed people to gain knowledge on things from better sources than the Government message 'Drugs are bad' and the dealer's message 'Go on, it's cool.'

Because Cocaine isn't bad at all, not if used responsibly, no more so than Vodka- and a lot more mentally stimulating and conducive to creating good company.

I'm going to come out and say, I think that not only should Cocaine be legal, but actually using it in moderation actually has huge benefits to the individual.

Mankind has found so many stimulants that are BETTER for it than fermented berries and fermented hops.

And I really think it's only vested interests keeps it that way.

I'd love to be able to say 'Try it, you might like it', but I think my critics might then accuse of me of using this blog to actively push 'hard drugs'!

So I'm not going to say that.

What I am going to ask you to do, is agree that people should be able to make their own minds up and each of us be allowed to find our own routes to happiness, as long as those routes don't trample over the routes of others.

The poll is in the sidebar.

Have your say!

8 comments:

Nunyaa said...

as long as those routes don't trample over the routes of others.

I think with anything, this is valid.

Drugs choose no certain class or style of people, the people themselves make that choice. I agree that people from all walks of life use and most times, you would not know if you came face to face with them unless they admitted so.
Someone who drinks alcohol is not necessarily an addict and I guess the same would apply to those who have the occasional smoke or use other drugs, it don't make them an addict. We hear lots about the impact cocaine and other hard drugs have on society but does this include those who DON'T do criminal activities to support that habit ?
Having said all that, I have never tried it and most likely wouldn't.

sparsely kate said...

I have never tried cocaine...but I'm wary of drugs and alcohol. I think because I see too much abuse of the stuff and the way it ruins the lives of family members.

I can see your point and I understand that if you are single and can support your lifestyle and choices then well and good - but doesn't it too often blur into occasional useage/ habit forming addiction?

jmb said...

Well actually there are two legal drugs, you should say, alcohol and nicotine. Hard to say which is the more destructive there, except smoking and driving do not have the same potential danger as drinking and driving but on the body itself it would be a toss up.

Needless to say, you are not going to have me agree with you here. Just because two drugs are legal is not an argument for making more legal, especially one like cocaine, which is one of the most seductive but ultimately addictive substances around. Not only that but cocaine can kill, causing respiratory failure or cardiac arrest, even in young healthy adults, as well as causing all kinds of long term cardiac and respiratory problems.

Now I would ask why we should make such a drug legal when legal drugs which have legitimate medical uses but cause the same or similar problems are removed from the market often.

For example, Vioxx, which benefited millions of arthritis suffers was removed from the market because of its side effects of causing cardiac arrest and strokes. Now you might say, well they were terrified of being sued but in actual fact no drug ever reaches the market before it undergoes rigorous testing and receives approval by a government body which has this as its mandate. Every country has such an entity. So they were doing it voluntarily before probably being forced to do so.

Now cocaine has many legitimate medical uses today so it certainly should not be removed as we did with heroin in the late fifties. But legalizing it such that anyone can self prescribe it to make them fell stimulated with a touch of serenity or tranquillity would not be wise thing for society in my opinion.

You can argue it for legalization of cocaine all you like, and you do argue well, but the fact is the majority of society is not convinced.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

An interesting post. I find myself agreeing, or at least not disagreeing with much of what you say. Also with much in the comments

I saw JMB wrote “I would ask why we should make such a drug legal”. For me in this I think the opposite way round, (sorry JMB)

I don’t think the government should be in the business of saying what drugs or anything else should be legal. I don’t think they should ever be deciding what can be legal, like if they don’t give permission it is illegal.

Surely the assumption should be if something, anything, is not specifically made illegal then we should presume it is legal. Further I think it should be considered long and hard before anything is made illegal.

I would say… What happened when the US instituted prohibition? Did people suddenly stop drinking? No. Of course not.

Did this bring the law into disrepute in that it made otherwise law abiding people into criminals? Absolutely.

Was it the making of organised crime in the US? Pretty much.

Did it do more good than harm in the end? Yes probably…

Selena Dreamy said...

Personally, I’d like nothing better than living on a diet of champagne and cocaine - the Soma of Huxley’s Brave New World.

