Re: The War on Drugs

drieux H. (
Fri, 19 Jan 1996 15:04:04 -0500

] I have been moderately silent on this post because my experiences of the
] 60s are so dramatically different from the general tone of your concerns.
] However, I did live in a closet of The Haight Ashbury Free Clinic for a
] month because I had paid rent on it as well as David Smith. At the time
] two young medical people who had come out with "research" on the terrible
] dangers of LSD called the Clinic. They were vainly trying to abrogate the
] publicity surrounding their study, and they couldn't stop it although the
] said the so-called research was in fact false. No media at all would listen
] to them.

p1: could you summarise their basic "findings" - since to date
about all I have been able to put together as being moderately
PropogandaFree was best summarised as:

Some People are not ready for the Trip.

Most of the "bad trips" that I dealt with came under that
rubrik, since the kids using it had more InBuiltParanoia
than they were ready to deal with. Granted, bad chemistry
probably accounts for most of the other cases.

1a) My own research lead me to agree with the "Palo Alto" Effect,
namely that one has one set of trip while sitting in the clinic
being clinically analysed, and a totally different, and in my
most humble opinion, more fun one, once the "science" stopped
and the simple playing began. { we have a long heritage of
Black Sheep in my family. }

1b) What has amused me as a mathmatician and cogsciFreak was
my personal proclivity when running into a 'bad trip' to engage
my mind in rather amusing cartesian co-ordinate problems, since
this 'compute intensive' sequence generally tended to regulate
and slow down the data flow until I was again able to let it
play itself out in fractals/mandella.

p2: I would not try to rescue the war in vietnam based upon
the possible vector of marijuana usage, that I believe was
already growing in the 'hippie culture' independently and was
leaking out into the MacroSociety with the arrival of the
San Francisco Sound. I'm sure someone will recall the great
funeral for the Haight, and that occurs PRIOR to the Big
Onslaught in Vietnam, namely TET when it becomes apparent
that the Government has not been Fully Truthful with MainStreetUSA.
Thus I would see "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane as the
more likely transmission path, since the 'drug problem' from
vietnam would not show up in a major way until well after TET.

{ I will not debate the effectiveness of meditation on ending
the war, since clearly the other efforts were about as effective. }

p3: I also list Dick Gregory's comment about how there wasn't
a Drug Problem until "DRUGS" showed up in WhiteMiddleClassSuburbs,
as being the more relevant notion of the spread of marijuana usage
into the CremeDeLaCremeOfCulture.

p4: What I still do NOT understand is why 'getting high' was/is
listed as a "PROBLEM" to begin with? And remain very confused
by this piece of kulturkampf - since it would not be until
the late seventies and early eighties that there would be M.A.D.D.
and other efforts to make the streets safe from alcohol users.
Why Not a War on TrashTV, or a War on TrashLiterature... Granted,
the image of ArmedJackBooted B.A.T.T. { Buero of Anti Trash TV }
breaking down doors in the Suburbs to turn off silly talk shows
seems about as Relevant to some of the Operations we get as it is.

p5: What I find most depressing in the Failed Dialog was that folks
were TOTALLY unwilling to address the question of "work v. play"
as being the essential Anxiety Point. Here are Hippies doing what
they Like, and getting by, and hence this is BAD, since they are
not SUFFERING with Work. I try to explain to folks now that I like
what I do, playing in a super computer center, for me, is playing
in the World's Largest VidioGame. And they say, "You should get a life."
to which I rejoin, "I tried that, and it did not work."

p6: so yes, my basic summary is that as a Tax Payer, I'm not getting
my Money's Worth out of the War on Drugs, and clearly it's time to
DeMythologise the Process, and get on with addressing the core problems:

a) When drugs are used as an Escape Route, resolve the
core problem that needs to be Escaped in the First Place.

b) I stopped complaining about people who like to parachute
when one of them told me about the time it was ACTUALLY the
saner prospect as the pilot declared an in air emergency. SO
YES, some liesure time experiences can be dangerous.

alas, little has changed since the days when LSD was legal.