Monday, December 19, 2005

Veins versus Societal Preconceptions #5,742(b)

Sable X. Veins re-educates the misled. Feel free to think for yourself.

Please find below - edited for netslang and carriage-return legibility, but not for content - a brief transcript of a conversation between myself (SXV) and a young lady (A). My later notes in [square brackets].

A ...Take what drugs?
SXV Mainly cannabis - although hallucinogens interest me.
A Well don't let them.
SXV They're a lot safer than they're made out to be, so long as you use them responsibly.
A No they are not. Don't be stupid.
SXV Don't you be stupid. What, precisely, is dangerous about them?
A They make you do dumb-ass things without realising. You can't find your own fucking feet.
SXV That's not true: it depends on the drug, on the dosage, on the person taking... The only genuinely dangerous narcotics - to people who are fairly mentally stable and responsible - are cocaine and opiate derivatives. Acid can be dangerous, because it stays in your system - but you can control the trip, and as long as you have someone to hold your hand you're safe. Most hallucinogens are fairly mild.
A No.
SXV Yes.
A The person there to hold your hand will probably be pretty out of it.
SXV Only if they're taking the drug too.
A And you don't ever know exactly what you are taking.
SXV Not true. It depends on your supplier. Don't even try and pretend that you understand mind-altering substances simply because you've read the sheets your school gave you. Yes, they can be dangerous, but as long as you're careful, you're at no more risk - and often less - than drinking alcohol. Of course, don't ever take anything given to you by someone you don't know and trust, and never do hallucinogens alone, or with people who are not in a fit state to look after you. Most pyschedelics produce short, often controllable trips, or simple alterations of visual perception.
A Don't patronise me. I don't just know by what they tell me at school.
SXV Then what, precisely, is your experience?
A [Long pause.]
SXV Pray tell.
A No, it isn't your business, and you are being rude and patronising.
SXV You've made it my business by saying - and I quote - "I don't just know by what they tell me at school" - as part of your counterargument. You can't advance that without supporting it. If you don't want to talk about it, fair enough - that's your prerogative - but you can't use as part of a coherent argument.
A I'm saying you don't know what you are talking about. [Oh don't I?] And I don't have to do anything.
SXV Of course not. I'm not being "rude", I'm being perfectly reasonable. I apologise [grudgingly - in order that the debate be allowed to move on] for the school comment, but you did sound exactly like a PSE lesson - and you know how skewed those can be.
A Yes I do. That is why I don't listen.
SXV I don't mean to patronise. [Well, I did, but I was making a point. Besides, I think A is creatively misunderstanding me here.]
A OK then. But it isn't my buisness what you do.
SXV Well then, if that's what you think, then don't ask me what I do.
A I was curious as to what you meant by "taking drugs". And in answer I don't have any experience. I just have a view that drugs are dumb.
SXV That's rather blanket, don't you think? "Drugs are dumb"? Where do you draw the line?
A I'm not sure.
SXV Precisely.
A Don't be arrogant.
SXV I'm not being arrogant. Coke is too damaging, smack is too damaging; ecstasy and speed are close - but cannabis and most pyschedelics are safe* as long as they are used in moderation and come from a good source. But then, alcohol in large quantities isn't safe either. It's addictive, severely damaging to internal organs, and impairs responses and reasoning.
A Yeah.
SXV Do you see? Can it genuinely be argued that an addictive, internally destructive, reflex- and reasoning-impairing drug is safer than a mild psychedelic that gives you a short waking dream or causes you to see colours differently simply because society has legally declared it to be so?
A I suppose. But the drugs can more easily go wrong in a small dose whereas alchohol cannot.
SXV Again, it depends on the source and the user. [Also, "small dose" is far too relative.]
A Perhaps.
SXV Definitely. Someone who's already unhinged could clearly be pushed over the edge by (even a small) trip.
A True.
SXV And - this is backed by scientific and anecdotal evidence - most (mild) illegal narcotics only cause negative effects when a) taken in badly measured (i.e. too large) doses - such as too much in one dose, or an overdose in an incautious user (but too much alcohol in one go can kill you too); b) mixed or cut with another drug which reacts badly in conjunction with first; or c) cut with rat posion etcetera. I'm not saying that anyone should use them - I'm just saying that people shouldn't overreact to these things. Of course a risk is involved-
A Yeah.
SXV -but, there's a risk involved in - er - everything you do. Ever.
A Yeah.
SXV You see my point?
A I do.



At 11:30 pm, Blogger Sable X. Veins said...


At 8:58 pm, Blogger Withiel said...

An admirable project indeed. Also, I agree wholeheartedly with your stance on OMG TEH ILLEGAL DRUG0RZ!, and applaud the eloquence with which you put it forward. I find it very interesting that we live in a society where the drug of choice (excluding alcohol) is nicotine, which does very little apart from give you cancer, but psilocybin mushrooms, which are more or less harmless but induce mind-expanding hallucinations, are Verboten. Also, the only reason to ban such a substance is that you believe that entering altered states of reality is Bad.
~Terry Pratchett: "The only people who don't like escapism are jailers"
~Michael Moorcock: "Jailers are perfectly fine with escapism; it's escape they don't like".

All this will eventually go into my "why drugs are better than religion" article

At 5:52 pm, Blogger Oscillating Hazelnut said...

Psilocybin, salvia divinorum, etc. are not harmless at all. Much like every drug, controlled or not, out there. The amount of harm that is done by taking any drug is inversely proportional to the sense and care with which it is administered.

At 1:36 am, Blogger Sable X. Veins said...

A good point, Oscilnut.


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