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Author of the Month

The Drugs Problem
By Gregory Sams

At the age of 19, Gregory Sams was pioneering the introduction of natural and organic foods within the UK. Fifteen years later, in 1982, he created and christened the world's first VegeBurger. In 1990 he opened a retail shop, "Strange Attractions", off London's Portobello Rd, dedicated to introducing chaos theory and fractal design to the culture. Sams is the author of Uncommon Sense - the State is Out of Date, published 1998 (in which The Drugs Problem is a chapter). The full text of this book is now online, together with the preface to his next book, plus other writing and his stunning fractal gallery at www.gregorysams.com.

"The Drug War is fueled by the fact that at this historic moment...our politicians are suffering from enemy deprivation. Faced with the real problems of urban decay, slipping global competitiveness, and a deteriorating educational system, the government has decided instead to turn its energies toward the sixty million Americans who use illegal psychoactive drugs."
Timothy Leary

The primary problem with drugs is that they are illegal and/or state-controlled. This counter-evolutionary control by the state, of substances that we take for other than nutritional purposes, is the root cause of virtually all the problems that people are concerned about in connection with drugs, drug abuse and drug-related crime. Sure, all drugs have potential problems if abused. But we are human beings, and able to make judgements about these things, and treat them with respect and caution - just as we must with our food, our driving and our sex. Cannabis, magic mushrooms, peyote, opium, coca leaf extracts and alcohol were all legal at the end of the 19th century, when only alcohol was regarded as a major social problem. A century later, we find that alcohol is the only consciousness-altering drug that remains legal.

It should not surprise us that young people, especially, seek to experiment with drugs that alter or enhance their perception of life, and that youths and adults seek a drug-granted respite from the predictability of everyday life. There's a menu full of options out there to choose from but all of our choices are channelled towards alcohol. The biggest cause of alcoholism is, perhaps, the difficulty in obtaining safer, non-addictive and less befuddling alternatives, cannabis in particular. During the 1990's alcohol consumption reduced amongst Europe's youth, together with football hooliganism, as a wider selection of drugs became available.

It seems a reasonable desire for people to find some means to get “out of their heads” from time to time - to take a totally different perspective on life. Perhaps some new perspectives on life are needed in the world today and the attraction to drugs is evolution trying to happen. We should be pleased that today's generation is avoiding the trap of alcohol addiction, together with the anti-social behaviour, depression, trivia worship and middle-age burnout that abusers risk. Used sensibly, alcohol can be a beneficial drug that enhances and maintains our health and well-being. Alcohol has a well-earned place in our culture but that place should not be defended by state legislation and turned into a drug monopoly.

Drugs are an integral part of our culture and, as most of us learned in school, drugs often formed the core of the early business which brought the world's differing cultures into trade with each other. These products of trade included tobacco, alcohol, opium, tea,[1] coffee, chocolate, cocaine and sugar.[2] We could almost regard pepper and spices as virtual drugs to the taste buds of the bland European palate of the mid-millennium. The glorious history of trade in the civilized world relied upon civilization's search for new and diverse drugs and sensory input.

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  1. Tea was such an expensive 18th century American drug that its affluent users would eat the buttered and salted dried leaves after having boiled them into a strong bitter brew. (James Trager, The Foodbook, Grossman NY). [back to text]
  2. Prior to the discovery of sugar cane, the primary sweetening for European culture had been expensive honey available from bees that were, of course, not fed sugar. Sugar has the habit-forming effect of raising our blood-sugar level rapidly to a degree useable only by someone running the 100 metre dash. Our blood sugar level drops soon after this rush, leading to a craving for more. [back to text]

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