Friday, July 27, 2007

Missing the (blunt) point

More research linking cannabis with psychosis, and while correlation between the 2 is admitted by the study authors (alternate hypothesis: psychotics may take up smoking more), it doesn't appear until after the first header break, and even then only gets a small paragraph. The tone of the article is definitely more concerned with a pre-decided, straight-forward "cannabis will break your head!" line.

Been reading a couple of Castaneda books recently, which deal with psychotropic drug use to arrive at a different "view of reality" (actually, it's more about breaking from your "established" view, which probably explains why it's banned more than anything). That drug use is not a necessity (a point made clear in "Tales of Power") is not the point. The relevant message here is thoroughly in line with Leary's message: Drugs are a Technology and, as with all technologies, is inherently Powerful. But whether they are "good" or "bad", "harmful" or "liberating" depends utterly on how you use them. Giving a gun to a baby is stupid. Driving a car if you're blind is stupid. Using a laptop in the rain is asking for warranty troubles.

Unfortunately, the state of British drug policy is overly (or perhaps underly) compartmental: drugs are for "leisure", "medicine" or "harm". The alternative state of "exploration" is curiously and constantly overlooked. Drugs can be dangerous, but surely that's why they should be treated with far more respect and understanding than we give them today.

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