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Out of Your Head: Drugs Through the Ages

Interesting documentary on amanita muscaria, more commonly known as fly agaric. Anthropological studies of Siberian shamans revealed that awareness of the mind-altering properties of the mushroom came about from the observation of reindeer – the practice of drinking the urine of someone who had consumed fly agaric is also said to have come from studying the behaviour of reindeer. Apparently there are exceptions to the expression “don’t eat yellow snow”.

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Just when you thought it was safe to take LSD, a dangerous look alike floods the market. Reformers blame a drug-policy that forces psychedelics into an unregulated underworld.

On the 10th of June, the NBOME series of psychedelics were placed under a year-long temporary ban by the Government. What will be the outcome of the ban? Even more untested and unheard of research chemicals. Why did the NBOME chemicals become so popular? Because the government won’t do the logical thing and legalise the psychedelics that we actually know about: LSD, DMT, mescaline & psilocybin.

Unlike the aforementioned psychedelics, the NBOME chemicals have not been subject to testing to confirm whether they are physically dangerous or not.  Users who were either unable to access these drugs or feared legal repercussions were forced into a corner and the NBOME chemicals seemed to provide a solution.  As NBOME use became more widespread, we heard more and more about the potential side effects: seizures, fainting and even death.

Unlike with the NBOME chemicals, an overdose of the traditional psychedelics would be a very deliberate act. There has not been a single documented case of a person dying due to LSD, for example.  Alcohol, on the other hand, kills nearly 9000 people in the UK every year. To me, it seems totally unreasonable that I am able to drink myself to death and smoke lung-shrivelling tobacco but I could face up to 7 years in prison for possessing LSD.

A recent report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction showed that the number of new synthetic drugs is rising at increasing rate, with 73 new drugs recorded in 2012 compared to only 49 in 2011. The research chemical, or legal high, market is expanding at an alarming rate. It’s only a matter of time until yet another untested drug takes the place of the NBOME series. How can we tackle this revolving door of legality and prohibition?

The solution, to me, appear rather obvious. For centuries people have used psychoactive substances to achieve a level of altered consciousness and no laws are going to change that. It is the time that the Government ditched its ‘holier than thou’ attitude and actually embarked on a pragmatic change in policy. We have two options; we can allow people to freely use the psychedelics which have been used safely for decades, if not centuries or we can allow people to carry on risking their lives with drugs we know nothing about.

– article submitted by Scott Lumsden.

david cameron drug meme prohibition ganja warcameron david drugs prohibition weed cannabis memeI take as my evidence two articles reported on by the BBC:

Cameron ‘smoked drugs at school’

Cameron pressed on drugs question

So, let’s get this clear. David Cameron is just a man: he was born with exactly the same inherent value of you and I. Yet, through an elaborate conbination of Eaton/Oxford social networking, wealth, acting, and an insufferable knack for cunning PR escape acts, he is now in a position to tell you what you can and cannot do with your mind and body.

The above articles show that this man, our Prime Minister, David Cameron, used cannabis. Cameon’s PR strategy was to distance himself from his past, to remove its relevance to the present moment: but how can that be possible?

Does Mr.Cameron think it would have been justice if he had, at the time, been busted? His political career would have been totally derailed, for nothing!

I wonder if he is the only politician who has ever dabbled? I wonder how many UK politicians were themselves once guilty of the same “legal transgretions”? The very same behaviour they are happy to sit idly by and watch others go to prison for.

Maybe one of those prisoners, doing a decade for a drug related crime, can announce that its “just in the past” and be allowed on their merry way?

Hypocrisy! It is pure hypocrisy, that the leaders of the UK and the leader of the US, sit on their thrones and oversee a system that criminalises human beings on an industrial scale, all guilty of the same crime they once broke. It derails lives, where their own lives were not derailed.

If these two individuals, who like others to think that they contribute to society so so much, once smoked cannabis, and in Obama’s case used cocaine, why not allow others who wish to contribute to society to use drugs as well?

Then there is the more subtle hypocrisy. How many politicians drink? Yet isn’t drink just another drug? Compared to cannabis and some other substances, isn’t it, in many ways, a far more damaging drug? A drug more harmful both to individuals and society? If altering consciousness is some kind of inherent moral wrong, it would seem most of Britain is guilty of it.

It seems hard to justify a law that is so widely-enforced, without assuming there must be some kind of moral wrong inherent in drug-use: but if that is so, why is alcohol exempt? Of course that assumes that the foundation of law is (and should be?) about morality: “social engineering” is the official term for the real goals of drug prohibition, morality is nothing to do with it.

Then there’s the class issue.  Apparently it’s kinda OK that thousands of poor people get their lives messed around by “drug-law enforcement procedures”, but the Eaton old boys network can smoke a number on the cricket lawn and it’s all just fine.

When these VIP’s smoked it, when they were younger, did they think:

“Now I understand why it must be criminalised! What a terrible evil this stuff is!”?

I’m sure it happened just like that! They know that it’s no big deal: so why is there this complacency? Why do they sit idly by and do nothing to change unjust laws?

Well, there are many possible explanations for it. It’s actually quite a fascinating mystery, there are so many theories as to why the state is so irrational and stubborn when it comes to the issue of drugs.

One thing to consider is that, this “war on drugs” was never really our war. This hysteria, this witch-hunt, this inquisition: it was America, this war is their game, not ours. America’s obsession with driving out supposed “evils” from society is always what progresses its march of over-criminalisation.

They imprison 1% of their population, over 25% of their prisons are private, we as a nation do not want to become that.


There’s the right way, the wrong way, and the way that works: the time is right to experiment with relaxing drug laws in the UK and around The World.

cognitive-liberty-infographic-how-many-uk-british-politicians-have-smoked-weed-cannabis

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