The Marriage of Drug, Black, and Jazz Cultures in the Earlier Days of Jazz Music

The jazz underground has always been associated with Black people and drugs even from its early days in the 1920’s.

The drug back then was mostly marijuana which was widely demonized back then because it was mostly used by Blacks and Hispanics. Whites who used it were more or less White niggers or wiggers so to speak.

The Pot Makes You Violent Bullshit

My Mom has believed this garbage her whole life. She keeps bringing it up. She got infected with this propaganda way back as a girl. This shows how strong propaganda is and how it has the potential to override all reason.

This is where the myth the crazed psychotic violent pot crazed murdering maniac comes from – the fact that most pot users were either city Blacks or low-skilled Mexican workers. These people were considered to be violent types – and they are more violent than Whites. They also used pot, so it was assumed that the pot and violence went together except that it didn’t and if anything it probably calmed them down.

There were also a few notorious cases in which unstable pot smokers went wild and committed some savage murders. The relationship of pot with these cases is unknown but back then, few people smoked pot, but one thing was for sure – almost all criminals, even White criminals, smoked pot. In fact it was seen as a drug of criminals which is why a lot of people didn’t want to use it.

The completely serious movie (now a so bad it’s great movie) Reefer Madness is emblematic of the anti-pot propaganda of the time.

A man named Henry J. Anslinger headed the Drug Enforcement Agency back then, and he had some sort of a hard-on for pot for some crazy reason. He led the anti-pot campaign in the US for many years starting  in the 1930’s. He was more of a brainwashed (and racist) fool than anything else, but he damaged the lives of a lot of innocent pot smokers.

Of course anyone who has smoked pot knows that it calms you down. I knew Jack Herrer, a famous post activist.

He told me that when he was in jail and prison, prisoners who smoked pot always calmed down a lot and became less aggressive and violent. He said some of the wardens even turned a blind eye to pot use for his reason. In fact, the passivity that this drug causes is one of its biggest problems, as people get lost in their bong hits and become apathetic as the world passes them by.

This amotivational syndrome is mostly an issue for teenagers and young adults and it is quite common among young potheads. However, I have hardly ever met an adult past age 23 who had amotivational syndrome, as most even very heavy pot-smokers develop the work ethic needed to survive in our society by that age.

Teenagers and young adults are notoriously apathetic and poorly motivated as it is, since they have not yet been beaten over the head with the Reality Stick of Life. Encapsulate such a young person in a perennial cloud of pot smoke, and it just makes the laziness and lack of guidance, direction, and purpose typical of this age group all the worse.

Anyway, the jazz scene lingered in mostly Black and rather sleazy nightclubs in ghettos where nevertheless a lot of lowlife White types who lived my sort of lifestyle liked to go to slum it up on weekends. White men have been slumming it up forever. There is a cool element to it as long as you do not get too taken in by it.

Ghetto Drugs and Non-Ghetto Drugs

Cocaine and heroin were also pretty widely widely used in this scene – cocaine all the way back to the 1920’s, when we were already getting warnings about the insidious nature of this drug. Heroin was always around too, as it’s always been in the ghettos. It got more popular in the 1950’s and many great Black jazz musicians become junkies.

Psychedelics were never popular, as not only were they not around then, but also people in the ghettos and barrios of big cities have never been big psychedelic fans.

Psychedelics actually do expand your awareness and exaggerate whatever environment you are in. This is great for self-exploration if you have a fairly cozy life, but if your life blows for any reason, you might just have a bad trip.

I kept a hit of strong LSD in my refrigerator for two years until I finally felt that my head was perfectly clear and sane enough to take the stuff. The importance of what is called set and setting is extremely important for drugs like this.  Psychedelics are not escapist drugs – they are the opposite.

As Blacks and Hispanics in city ghettos and barrios are usually living anywhere from a hardscrabble to nightmarish existence, the last they want to is to take a drug that makes that very existence about 10 times as powerful as it is.

On the other hand, PCP  was popular in the Black and Hispanic communities, but it is not a psychedelic per se, as it is more of an anesthetic – it was originally an animal tranquilizer, and people used to refer to it as “elephant tranquilizer,” which was exactly what it was used for.

Yes, that stuff was actually used to literally knock out massive elephants. Now think about a drug that is strong enough to put an elephant on its ass and try to imagine what it will do  to a comparatively puny human.

The PCP experience can be profoundly weird, but I suppose it is also a form of escapism, as when you use PCP  you are basically traveling to another  planet right here on Earth. Going all the way to another planet while never leaving your own is about as powerful as escapism gets, I would say.

Where is LSD in the United States Made, and Who Makes It?

Answered on Quora.
After the arrest of Picard, there has been an LSD shortage in the US.
Nevertheless, it is still made in the US. Most LSD in the US at the moment is being made in small labs in Southern or South Central California. They make batches every 3–5 years. In Canada, most LSD is presently being made in Southern Ontario.
The available LSD has been of very poor quality since the 1990’s. However, with the advent of the Dark Web, LSD has undergone a renaissance. There is one site in particular on the Dark Web that sells a lot of LSD. In addition, there are people on the Dark Web who test and review various batches of LSD. The result has been a lot of competition, increasing demand, and slowly increasing quality.
The days when pure white crystalline LSD was available are long gone.

Get Her Drunk! Give Her Drugs! Have Sex with Her! Yay!

That is, I get loaded or drunk on dope or booze with women and then I fuck them. Of course the women and girls are willing participants, but feminuts say it’s rape anyway. Anyway, intoxicated sex is a blast, and I recommend it to all discerning degenerates. I have gotten high on a lot of drugs with women and then had sex with them, mostly marijuana and cocaine, and pills. The only pills were tranks like Xanax. They are ok for sex as they relax you.
I’ve never done psychedelics, Ecstasy or PCP and had sex. It sounds a bit frightening. I don’t do speed. I’ve never done narcotics and had sex, but that sounds like a bad idea anyway, and the only narcotics I ever took were pills, and I hardly ever used them. Narcotics kill sex anyway.
Don’t dose women. That’s as sleazy as it gets, and it’s quite illegal these days.
Do I feed women drinks to get them drunk? I dunno? As I usually drink along with them, I guess not. Don’t feed women drinks to get them drunk.If you want to get her drunk, I understand, but you may as well drink along with her. It’s only fair.
If a woman gets drunk and has sex, it’s rape and she’s not responsible, say feminuts. That can only be possible if women are children. So are women children? I guess women are children.
I would like to point out that a lot of females have sexual inhibitions, and they deliberately drink themselves to get themselves loosened up enough for sex. I have been a party to such self-dosing on many an occasion. Taking the feminut theory logically, I guess these women are raping themselves by getting themselves drunk, but even when women rape themselves, I guess men are still guilty.
After all, feminists insist that women are eternal children, objects who have no agency. I agree that women are objects, but I do not agree that they have no agency.

LSD, Flashbacks and HPPD

Man with OCD here. I’m taking medication for it. I will take LSD for the first time in a few weeks. What are the possibilities of having HPPD? You’ve said you got visual disruptions, what does it feels like? Is it the same thing which is called “flashbacks”?

