RE: Rifle, Dope & Camera (multiple responses)

Thu, 27 Nov 1997 02:47:05 -0500


From: Ralph Carlson <RCarlson@APUNET.APU.EDU>
Subject: RE: Rifle, Dope & Camera

Maggie --

Thanks for the informative and documented posting. I had my
all-expense-paid vacation in sunny S E Asia in 1970-71. I still
remember stepping off base onto Highway 1 at Phu Bai Combat Base south
of Hue one mid-morning and being approached by a kid about ten years
old who had jumped off the back of a cyclo to offer me a small vial of
heroin ("skag") for only two dollars.

Some of my acquaintances reported sprinkling it in with tobacco and
re-rolling their cigarettes. Others reported lacing their marijuana
joints with it. Still others, who said nothing about their own use or
non-use, reported fears of having heroin vials planted in their gear
or in their bedding (for those with huts and cots) before inspection
as "users" had previously set-up "non-users" to be caught when the
higher ranks were inspecting for drugs, suspecting that certain
non-users had "ratted on the users."

As I was processing out of Saigon in 1971, one acquaintance with whom
I had trained before we were assigned to Viet Nam, was guzzling water
and soft drinks constantly during the time a bunch of us gave urine
samples and processed out. I presume he was flushing his system: at
least the folks doing the urine testing kept telling him to give
another sample - what he produced was "too thin" - or so he told those
of us going on through the drug-test station of the outprocessing.

As we gathered again at the next duty assignment in the USA following
30 days' leave, he was still with us and on the duty roster. He was
prone to "relaxing with a few beers" during off-duty hours, as he had
been during our many months of training BEFORE Viet Nam duty. A few
years after return to civilian life, I heard he was killed in a
highway accident. Alcohol-related? I don't know, but I suspect that
it may have been.

I would concur with the writer who contended that many people who may
have used substances to escape the stresses of life in the war zone
would often have found the stresses of civilian life less dire, and
would thus use more socially acceptable - or tolerated - means of
relieving or avoiding stress.

Peace -


From: "Allen Cohen" <SFORACLE@HOOKED.NET>
Subject: Re: Book recommendations

An important and hard to find primary source for drugs and hippie culture
of the Sixties is the San Francisco Oracle Facsimilie Edition, Regent
Press, OAkland CA.. search for Regent Press on Web. The story of San
Francisco Rock n Roll is in Summer of Love by Joel Selvin.

Allen Cohen



From: "Peter W. Brush" <>
Subject: Re: Rifle, Dope & Camera


> In Ronald Siegel's Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise,
> About heroin use, especially, during the Vietnam War, Siegel
> has this to say:
> "Approximately one out of every three soldiers tried heroin while in
> Vietnam

800,000 U.S. soldiers tried heroin!!!???

> and half of them became addicted.

400,000 heroin addicts in the military!!!???

I find these figures hard to believe, especially since the peak years
(1968 and 1969) for US involvement were before the peak years of
heroin use (1970-).

In 1971, U.S. Army medical officers estimated that 10-15% of lower
ranking enlisted personnel were heroin users. This is the category with
the highest percentage of users.

Can you tell us Siegel's source?

Peter Brush


Subject: Re: Rifle, Dope & Camera

Just a note from a former dope fiend: Siegel has it backwards. It is the
use of drugs and alcohol that creates the desire to be intoxicated through
the changes wrought in brain chemistry by the drug(s). Most people find
intoxication to be unpleasant and are only intoxicated a few times in a
lifetime. Random drug testing for academics might be an idea. Alcohol
became the drug of choice for many of the returning vets who had used heroin
in Viet Nam and did not wish to break the law here..

"In Ronald Siegel's Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise, he
suggests that "throughout our entire history as a species, intoxication
functioned like the basic drives of hunger, thirst or sex, sometimes
overshadowing all other activities in life. Intoxication is the fourth
drive" (10). "



From: Joe McDonald <>
Subject: Re: Rifle, Dope & Camera

Maggie Jaffe wrote:
> Dear Sixties People and Anne Marie:
> Along with the impact of Leary and company on the Sixties drug culture,
> it's also of interest to look at the way in which drugs and the Vietnam
> War, are inextricably linked

it is worth noting that the US military started giving out very powerful
anti-depressent drugs during the war and that there were lots of legal
uppers around to keep people up during the long patrols and downers for
going to sleep. this is not black market drugs i am speaking of but
legal drugs given out to soldiers by people with authority to do so. so
in the same way that the military hooked American GIs during WWII with
FREE cigarettes in c rations they hooked GIs in Vietnam on drugs and
free and cheap alcohol and then dumped them back home to kick. cheers,
country joe mcdonald

"A captain with a childs heart always commands a happy crew", Linda
country joe Hm Paje <> 
Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial <>