Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Hearty Appetite

Suzanne Willis sent me this e-mail. She was responding to something she read in the Dallas Morning News.

If, as Mr. Schram says, drug violence is due to Americans’ appetite for drugs, drug violence would have begun when Americans began using drugs. It didn’t.

Americans have used cocaine, morphine and marijuana since the first Europeans arrived on the continent. For most of our country’s history, distribution and use were quite peaceful.

In 1900 any man, woman or child could walk into a drug store and buy all of these drugs. Bayer Heroin cost the same as Bayer Aspirin. There are no records of “drug crimes” until after 1914 when the Harrison Narcotics Act, one of the first major laws restricting drug distribution, was passed.

The Harrison Narcotics Act was championed by the Temperance Movement and vigorously opposed by the medical community. Law enforcement was silent. Drug distribution had never been a law enforcement issue.

On May 15, 1915 , an editorial in the New York Medical Journal declared:
“The really serious results of this legislation…will only appear gradually.… These will be the failures of promising careers, the disrupting of happy families, the commission of crimes…and the influx into hospitals for the mentally disordered of many who would otherwise live socially competent lives.”

I don't think cocaine and morphine came into existence until extracting them from plant material was possible. Morphine in 1803. Cocaine in 1855. But still, the general principle is right. And what do you know? Even in 1915 it was recognized that such plant extracts could help with mental disorders. Something I have only been saying for about 7 or 8 years. Boy, am I ever behind the times. Of course those were simpler times. People thought that they had a right to choose their own medicines. Now a days the medical cartel has taken away most personal choice in the matter. Fur da grater god do val.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Pastorius said...

M. Simon,
My experience with taking medication for pain is that it does help for a period of time, but in the long run it makes the pain worse. Additionally, the need for the medication becomes an obsession which turns daily life into a horror.

Other than that, I'm with you. I think these drugs should be legal.

What do you say to my first paragraph? Do you have personal experience with taking medication for pain?

M. Simon said...

I smoke cigarettes for my PTSD. It helps. I would like to smoke that other stuff since it helps more and is easier on the body but you know that shit ain't legal and I'm out of the age cohort where availability is easy.

In any case I think the thing is that you have to take just enough to make the pain livable or else the body will make more pain to remind you of your problem.

We are not supposed to live pain free lives. It ends striving.

Too much of everything is just enough. And then you wind up wanting more.

Pastorius said...

Yep, I agree. I especially agree with the part about not living pain free lives.

I also understand what it's like to go through life with a high amount of anxiety. I'm guessing mine isn't as bad as yours, because no one would diagnose mine as PTSD. Mine simply comes from adoption and a bad childhood. But, it's bad enough for me to complain about.


Happy Holidays to you and yours.

M. Simon said...

Well mine came from a bad childhood too.

And there are levels of PTSD. And it declines over time. And the rate of decline is determined by severity and genetics.

Odds are if it is persistent it is PTSD. Diagnosed or not.

M. Simon said...

PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System

There is a link to an interesting Max Plank Institute study in the above. Mice lacking the CB1 system.

I think you will find it informative.

Pastorius said...

I've read your articles on this subject. I admire them, actually.

I write at Astute Bloggers, so I'm pretty familiar with what you do. In fact, I was the one who recommended you for that blog, for what it's worth.


What you say makes a lot of sense. The sad thing is, if people take to heart what you say, they might decide that pain-medications are a good idea for them. My opinion, and this is from experience, is that a disciplined schedule or prayer, meditation, and service of others is extremely helpful.

That sounds crazy to most people, but it does work wonders for many people.

One must also take an accounting of their own life and determine the patterns of thought that cause certain behaviors, and then decide what they want to keep, and what they want to get rid of.

Anyway, that is what has worked for me. Pain medication did not.

Thing is, one has to be as diligent about the spiritual disciplines as one has been about the medication, or else my remedy won't work any better than the medication.

M. Simon said...

The reason I no longer blog at Astute Bloggers is that Reliapundit is a very big drug war fan and he thinks that punishing people for their drug use is a good thing. He and I got into it over that and even when I dropped the matter he wouldn't let go.

I could never understand that.

I think that for some/many drug users it may be a mistake. But government punishment for people who are already being punished by their trauma doesn't seem right to me. People ought to be allowed their crutches until they are able to walk unaided.

And then there is the matter of financing criminals, the corruption of governments, etc.

Pastorius said...

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the drug war. I'm more of a Libertarian on drugs.

By the way, I smoke cigars and drink coffee and take Valerian Root, Melatonin and Hydroxine for my anxiety.