I am not even sure what flashbacks even are, and I am not sure if I have experienced them. After I first took LSD at age 16, my marijuana trips changed dramatically. It was like the LSD had altered my brain and changed the pot trips. The pot trips became way weirder, more colorful and rather frightening, but I sort of enjoyed them anyway in the way that you enjoy the very scary rides at the amusement park. They scare the crap out of you, but you love it. Plus it was like journeying to another planet every time I smoked pot.
About six months after I had taken LSD, I went to look in the mirror. To my shock and horror, my entire face was deep, dark blue almost like someone who has had a heart attack. I flipped out and ran upstairs to my parents room and looked in their mirror. Now my face had changed and it had a slight reddish tinge to it. I ran down to the downstairs bathroom again and looked in the mirror again and all that was left was a faint greenish tinge over my face. I think I ran back to my parents’ bathroom instead and looked in the mirror again.
I have no idea why I was running from mirror to mirror, but my instinct just old me that there must be something wrong with the mirror. Thinking about it now, it seems so idiotic, but that is what I felt at the time. This time all of the colors were gone. The whole thing could not have taken more than a minute or two.
I happened one more time a few months later in the same mirror. This time it was a very deep dark red, as deep and dark as the blue-purple had been. I did the same thing of running from bathroom to bathroom and mirror to mirror, and after a minute or two, it went away.
I always thought for some reason that thee were LSD flashbacks, though I never had those colored faces on LSD. I do not know why I thought it was an acid flashback. I suppose I could not think of any other reason.
It never happened again, and to this day, I have no idea what caused it. I never worried about it although it was a hallucination. I never worried that those hallucinations meant that I was mentally ill or brain damaged somehow. I simply shrugged them off. Non-mentally ill people can hallucinate and even hear voices at times. The occasional hallucination is not big deal and nothing to fret over. You guys can call me insane all you want to because I had couple of hallucinations. See if I care.
I doubt if many people get HPPD from one use of LSD, but perhaps it is possible. I have dated some women lately who are or were LSD users. One ~50 year old woman had taken LSD 350 times. Another much younger woman had taken it maybe 30 times and was definitely a current user. These are only two heavy users that I have met in recent years. Neither woman had any HPPD symptoms at all. I know many people who have taken LSD, including folks who have taken it many times, and I never met anyone who had HPPD. I think it is not common.
However, a recent survey of university students found that of those who had taken LSD 50 times or more, 45% had HPPD symptoms. You really need to think about HPPD if you are considering becoming a heavy LSD user.
I took LSD nine times and other psychedelics (mescaline, peyote, LSA, Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds, psilocybin) about another 20-30 times, so maybe ~30-40 trips total. I have not taken psychedelics since an acid trip in 1987, 29 years ago. I am a bit worried about doing psychedelics now. I figure I am nuts enough as it is, so why take psychedelics and risk making myself even crazier than I already am?
I am not sure when the HPPD hit, but it is not very bad. On some occasions, I get very bright colors. I rarely get them anymore, but sometimes if I have taken a lot of caffeine or the drug Benadryl, I get the colors again. Actually the world looks much better all lit up Technicolor like that. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It only bothers me if I start freaking on it and thinking, “Why is the world all lit up this? Is there something wrong with my brain?” If I just relax and accept it, it’s not a problem and actually is rather fun.
I called up an eye doctor once and complained about my symptoms, and he busted out laughing over the phone. “Oh! The colors are getting better, huh? Well that’s great! Hope you enjoy it! We only care when the colors are getting worse. What you have is not a problem.”
Apparently he was referring to loss of color vision.

Cannabis and Cancer: Is There a Link?

Dan writes:

You may want to check your facts as well. Though the link between marijuana and cancer is one that is still very much up for debate there is no doubt that many studies have linked the smoking of cannabis (without tobacco or any other additives) to various types of cancer including lung, testicular, and bladder.

Also, as a previous poster pointed out marijuana does contain carcinogens (pretty much anything that creates smoke does) and on top of that any hot vapor that is inhaled can singe the alveoli of the lungs. In conclusion, feel free to enjoy smoking your marijuana just don’t try to say that it is some magic substance that has no side effects (everything has side effects).
At the moment, there is not yet any proven link between cannabis smoking, or any cannabis use, and cancer. Though if any readers can dig up any studies, I might like to read them. Smoking isn’t exactly good for you though. You can now smoke cannabis via a vaporizer, and you inhale almost no smoke. It’s a better way to go.
Surely cannabis use has ill effects (especially heavy use does) but cancer doesn’t seem to be one of them.

Drugs, Mental Illness and Psychiatrists

Sutanu writes:

Hi Robert,
Your article was very interesting, I have a very personal experience with schizophrenia and I do not know the role marijuana had to play in it. I have been a pot user since I was about 22. My wife was a cigarette smoker since age 18 and alcohol user since 20.
She started smoking pot since age 24 – sometimes 3-4 times a week sometimes once daily. Around the age of 29 she started developing symptoms of schizophrenia, which was full blown by the time she was 30 (with auditory hallucinations). She has been in treatment for the last nine years.
In the opinion of her psychiatrist, it was the use of pot that triggered and maybe even possibly caused the illness. Reading your article and your responses, I am now confused whether this is possible as you have said that the safe age to start on pot is 21. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Statistics show that there is no increased risk of schizophrenia after age 20. Your risk is almost all used by age 19 or 20 anyway.
Anyway, the cannabis-schizophrenia link does not appear to make any sense. Of all of the recreational drugs out there, cannabis is one of the easiest of all on your brain. Schizophrenia appears to be characterized by extensive damage to the brain. Since cannabis does not cause extensive damage to the brain, there is no way that cannabis could possibly cause the sort of brain damage that is present in schizophrenia.
Since the 1960’s, rates of cannabis use have gone through the roof and the rate of schizophrenia has been completely flat. In fact it has actually declined a bit. If cannabis were causing any schizophrenia at all, much less tons of schizophrenia, we would have expected rates to have increased if not skyrocketed since the 1960’s They have not, so the notion that cannabis or illegal drugs in general cause schizophrenia is very dubious.
I have known hundreds to thousands of cannabis users in my life. Two developed schizophrenia. One had very extensive meth use for decades. They other has a mother with schizophrenia.
It’s certainly possible that cannabis can trigger schizophrenia in a vulnerable person. However, those persons were probably going to get it anyway. Cannabis may bring schizophrenia on sooner than before. This is a tragedy as each year lost to the illness is a year is a lost year for the person who has it.
Psychiatrists are assholes. They all hate illegal drugs, and they think that illegal drugs cause tons of mental disorders. If you have a drug history and you go to a psychiatrist, the asshole will automatically and immediately say that the drugs caused your disorder, no matter which disorder you have or how little you drugs used. If you smoked one joint in your whole damned life, the asshole psychs will insist that it caused whatever you might have.
Psychologists on the other hand for some reason to not seem to have these same prejudices against illegal drugs and in general to not seem to blame illegal drugs for causing tons of mental illnesses.
My observation has been that heavy drug users sometimes appear to be mentally off in some way or another, and sometimes their behavior is disordered. In general however, the off mental behavior seems to clear up when the person stops using, and they just go back to their previous psychological state. I do not believe that drug use in general causes long term psychological damage persisting after the use of drugs has ceased.

"Canada At Ground Level: Observations of a US Refugee," by Odin Crow

Warning: Long, runs to 51 pages. This is a fine piece by US expat Odin Crow. Relax and enjoy it.

Canada At Ground Level: Observations of a US Refugee

By Odin Crow

I am an American citizen living in Canada. I am not a sociologist, anthropologist, economist, linguist or any other ist. What I am is a middle class, late 40s working-guy who wishes to share with you what he’s learned about his adopted country from his own personal experiences and hopefully dispel a few misconceptions at the same time. But first, my take on the differences in basic character of these two countries and how they came about.

A Tale Of Two Siblings

If Canada and the US were brothers, the US was the one who said “fuck you” to the parents and left home as a teen. Granted, mom and dad were treating him like shit; he was a breadwinner, the loud, risk-taking one with big plans and ambitions and, to be honest, mom and dad were oinking up the fruits of his labors without giving him any say in how the household was run.
Sure, mom and dad got him started, set him up with everything he needed to be successful, but the dynamic didn’t seem fair to Elder Brother, who went indy.
Canada, on the other hand was the brother who just wanted to live his life and be left alone. He didn’t ask for much from mom and dad; they gave him very little to work with and neglected him for the most part. But Younger Brother never complained and did receive the benefit of some guidance and wisdom from time to time as he grew up as well as help when he really needed it.
So Younger Brother kept his nose to the grindstone, worked hard, minded his own business and slowly built a nice sane, stable life for himself.
Meanwhile, after a nasty spat with the folks, who started it out of sheer vindictiveness (and whose side was taken by Younger Brother, since Elder Brother lashed out at him and, to be honest, Younger Brother was still basically an extension of Mom and Dad) Elder Brother built a dizzyingly dramatic, risk-taking, get-the-fuck-outta-my-way life for himself, with stellar highs and deep, abysmal lows, being sometimes unbelievably heroic and idealistic and sometimes bewilderingly selfish, paranoid and self-righteous.
Over time, though, both siblings and parents’ relationship evolved into one of general support and respect, coming to each other’s aid, engaging in great endeavors and providing moral support to one another, even though one or more of them may not always have clearly been on the side of right.
So if the US is the “loud” one, the flashy, big-talking Type A, the stunning over-achiever who makes everyone else in the room feel inadequate (or at least tries to), the one who’s been out in the world reaping fame and glory, constantly striving always to grow his own wealth, power and influence, Canada’s the one that dresses down, doesn’t dominate the conversation at the dinner table, has his mortgage paid off and worries more about just being a good neighbor and minding his own business.
He’s the one who, through patience and consistency, has built himself a very comfortable, stable, relaxed life, and people generally find his company enjoyable. Others generally have mixed feelings towards Older Brother, being sometimes jealous of him, sometimes afraid and very often both. Older Brother wants everyone to be like him and feels the need to justify his choices constantly; Younger Brother’s the one who goes, “No thanks, I’m good, but whatever works for you.”

How I Got Here

I married a Canadian woman, it didn’t work out, and I stayed. I had applied for permanent residence with my wife as my sponsor, which involved paying around $900, submitting a criminal background check and medical examination, filling out a form and waiting seven months. During the interim, I was not allowed to work legally or receive any public services.
Once my application passed, I received my “landing papers”, a SIN (Social Insurance Number or Canadian SSN) and was then eligible to live permanently, work and receive health care. My status lasts 5 years between renewals, during which I must spend a minimum of 2 years on Canadian soil or abroad as an employee for a Canadian company. I cannot vote or serve in the military.
If I had applied for public assistance (welfare, etc) during my first 3 years, my sponsor (ex-wife) would have been responsible for paying it back to the government. I can and have received unemployment insurance.

What It’s Like To Be a Working Guy in Canada

I have no college degree and am actually a high-school dropout, though I’ve always lied about it, and it’s never been questioned (fortunately, they didn’t check on that in my residency application). I live in Alberta now, so I don’t pay provincial income tax.
Regardless, when I was in Nova Scotia, I still took home more of my wages than I did in California, despite paying both federal and provincial income tax. Canadian tax rates are lower for lower incomes, higher for higher incomes. If I were to make 100 grand a year, yes, I’d pay a higher tax rate, but I don’t.
The Canadian and US Dollars hover around parity for the most part, so for all intents and purposes, a buck is a buck. My cost of living is about the same as in the US. Rents are comparable and so are utilities.
Food can be more expensive, and smokes are over 10 bucks a pack for most brands in Alberta and more in some other places; the more liberal, the more expensive – same with booze. Gas is currently about $CN 1.12/liter., ($4.20/gallon.) in Alberta, which has the lowest gas prices in the country, naturally. It’s as much as $CN .50 more a liter in other places.
Canada has a federal sales tax of 5% known as the General Sales Tax (GST). Each province can add to that their own sales tax, the combined sales taxes being called a Harmonised Sales tax (HST). This can vary widely from province to province depending on their social leanings and economy.
Nova Scotia, being a notoriously liberal and socially-conscious province with higher unemployment than the national average, has a HST of 15%; the idea is that when more people are unemployed, social services and support become even more critical to maintaining quality of life.
Alberta, which is shoveling in oil revenues like there’s no tomorrow and has a thriving agricultural industry (grain and cattle) is probably the least socially-conscious of all the provinces, being somewhat the Canadian version of Texas. It has no HST, only the 5% GST.
So, in short, I’ve sort of made a deal with the devil by coming out here for work after having been laid off in Nova Scotia; I enjoy the economic benefits, but am slightly at odds with the social climate which is, to be fair, still more liberal than that of the US as a whole.
Here’s an example of the difference between the IRS and Revenue Canada: I get a check every 3 months for $CN 100 as a GST rebate because I make below a certain income level (I gross between  $CN 38k-45k/year). When was the last time you ever got anything from the IRS aside from something terrifying telling you you’re fucked?
Summary: Being an average, middle-class working person in Canada means you can actually have a good, comfortable life.

Health Care

If you live here, either as a citizen, on a visa or as a permanent resident, like myself, you get health care. Each province administers its own system, and it comes out of the tax base; there is no premium deduction from your pay, no check box on your tax return form. I hear Alberta (surprise, surprise) used to have a mandatory premium deducted from your tax return each year, but not any more.
Your provincial health card will get you care no matter where in the country you are. Emergency room, ambulances – no charge to the insured. Neither dental nor optometry are covered, and seeing a specialist requires a referral. My employers provide me with health insurance for things like optometry, dental, chiro, prescription plan, etc, as does everyone else’s, to my knowledge.
But if you’re a small business, one less burden of responsibility and concern has been removed. Even if you’re a cheap, mean bastard who cuts corners every chance he gets, you and your employees are still covered.
Here’s how my Canadian doctor visits have gone:
Scenario 1
Receptionist: Hello, dear, have you been here before?
Me: No.
Receptionist: Can I see your card, dear? (I hand her the card). Is this your current address?
Me: Yes.
Receptionist: OK, here’s your card back, have a seat and someone will call your name in a couple minutes.
10 minutes later: Mr. **********?
Scenario 2
Receptionist: Hello, dear, have you been here before?
Me: Yes.
Receptionist: Your name?
Me: **********
Receptionist: Is this your current address?
Me: Yes.
Receptionist: OK, have a seat and someone will call your name in a couple minutes.
10 minutes later: Mr. **********?
This is not a fantasy; I am not exaggerating. No co-pay, no multi-page forms to fill out, no pissed off, fat, black bitch in teddy-bear scrubs studiously ignoring me as I wait for her attention, all-but-daring me to interrupt her personal phone call by meekly saying “Excuse me”, no interminable wait, nothing.
Now, I’m sure a clinic in a huge city like Toronto or Vancouver would probably be much busier (though nothing like the Cinco de Mayo fiestas of Southern California, I’m sure) and its staff more unpleasant (my experiences are limited to Halifax and my small Southern Alberta town of 2,000), but seriously, anyone who can compare this with an HMO experience in the US and see no difference is an abject boob.
My ex-wife was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 20. She had surgery, was treated, recovered fully and takes thyroid medication. Aside from the cost of the prescription, which was about 12 bucks a refill, her cost was zero. She had merely to show her Nova Scotia Health Card and her life was saved without any worries that she would face any complications when it came to receiving care or paying for it afterwards.
Summary: It is not a myth – the Canadian health care system works and it works very well. For everyone.