What sealed Germany's fate in the end, was Hitler's graduation to hard drugs, heroin and then cocaine, which he not merely inhaled but injected. The advantage of crack over cocaine is that, while cocaine is acceptable, even de rigeur, at dinner parties of media people, crack has a rat-like inner-city bite. Men in my own social circle take Viagra because it counters the effect of cocaine and ecstasy, which raise lust but cause impotence.

A snort of coke stops the rush of blood from cerebellum to penis. Coming up short is your dick. Coming up long is dialogue and fantasy... just like this post, which - if you’ll permit me to say so, my dear Crushed, is far too long and rambling...

D.

Crushed said...

Nunyaa- People are aware of the small minority who commit crimes to feed their habit.
It's not a reprsentative sample.

It is estimated a million people in the UK use Ecstasy every wekend.

It is estimated that a fifth of those under forty smoke cannabis at least once a month.

As for Cocaine, I don't know the figures, but i do know that at most of the parties I go to- where most people are professional late twenties/early thirties, it is accepted as fairly normal. Not everyone will accept it, though I'd say a majority do, and even the minority aren't particularly bothered by it happening.

Kate- So do most things, if you let them. Drink does. And personally, I think alcoholism a worse addiction than a coke habit.

These things can be addictive yes, but There have been times in my life when yes, I've been driven by addiction.

Though I wouldn't say I was ever addicted to Cocaine.

I think i hadv a drink dependency for a while at 20, and I'm sure I had an amphetamine dependancy at about 22-23.

How did I break those? Oddly, by shifting focus to another drug of choice- or drugs of choice, thereby breaking the stranglehold of those particular substances at those times.

I guess I avoided SPECIFIC addiction, by spreading my eggs across several baskets...

Yes, tere is the risk of addiction. But that, at the end of the day, should be the right of the individual to manage.

jmb- Drinking and driving is still illegal...

Why should we make it legal?
Because unlike the other drugs you mention which have been removed, peole actually want to use Cocaine. The other drugs you mention have health benefits, but probably don't deliver the huge payload in terms of stimulating the pleasure nerves that Cocaine does.

Put bluntly, that's the issue. People LIKE to take Cocaine. For many, it's one of the good things in life. So you need a damn good reason to tell people why they can't use up their LEGITIMATELY acquired tokens on this particular pleasure.

Wise, yes, because it removes victimless crime, a total oxymoron in a civilised society.

I always says the law abiding drug user is where homosexuals were fifty years ago.

The Majority isn't convinced- yet.

But that's a generation thing. The majority of under forties are, I think.

The war on drugs will be over in my lifetime. And drugs will have won.

Moggs- I agre wholeheartedly with your comment, yes.

I would say a main reason most peole of our generation regard the Police in this country with utter contempt is how we saw them in our late teens- the busters of raves, complete with riot gear and sniffer drugs, dragging off people who to us, were good guys.

And that's still how we see them.

It's no coincidence that the commonest word used in slang terms- one I use myself to describe them- is 'The Filth'.

We have grown up to believe that a law may not be right, just because its the law, and we are the generation of the eleventh commandment.

Selena- Never had a taste for Champagne...

Crack, no. Evil stuff- worse than heroin in my book.
The problem with Crack, is that it is the INSTANT high, literally.
You feel like God as you inhale, but then you exhale and it's gone.

Hence the desperation of the crack addict to keep pressing that button.

My own experuence of sex on either Ecstasy or Cocaine- usually on both in my case, is that- since e're going into this teritory- is that it can take a while to get things going, but when they do, you'd be surprised how long the batteries last- it's hard to get the beast to wake, but when he does, he won't go back to his cave...

Crashdummie said...

great. now i'm gonna have the cocaine tribute song stuck in my head... its too darn catchy!

I'm kinda with sparsely_kate on this one - neva tried it, and i doubt i'd ever will. Funny thing was that when I was travelling to Amsetrdam, a friend of mine recommended me to go to a coffeshop and try a spacebrownie cuz he thought i'd like it.

Weird, considering he already know my policy regarding drugs use...

but as u pointed out, there is a diff between use and abuse. But sometimes that line is fine or all blurry...

mutleythedog said...

Everyone can go to hell in a hand cart as far as I am concerned...