Politics

Quick primer on the parliamentary system:
Political parties elect a leader. General elections are for MP’s (Members of Parliament), the equivalent of House representatives in the US. Whoever gets the most MP’s in Parliament is the Majority – their leader becomes Prime Minister. You do not elect a Prime Minister, you elect a Party with whom you agree. As long as that party is in the majority, their leader is Prime Minister.
There is a Canadian Senate as well, but Senators are appointed by the Prime Minister – not elected – so they are all, inevitably, of the same party as the Majority (I’m sure there are a couple exceptions, but for the most part, who’s going to pick a guy from the Opposition?). I’m not clear what the Senate does, but I know that the lawmaking process is not bicameral.
The Majority party is the Progressive Conservatives (PC), colloquially known by the traditional English term “Tories”.
The Opposition are the Liberal Party (which held power for quite some time but has diminished in recent years due to lack of leadership), the New Democrats (which are the largest minority and surged suddenly in ranks at the last general election), the Green Party (a handful) and I think Bloc Quebecois still has a couple MP’s.
Bloc Quebecois is essentially an ethnocentric provincial party whose only real platform has been the secession of Quebec, and their place in national politics has been the subject of some contention; they have been, however, utterly decimated, many of their seats lost to the burgeoning ND Party in the last election.
There may be some stragglers from all-but-defunct other parties with a seat here or there, but I’m not sure and nor would be your average Canadian.
A Canadian Conservative is a lot closer to a US Democrat than it is to a US Republican. They are not trying to repeal universal health care, abortion rights, gay marriage or any of the other causes celebres of their Bizarro-World US counterparts. They object to things like making trans-gender public restrooms mandatory and legalizing pot and support things like privatizing government entities and easing up on business regulation, etc., for the most part.
Yes, PM Harper and his crew are trying to emulate some US Republican fashion trends, for example a “3-strikes, tough-on-crime” bill and building more prisons, but everybody’s response to that is generally, “Why? The crime rate is actually dropping.” Thanks to the Canadian Parliamentary system though, the MP’s are really not much more than what they should be, which is bureaucrats put in charge of keeping shit running smoothly, sanely and reliably.
Canadian politicians are also by-and-large not millionaires and lawyers as they are in the US. They come from a pretty wide demographic (a recently-elected ND MP from Quebec is actually a female bartender).
At the provincial level, Canada has Premiers instead of Governors (It always reminds me of some Communist Eastern European country when I hear that term – still doesn’t sound right to me). They attain office the same way as national PM’s: Parties field candidates as reps for the various provincial “ridings“, and the Party with the majority’s leader becomes Premier.
In Alberta, the Tories have maintained a hegemony over provincial politics for the last 40 years (PM Stephen Harper is an Albertan).
The current Premier, Allison Redford, was a constitutional attorney, a field of expertise rather uncommon amongst US Republican politicians, but not among Democratic Presidents it would seem.
Provinces sometimes have provincial political parties, limited to provincial politics, though Quebec’s Bloc Quebecois made its way into Parliament, concerned as they are with Quebec’s secession, though their position and influence in federal politics is marginal to say the least.
Alberta‘s further-right party, the Wild Rose Party, went balls-out during the last provincial election, and their gaffes were many and hilarious; one of their candidates mentioned in a mass emailing something about gays being “condemned to a lake of fire,” and another quipped that he would win his riding easily as he was the “only white guy“ on the ballot.
In true neocon fashion, the party responded not by asking either of the doddering farts to step down, but by making the statement that “there are many differing views within the Wild Rose Party, and all are tolerated.” Needless to say, they got their asses handed to them instead of winning a majority.
In Alberta, the Tories have been making noises about privatizing Alberta Health, giving the usual bullshit arguments about how the “private sector can deliver services more efficiently and cost-effectively than the provincial government can,” etc., but it’s not a position that seems to be gaining much traction with the electorate…..
To put it simply, Canadians are generally not stupid; they see what works with their own eyes, thus they are far less susceptible to specious arguments, panic-mongering and outright bullshit than their US counterparts. They know when something is working and aren’t obsessed with change for its own sake, not even Albertans.
Summary: Politics in Canada actually has more to do with working for the people than it does furthering ideological agendas or political careers.

Immigration and Race

Per the most recent census statistics, Canada is comprised of 80% Whites, 16.2% visible minorities and 3.8% Aboriginals.
One of the things I truly love about Canada is that there aren’t Mexicans all over the place. There are no undocumented aliens per se, since not only is Canada not conveniently within walking distance of Mexico, but an illegal alien isn’t able to get work or free medical care here. There are no mobs of day laborers in the Home Depot parking lot, nor have I seen massive, ethnically-homogenous ghettos in which an illegal can live and receive community support with impunity.
This may not be the case in the bigger cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, but the numbers of illegals must be so low as not to have much effect as a socioeconomic issue. Illegals aside, I don’t see Canada suffering the negative social and cultural impact of being overwhelmed by immigrants from one particular culture.
Canada has a policy of basing immigration approval upon needed skills. Since Canada is not suffering from a shortage of gardeners, pool cleaners or sidewalk ice-cream vendors, that would pretty much exclude the bulk of the Mexicans wanting to come in.
Canada has a foreign temporary worker program just like the US used to since there’s more work here than there are people who want to do it. A Newfoundland seafood processing plant that had shut down for awhile opened back up when the catches improved and couldn’t find enough locals for the jobs, so they imported a bunch of Thais along with an interpreter.
However, in most other circumstances, immigrants have to prove a functioning grasp of either English or French depending where they‘re going to be working and living. Children who cannot speak English are sent home by public schools, and the parents are informed that the school will be happy to teach their child once the parents have taught the child English.
Recently, the English requirement for citizenship was actually increased. Canada seems to feel, oddly enough, that two of the keys to properly managing immigration are ensuring that an individual not only can speak one of the official languages but that they can somehow contribute to the economy and society as a whole.
Absent giant ethnically-homogenous communities of immigrants, Canadian immigrants seem to assimilate much more quickly and willingly than in the US. Every first-generation-born Canadian I’ve met has no foreign accent; they say “eh”, and they seem to hang out with just about anybody.
I never get the vibe that foreigners and their kids here hate Canadians while enjoying the benefits of being Canadian. The mayor of Calgary, the biggest city in the most conservative province, is a Muslim – Naheed Nenshi – and you’d never know by hearing him speak on the radio. You see “people of color” scattered throughout the media and government, and they all seem to retain ethnic names, despite sounding and acting like Canadians.
Blacks in Canada are not ubiquitous. In Calgary, the Blacks I meet are invariably immigrants; there is no “Black” part of town.
In Halifax, which was, among other things, at the other end of the Underground Railroad, the Black population is mostly descended from former American slaves and is proportionally larger than in many other areas of the country.
This population in Halifax began in earnest following the War of 1812 during which “Black loyalists” (slaves willing to fight their masters in exchange for freedom) were deeded land on the outskirts of Halifax as reward for helping the Crown, which was named Africville.
Africville has a tragic and disappointing history which I’m going to expand upon in a separate piece, but suffice it to say that Blacks in Nova Scotia suffer from many of the same socioeconomic problems as do their counterparts in the US, though certainly not to the same degree.
I understand that there are Black communities in and around Toronto which are primarily Caribbean in origin, that there is public housing inhabited mostly by Blacks and that crime rates are higher in these areas, but I’m not aware of specifics.
I have never heard a Canadian say “nigger”. Oh, I’ve had friends say “What up, my nigga,” plenty of times, but as far as it being used as a pejorative, never. Much of what many Canadians believe about Blacks, since many of them have never spent much time around or lived around them, they get from US TV shows, so many of them are understandably scared shitless.
In Nova Scotia, where there is a Black population descended from American slaves and not immigrants, I often heard the general stereotypes bandied about by Whites: They don’t like to work, but they do like to commit crimes, do drugs, get bitches pregnant and split, etc.
My ex-wife was utterly petrified of them. She saw a Black kid walk down our street once and, since no Black people lived on our street, wanted to call the police, I shit you not. She did not, though, and the ensuing argument lasted about two hours.
Canadians are, however, very quick to characterize Americans as racists, despite the fact that Canada had Jim Crow “Whites only” bylaws in rural areas just like the US did. But, in fairness, the institution of slavery did not exist here, and that counts for rather a bit.
Aboriginals, still commonly referred to as Indians, seem to take the place, in many ways, that Blacks do in US society. They are disproportionately plagued by crime, poverty, alcoholism, drug addiction and prejudice and are distributed across Canada. They receive government assistance and are spoken of by most of the Whites I know as a “problem” and with little compassion. A disproportionate number of their males are in the prison system.
They are, in effect, the Blacks of Canada, and the origins of their problems are as convoluted and difficult to figure out as are those of US Blacks. However, to be real, they were doing OK before Whitey showed up.

The French

As you may or may not know, the English defeated the French in the battle for supremacy in Canada but allowed the French to stay and maintain their own culture. Like any defeated people, despite the magnanimity of the victors, a lot of them are still sore about it.
As I’ve mentioned before, there are elements within Quebecois society who believe that Quebec should exist as its own separate country. Anglo Canadians love to point out that the federal government paid for and built their infrastructure, so if they want to pay back all of that, fine, go ahead; many Anglos are constantly irritated and annoyed by the French.
Despite this, however, Quebec and its French culture are clearly things that make Canada, well, Canadian and add an extremely cool flavor to the whole mix here. In 1980, Quebec held a referendum about whether it should secede from the Canadian federal government or stay.
Literally thousands of people from all over Canada came to Quebec to plead with the citizens to remain part of Canada. I’ve heard the old radio news reports from that time, and people were actually crying, “Please don’t leave.” Many Quebecois were also crying, saying, “How can we consider this? What does it say to the rest of the world?”. Fortunately, the results were 60-40 against.
I can’t help but imagine that if Texas tried to do the same thing, millions of Americans would show up saying, “Please! Do it! Leave and good riddance!” OK I was being a smart-ass with that one, but I think you’ll understand my point. Canadians seem to like other Canadians more than most Americans like other Americans, even when they’re French.
Summary: Canada is very White, its culture is Western European, and the people who emigrate to it seem to acknowledge and appreciate that, as such, it is a much better place to live than wherever they came from. Canada is a clear example of the superiority of Western Culture and the benefits of White Rule.

Religion

Yes, we have it here. I see churches all over the place, especially in Alberta, which I believe boasts more churches per capita than any other province (once again, proof that Alberta secretly wishes it was the 51st State of the US).
However, there is much less “religion” here. It is not part of the political conversation and seems rarely, if ever, to be part of polite conversation. Alberta is the province which boasts the most Evangelicals, and it’s the only one where I’ve seen occasional billboards in rural areas featuring Right-To-Life slogans.
However, when I tried to call the 800 number on one to tell them to suck my dick, the number was disconnected, and the website on the sign no longer existed; that’s the degree of religious fervor out here. In Nova Scotia, I did see an anti-abortion protest outside of a hospital: Two old ladies in camp chairs watching a portable TV on an ice chest, their picket signs leaning against the fence behind them as people walked by in both directions.
Summary: In Canada, religion is essentially no one’s business but their own, so shut the fuck up, and please don’t block the sidewalk.

Guns, Crime and Violence

Guns are not banned in Canada; they are regulated and controlled. Allow me to slack off for a second and quote a Wikipedia article for a brief historical background:

Registration of firearms in Canada has been an issue since the 1930s when the registration of handguns became mandatory. Over the past few decades, legislation had become increasingly restrictive for firearm owners and from 1995 until 2012, all firearms were required to be registered. As of April 6, 2012 the registration of non-restricted firearms is no longer required in any province or territory, except for Quebec, pending litigation.
Systematic auditing and criminalization of firearm owners and sports is implemented and enforced in most of Central Canada, and to a lesser extent, in Western Canada (in most cases firearm ownership regulations vary slightly in different provinces and territories, where some provinces have decided to mandate their own laws, such as the Quebec Law 9 course, which is mandatory for all owners of restricted firearms).
The Criminal Code of Canada provides recognition of self-defense with a firearm; The Firearms Act provides a legal framework wherein an individual may, acquire/possess and carry, a restricted or (a specific class of) prohibited firearm for protection from other individuals when police protection is deemed insufficient.
This situation is extremely rare, as evidenced by the fact that the (publicly available version of the) RCMP Authorization To Carry application refers only to protection of life during employment that involves handling of valuable goods or dangerous wildlife.

In short, you can have a gun if you have a good reason for it. “Personal protection” and just being afraid the government is going to show up and shove you in a FEMA trailer for re-education are not considered valid reasons. It is a matter of record that Canada’s rates of homicides and suicides using guns have further decreased as more and more restrictions have been put into place.
This has not eliminated crime, but it has clearly mitigated it. I’d rather have a guy come at me with a knife than a gun even if I’m similarly armed any day – I don’t know about you. To anyone in the US who maintains that lower violent crime can be achieved through an “armed society”, you need only look to Canada to see how absolutely shit-brained-stupid that is.
Canada has crime though. People get their cars stolen, there are rapes, there is drunk driving – all the usual. Canada even boasts some celebrated serial killers as well. Most Canadians do lock their doors when they leave for work and when they go to bed, despite what Michael Moore might want you to believe.
The difference between Canada and the US in this regard is the crime per capita. In a city as big as Calgary (approximately 1.4 million), which is about 30 minutes from me, the amount of crime compared to a similar-sized US city is ridiculously lower. There isn’t even as much trash on the ground. I’m not kidding – same goes for the rest of what I’ve seen of Canada.
What doesn’t exist are gangs to any great degree. In Vancouver you have some Asian gang stuff, some minor shit with Russians and some others in Toronto and Quebec, but nothing even close to what you have in the US.
Another thing I’ve noticed is the role of the “career criminal”.
In the US, being a criminal is an actual occupation for many, one which they pursue with great professionalism and acumen.
In Canada, most of the criminals I’ve seen and read about are basically stupid assholes. They steal some shit, maybe sell some drugs, and they get caught.
This one idiot drug dealer in Halifax lived in a trailer park, yet bought a bright yellow Hummer and parked it out front. After a few stray bullets zipped through his neighbors‘ homes courtesy of a rival “drug kingpin “ (yes, this is how the local news referred to him), the cops pretty much figured out that if they nabbed the guy in the yellow Hummer at the bridge toll-plaza, they’d get some answers.
Random acts of violence occur. Guys get dumped and kill their ex and her new boyfriend; a middle-aged loser who’s sponging off his grandmother’s pension checks decides he can smother her with a pillow and pretend she’s still alive; some guy hears Satan tell him he can fuck Avril Lavigne if he kills his whole family in their sleep, and so on.
But to be honest, most random, violent crimes I hear about around my neck of the woods, few as they are, involve immigrants. You can take the boy out of Viet Nam, but if you smile at his girlfriend during lunch time at the meat processing plant, he just might shove a fork in your neck.
The cops here are actually nice, at least the ones I’ve met. You’ve got your Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP’s), which function as the equivalent of the FBI and State police in provinces without a provincial police force (unlike Ontario or Newfoundland), the city police forces and the “peace officers” who enforce by-laws and do not carry weapons.
The only times I’ve dealt with cops, whether local or RCMP, they have said, “Hey, how’s it going,” introduced themselves and shook my hand, then calmly figured out what was going on. No twitchy hyper-vigilance, no hand on the gun as they approached. I’m guessing they may be a little different in the metropolii, but still, you don’t get Rodney King situations here.
If called to a bar in response to a complaint of a disturbance, a Canadian cop is more likely to say, “Hey, I think your friend’s a little drunk, why don’t you take him home?” as opposed to calling in six cars for backup and making the entire place lie face down with their hands behind their heads.
There are occasional stories of abuse, and there was a spate of deaths caused by tasering, but generally, since everyone doesn’t automatically hate them and want them dead, I think the cops are a bit more relaxed and less concerned with being intimidating. They are, after all, just guys trying to do their jobs, and I get that most Canadians understand and appreciate that.
Despite the fact that they seem less violent as a culture, do not make the mistake of thinking Canadians are pussies. Canadians drink, and they also fight. Hockey, the world’s most violent sport is, after all, a Canadian invention.
The difference, though, is the absence of ubiquitous and constant belligerence. If I go to a crowded concert or sporting event in the US, it’s a safe bet there will be more than one fight. My ex-roommate’s best friend from Northern California was jumped and had his brains beaten after a Dodgers-Giants game in LA; it put him in a coma, and he’s barely escaped being a vegetable.
It would be impossible to me to conceive of that happening here and actually is impossible to any Canadians I’ve spoken with about it. Can Canadians hold their liquor better, or are they just generally less angry, violent and belligerent? Maybe a little of the former and a lot of the latter.
Summary: Less guns, garbage, crime and violence, nicer cops, fewer incarcerated citizens and far less anxiety as a whole.

Weed

I smoke a lot of weed. I have been doing so for over 35 years. In Canada, medical marijuana is federally legal, but I can’t just go to a podiatrist and tell him I’ve been having trouble sleeping to get a license like in California. It requires multiple signed applications by several doctors and, like the gun licensing, the determining criterion is, “Why do you need it?”. Unfortunately, mild insomnia isn’t considered a valid reason.
Things like rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and serious medical conditions which require pain management are generally what are required. Once licensed, it means you can go anywhere in the country without getting hassled; you can even walk through an airport with a sack in your pocket, provided you have your license on you. You cannot, of course, burn one in public (legally). You can also grow some.
Despite the fact that I must, then, smoke weed illegally, there are a couple of benefits to doing so in Canada. First and foremost is that I can get a half ounce of good smoke for 120 bucks. Second is that the general attitude towards marijuana law enforcement is pretty relaxed. In most metropolitan areas, it is considered of “lowest priority,” officially, when it comes to enforcing pot laws.
In Vancouver, there are Amsterdam-style cafes where everyone’s smoking weed, and the cops leave them alone. In the case of illegal grow-ops, though, or significant trafficking, the cops, understandably, do not look the other way. But as far as normal people getting high and not causing any problems, the worst they usually do is take it away from you, tell you to “watch it”, and maybe smoke it themselves after work.
For the record though, Harper and the Tories have stated unequivocally that marijuana will not become legal as long as they are the majority. Fuck the Tories.
Summary: Canada’s a cool place if you smoke weed; just remember it’s still illegal (technically).

Civil Liberties

Gays can marry here – it’s been legal for quite some time – and, despite that fact, they are not running around having anal sex in the streets. Pre-employment and random drug screenings are forbidden as unconstitutional, yet people aren’t snorting coke at work or showing up baked to the gills.
Women can get abortions, and their health care covers it, yet there is not an epidemic of female promiscuity (much as I wish there were). Prostitution is, by certain definitions in certain areas, basically legal, or at least not criminal. Even the age of consent is much lower in some provinces, yet teenaged girls are not being incessantly fucked to death and discarded by middle-aged men.
The guiding principle behind Canada’s attitude towards civil liberties seems to be, “If they’re not hurting anyone or causing a fuss, leave them the fuck alone, it’s none of your business.” Pierre Trudeau wisely stated that the government has “no place in our bedrooms, period,” and he was agreed with by even the most right-wing politicians at the time, eventually.
I laugh my ass off every time I hear some Republican or Libertarian troll threaten to “move to Canada” if Obama gets re-elected. Not only would they not be issued a visa for such reasons, if they were, they would be forced to live in a place where fags can teach their kids, sluts can get abortions, niggers can get decent jobs, hippies can smoke weed and people claiming God speaks to them are not only banned from public office but they’re quite often placed under psychiatric observation.
Summary: I think my freedoms are more well-protected here than in the US.

Language

Canadians do not say aboot. Most commonly, the ow diphthong, which is broken down into the phonemes a (like cat) + oo in US English (and every English dictionary), is very often pronounced eh-oo in Canada, similar to how the Irish pronounce it.
In Atlantic Canada, it is common to hear the diphthong pronounced oh (I had a boss who actually spelled couch as coach because that’s how he pronounced it). They also usually pronounce sorry as soar-ee, been as bean, produce (n.) as prah-duce, project as proh-ject, process as proh-cess, schedule as shed-jule, missile as miss-isle and a slew of other British pronunciations.
What drives me nuts though is their insistence on pronouncing virtually any a they see as the short a in cat. It’s difficult for me to represent graphically, but go ahead and say to yourself the following words with that short a and see how lame it sounds: pAsta, tsunAmi, drAma, mAzda. Ugh. Sonically, it makes me fucking cringe.
And I know it’s a matter of taste, but to me, mispronouncing names and proper nouns from other languages in that fashion just seems ignorant. I guess that’s a vestige of the famous British contempt for other cultures giving a last, dying twitch.
I have adopted the Canadian forms of spelling; I think it’s cool. They use the British forms here almost exclusively: colour, centre, defence, and so on. They do not use the spelling aluminium. They do, however, use the silent h in herb.
But while Canadian spelling I may have adopted, most of Canadian pronunciation I have not. The exception is when I play “I’m pretending to be Canadian.” I have at various times when doing this been pegged as a Maritimer (someone from Atlantic Canada), since I have a good grasp of the accent and “isms“ I absorbed while in Nova Scotia.
Though I am functional in French, I rarely have occasion to use it. Canadian French, though, is far more dissimilar to its parent than Canadian English, and volumes could be written about Francophone (French-speaking) culture in Canada, and I haven’t enough experience to do so with any credibility or thoroughness.
Summary: Someone could drop you in the middle of any major Canadian city outside of Quebec in your sleep, and it’d take you a bit to realize, just hearing people speak, that you weren’t in the US.

Civility

This is, to me, the single most important difference between Americans and Canadians, and I believe this trait informs all the positive ones I’ve previously outlined. Canadians are civil. They are brought up holding doors for other people, apologizing if they think they’ve offended or been a nuisance and just in general trying to be kind and decent to everyone else, even if they don’t like them.
The concept that your negative personal feelings towards others should not inform your actions towards them, that it’s right and beneficial to society to be polite to everyone regardless of whether you hate their guts or not is so obvious to them that it doesn’t bear mentioning.
Canadians’ default mode is “nice”. When in doubt, just be nice. Don’t understand something? Be nice and ask what someone meant, don’t just immediately go “Oh, yeah? FUCK YOU!” and start swinging if you aren’t sure whether you’ve been insulted or not.
Canadians don’t automatically assume the worst motive for the actions of others. If a guy’s going off and making a fuss about something, the first thought is usually, “Wow, he must really be having a bad day.” One of the keys to civility is cutting each other some slack, being easy on each other, at least the first couple times.
Canadians seem much better at this “a mile in my neighbor’s moccasins” philosophy than most Americans. They’ve been inculcated with good behavior through example; they don’t even think about it. As a result, even the immigrants get in on it within a generation.
Of course, there are those who recognize this tendency towards civility and understanding and try to subvert it for their own purposes. These types will invariably either adopt a disingenuously oblivious mien (“Oh, did I cut in front of you? Gee, didn’t see the end of the line.”) or will behave blatantly aggressively in the hopes of causing others to back down and avoid any type of confrontation, something that seems bred into most Canadians from birth.
I am at times frustrated by what I sometimes perceive as a pathological need to avoid confrontation of any kind. I see people allow others to take advantage of and inconvenience them without saying anything, and it pisses me off.
Some ass-wipe the other day at a movie theater, in which one joins a single line while waiting for the next available cashier, was standing near a particular window which looked as if it would free-up next, clearly intending to head straight for it while avoiding the line.
I, of course, ever-vigilant to such things and being a self-appointed Guardian of Civilization and Warrior against the Americanization of Canada, moved forward immediately when the register became available, shoving in front of the asshole and saying, “I was here first. The line’s over there.”
He muttered something under his breath as he walked to the line. Coincidentally, he was quite swarthy and spoke with a thick Middle-Eastern accent. Fuckers who style themselves “wolves among sheep” in this country fill me with cold rage. Despite the fact that your average Canadian finds my attitude and actions inappropriate, I will gladly suffer their disapproval, kinda like Batman has to.
Canadians are also far more respectful, in general, of people’s privacy. I hear less gossip and less mean shit behind people’s backs than I did in the States. People don’t pry as much, they aren’t as obsessed with going through your laundry, and are far less likely to share something private they may have learned about you.
For example, I was a porn actor in the US for a time; I got some press, and my stuff shows up on cable every now and then (gotta love Canadian cable; when they show porn, they leave in the penetration), so I am infrequently recognized.
A guy I worked with, when I confessed about my former occupation after having known him a few months, told me he already knew. When I asked why he didn’t tell me he knew his response was that if I’d wanted him to know, I would have told him, and it was none of his business.
In a similar situation in the US, a guy I worked with was so excited to know that he told everybody I worked with, including my bosses, and from then on, every time I spoke with them, though they never let on they knew, there was this weird awkwardness, like they couldn’t look at me without seeing me naked.
On the flipside, an Iranian immigrant kid I was in training with at this call center in Halifax sat down next to me one day, grinning. “Hey, hey, do you have tattoo? Show me”.
I lifted my sleeve and showed him, and he all-but shouted “Ha! I knew it! I see you, I see you on TV!” I convinced him to keep his mouth shut, but I’d catch the weird little fucker staring and grinning at me from across the room fairly often, and he’d give me the thumbs-up if I looked up at him.
Summary: The more civil you are, the better everyone gets along and the better your civilization.

In Closing

A banking system under control, sane gun laws, lower crime, universal health care, a thriving middle class, no illegal immigration problem, cheap weed, way less garbage all over the place, fewer assholes per capita, a strong federal government with excellent social programs…isn’t this sorta what Obama’s America would look like?

“Summertime in Northern California,” by Alpha Unit

It’s gotten so bad that you can’t go hunting, fishing, or hiking in peace in certain parts of Northern California anymore – all because of marijuana growers with guns.

On Friday the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California announced that law enforcement officials had raided pot-growing farms in the Mendocino National Forest during a 2-week operation that will be ongoing. Every summer law enforcement launches this effort on public lands. At least half a dozen federal agencies took part this year, along with the state anti-narcotics bureau and 6 sheriff’s departments.

This year’s bust, described as “huge,” is supposedly a major blow against illegal marijuana cultivation on public lands in Northern California.

Agents uprooted over 460,000 pot plants. They also seized about 1,000 pounds of processed marijuana, almost 30 guns, and 11 vehicles. There have been over 100 arrests.

According to the Associated Press:

The 900,000-acre forest – larger than Rhode Island – spans six counties in a region of mountains and forests known as the Emerald Triangle for its high concentration of pot farms. Agents raided more than 50 gardens teeming with trash, irrigation pipes, and chemicals that damage forestland and waterways, authorities said.

Pot growers favor public lands for their remote location and rugged terrain, people say. This year’s focus was on the Mendocino National Forest after nearby residents started complaining last year about the increasing number of confrontations with armed guards protecting pot grows.

Moreover, Forest Service officials have complained about the environmental consequences of illegal pot farms.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag says that the California National Guard, Forest Service workers, and volunteers removed 46,000 pounds of trash, 120 propane tanks, 116,000 feet of pipe, 13 man-made dams, 57 pounds of pesticides, and tons of fertilizer from raided grow sites.

Usually Mexican drug cartels are blamed for some of this activity. The U.S. Attorney says that 25 of the people arrested are already facing federal charges, but she wouldn’t say where they’re from.

"Summertime in Northern California," by Alpha Unit

It’s gotten so bad that you can’t go hunting, fishing, or hiking in peace in certain parts of Northern California anymore – all because of marijuana growers with guns.
On Friday the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California announced that law enforcement officials had raided pot-growing farms in the Mendocino National Forest during a 2-week operation that will be ongoing. Every summer law enforcement launches this effort on public lands. At least half a dozen federal agencies took part this year, along with the state anti-narcotics bureau and 6 sheriff’s departments.
This year’s bust, described as “huge,” is supposedly a major blow against illegal marijuana cultivation on public lands in Northern California.
Agents uprooted over 460,000 pot plants. They also seized about 1,000 pounds of processed marijuana, almost 30 guns, and 11 vehicles. There have been over 100 arrests.
According to the Associated Press:

The 900,000-acre forest – larger than Rhode Island – spans six counties in a region of mountains and forests known as the Emerald Triangle for its high concentration of pot farms. Agents raided more than 50 gardens teeming with trash, irrigation pipes, and chemicals that damage forestland and waterways, authorities said.

Pot growers favor public lands for their remote location and rugged terrain, people say. This year’s focus was on the Mendocino National Forest after nearby residents started complaining last year about the increasing number of confrontations with armed guards protecting pot grows.
Moreover, Forest Service officials have complained about the environmental consequences of illegal pot farms.
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag says that the California National Guard, Forest Service workers, and volunteers removed 46,000 pounds of trash, 120 propane tanks, 116,000 feet of pipe, 13 man-made dams, 57 pounds of pesticides, and tons of fertilizer from raided grow sites.
Usually Mexican drug cartels are blamed for some of this activity. The U.S. Attorney says that 25 of the people arrested are already facing federal charges, but she wouldn’t say where they’re from.

Alcohol/Drugs and Brain Damage

Repost from the old site.
For those who are worried, I would add a few pointers from my own life. I’ve been using drugs and drinking, one or the other or both, recreationally, for almost 40 years, and my health is superb. Of course, as with all things, moderation is the key.
There were some wild binges of drinking and/or drug use where I thought, “Wow, this time I have definitely damaged my brain for sure!”
At that time, I just stopped using whatever it was that had me worried and waited for a bit, and it seemed that at some point, all my brains came back, and then some. In some cases, I a number of cases, I had to wait for 3-10 days (average ~1 week), but in one case, it took a month to get back to where I was.
After almost 40 years, you would think that I would be getting more and more fried by the year, but it’s just not so. To be quite honest, in many ways, it seems like I am smarter than I have ever been.
Furthermore, no one who meets me or knows me ever thinks I am stupid in any way whatsoever. It is quite the opposite. Not trying to brag here but people regularly say things like, “You’re are one of the smartest people I know.” I don’t think they would say that if I was fried.
When you exercise or play sports, they say listen to your body. With drinking and drugs, that too, but also listen to your brain. If things start seeming foggy, slow down for a bit and see if things clear up. Most if not all cases of permanent damage from this stuff have occurred from people who did not heed the warnings and careened right on ahead.
To summarize my writings on the subject:
Methamphetamine and Ecstasy are terrible for the brain, Ecstasy so bad you should not take it even one time. PCP is quite bad for your brain and probably ketamine is too. You can play around with any of those drugs a dozen or so times in a lifetime (and possibly more), and you won’t suffer any permanent damage. Any more than that, and things get a lot dicier.
Heroin is easy on the brain but nasty in any other way. Opium, and all opiates, are also harmless to the brain but can be addicting. Use must be judicious and occasional, if at all. In particular, don’t mix with other downers. Long term alcoholic drinking permanently damages the brain.
With less heavy drinking, the permanence of damage is much less clear. At low levels, drinking causes no damage whatsoever. The widespread notion, proffered even by many doctors, that each drink “kills brain cells” is utter nonsense.
Cannabis, marijuana or hashish is one drug that can be used even very heavily by adults with minimal permanent effects on the brain. Occasional use by adults seems to be completely harmless to your brain. The question of brain damage by very heavy cannabis use has not yet been resolved, but even if it occurs, most of it seems  to clear up on cessation.
Daily use of small amounts by adults can occur for years with apparently minimal damage. Any damage that occurs has not yet been proven, but if it exists, it seems to be quite subtle, and I am uncertain how significant it is.
Unfortunately, for minors, the question of little to no damage is much less firm, such that I recommend that anyone wait at least until they are 18 to begin using cannabis.
Of all of the drugs of abuse, as far as heavy use goes, cannabis is by far the easiest of them all on your brain.

People Are Getting High on Bath Salts

Here.
Actually it is some kind of designer drug being sold over the counter as a bath salts or plant food. Apparently you can use them for those purposes and they work just fine and don’t get you high. You sniff it inject it or smoke it. The drugs in question are mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV.
Apparently these are stimulants something like methamphetamine, but I don’t know much about them. Looks like a pretty crappy and evil drug, I would say. It’s mostly in Louisiana right now for some reason, and the state has banned the sale of the drugs. But the Feds have not banned them yet since they are not marketed for human consumption. Banning them will take some time. Most users are apparently meth users looking for a new high.
I increasingly agree with the Neurosoup girl on Youtube. She hates meth, cocaine, PCP and heroin. She comes right out and says that they are crappy and evil drugs.She doesn’t like alcohol either. She’s up on marijuana and what she calls entheogens, which is something like hallucinogens.
If a lot of the people using coke, meth, alcohol and heroin started using pot and entheogens instead, our society would look a lot different. I would say that the damage from drugs would go way down. The hallucinogens are somewhat self-limiting in use. They are so strong, and people are so afraid and paranoid of them that people tend to only use them for a short period of time. People want a drug they can get high on regularly.
My generation promoted the use of coke and to some extent speed. I would say we screwed up bad on that one. Those drugs are just crap.
One thing I always hated about drugs were the anti-drug morons. They’re still everywhere; in fact, they’re the majority. Instead of being sensible like the Neurosoup Girl and dividing recreational drugs into different classes, the anti-drug morons just lump them all into one great big mess. They’re all the same. They’re all dope, and they’re all evil. Weed is meth is heroin is coke is LSD is mushrooms. It’s nuts.
I had to deal with this all the time while growing up as a pothead. As a pothead, I was said to be “into drugs” and was lumped in with PCP users, cokeheads, meth freaks and heroin addicts. It was all the same.
To some extent, this was true of drug users too. They weren’t so stupid as to think all drugs are the same – no user is that stupid – but since pot was illegal, and you had to deal with illegal drug users to get it, a lot of pot users were also using and promoting the use of other stuff, often along the lines that the other drug was as easy and safe as pot. Pure pot users were quite rare.
Legalizing pot would put it in the class as alcohol. How many people have you met who drink, often a lot, but won’t touch any “drugs” (LOL)? Lots. Making weed legal would increase the number of pure pot users who don’t mess with other stuff.
One thing I noticed that is people, often the older generation, will talk about someone who ruined their life on drugs, often the son or daughter of a friend. Often I will ask, “What kind of drugs?” A legitimate question, right? After all, I’m an old drug fiend, so I’m very interested in details like that! I always get this frustrated response, “I don’t know!” as if it doesn’t matter. Ok, so they got into weed, is that right? Is that how they ruined their lives? This is more of the, “All drugs are the same,” BS. Very frustrating dealing with this moronitude.

Strange Case Out of California's Emerald Triangle

Here.
Interesting. A gang of young men tried to raid a marijuana garden in the Emerald Triangle of California last year. They were met by other young men defending their crop. Some of the raiders were taken prisoner. The raiders attacked with sticks and chunks of concrete to try to free their prisoners. All prisoners escaped but one, who was badly beaten with sticks and was in a coma. Police arrived, took the beaten man to the hospital where he soon came out of his coma.
The people who assaulted him were not arrested! The police decided that the many marijuana plants were “in violation of local ordinances” and confiscated them. None of the growers were arrested!
Wow. Only in California, eh?
The comments below are interesting. The Triangle is experiencing its worst spell of ripoffs since 1979. Thefts go down all the time, and everyone is paranoid. Much of the growing is sadly now being done by Organized Crime gangs. Reading between the lines, the Organized Crime growing in the region appears to be Nuestra Familia (locally Nortenos) and La Eme (The Mexican Mafia or Surenos). Nuestra Familia and the Mexican Mafia are the real hardcores, and the Surenos and Nortenos are mostly just the local sets on the streets. Sort of like the Mafia and little local Italian street gangs loosely associated with them.
Apparently most of the grows are being done by Nuestra Familia, since this is Northern California after all. Grows are as large as 100,000 plants. These large grows are widely resented as sucking streams dry, mix fertilizer in the bottoms of wells and bury their trash in holes in the ground.
It looks like cops only get a very small amount of the crop.
A friend of mine used to grow up there in the mid 1980’s, around 1984-1985. He worked construction about 1/2 the year and made a bundle back when unionized White construction workers could make excellent money. The other half of the year he was up in the Triangle growing marijuana. There were three guys in on the grow, and I think they made $150,000 between them, or $50,000 apiece. Pretty nice for 6 months work. He did it for a few years and never got caught.
He would bring it back down to Orange County and sell it. Even back then, this was very strong pot – skunk, sinsemilla, whatever you want to call it. It went for ~$2000-2400 a pound and the price per ounce was pretty high too. I have no idea how that compares to prices nowadays.
He said that the main problems were deer and spider mites.
Spider mites are tiny insects that infest the undersides of the leaves of marijuana and other plants. I’ve seen them before.
The deer are mostly a problem in the fall when most of the vegetation has dried up but of course the pot plants are still very green, so the deer just hone right in on them.
He said busts were a worry also around harvest time for the same reason. Everything is brown and dry but the pot, which is still bright green and can be spotted from the air by helicopters.
He said that you can’t really walk around out there. He said “everyone is growing,” it’s all private property, fenced in various ways, and no one dares trespass on anyone else’s property. If you do, as soon as you are on anyone’s property for 5-10 minutes, people will be right there onto you asking you what you are doing.
Back then, people regularly got short prison terms up there for growing pot, but in recent years, I understand that law enforcement is having a hard time finding juries willing to convict. In up 80% of cases, juries simply hang or refuse to convict. I suspect there is some jury nullification going on.
I have been in and around this region exploring extensively once. I went to Cloverdale, Ukiah and Dos Rios. I fished in the Russian River and Eel River. I caught a Steelie looking trout in the Russian River and another trout in the Eel. While fishing the Eel, a water snake took off across the river right next to where I was fishing – an Aquatic Garter Snake. There was a large bird making a huge racket across the river the whole time I was there. I finally figured out that I was fishing across the river from an Osprey’s nest and the bird was trying to tell me to get away from its nest.
I was there in the Spring, and there was water everywhere. It’s basically a gigantic forest and there is a stream or rivulet pouring down off the slope every few hundred yards or so, with many much larger streams and even rivers, mostly unnamed, pouring down at less frequent intervals. It’s a mountain forest that’s basically leaking water like a full sponge. There are hippie looking mountain man characters roaming around all over the place. If you ever get a chance, you might want to go check this area out.

Facts and Nonsense About the Brain

Repost from the old site.
Like most things, there is much nonsense spoken about our brains. Our brains are very interesting to us, even to stupid people, because we use them to think. Yes, even dumb people do use their brains to think. We don’t really understand how our brains work, so some of us try to sound smart by pontificating about our mysterious brains.
Here are some widespread myths about our brains:
We only use [choose one: 10%, 20%] of our brains. This silly statement makes us feel good, because it suggests that if we really try hard, we can use 30 or 40% of our brains and make more money or get laid more or dazzle folks with our wit, or this or that. Problem is that no neurologist will agree with this statement, and no one quite knows even where it came from.
It’s one of those feel-good statements that is complete nonsense. We use all of our brains. Even total idiots are using all of their brains most of the time, strange as it may seem.
There are parts of the brain that are emotional and parts of the brain that are dedicated to cognition. This one is not nearly as silly as the first one, but it’s still not true. I know this because 15 years ago I was acquainted with a neuropsychologist. He did various sorts of cognitive testing, and he also worked with people with various forms of brain damage.
He was also a strange guy, but he was nice enough, and he did have a PhD. I assumed that getting the PhD had probably driven him partly crazy, and he was neurotic as a result. He informed me that there were no emotional or thinking parts of the brain. He said that all of the brain engages in both thinking and emotion.
Sure, some parts, like the amygdala, are more dedicated to emotion and other parts, like the prefrontal cortex, are more dedicated to thinking, but all the parts do both.
Every drink (or joint) kills a few brain cells. I can’t believe even physicians tell me this crap. It’s nonsense. Yes, alcohol is one of the few drugs that actually kills brain cells, but you have to drink alcoholic-style for years before it happens. Cannabis, like many drugs, does not kill brain cells at any dose. Unfortunately, drugs don’t need to kill cells to mess up your brain. They can damage cells and destroy connections between cells.
Male brains are better at math and science than female brains. Actually, they start out the same, but worldwide studies show that at about age 13, when massive male hormones kick in, males all over the world start to surpass females.
A personal observation is that females who do well at these subjects are more likely to be more masculine (not necessarily lesbian) than other women. The President of Harvard, Lawrence Summers, was recently massacred for stating this obvious fact.
Female brains are better at verbal than male brains. Apparently the case, though there are arguments about which type of verbal we are talking about. If you think about it, there are evolutionary reasons why females would end up better at verbal (needed to raise young kids) and males are better at visuospatial (needed for hunting).
There are some more facts about the brain that you may find interesting.
We have a maximum number of brain cells at age 23, and after that, there is a steady decline. This is correlated with what is known as fluid IQ, a rough measure of brain efficiency. This is why mathematicians, physicists, novelists, poets, songwriters, musicians, artists and others like them tend to do their best work when they are still pretty young.
On the other hand, only an insane person would put the 18-22 year olds in charge of a country. This group has never been put in charge of anything in any society, with good reason. Their brains are going like gangbusters, but they don’t have any sense.
They think they know everything, but they don’t know shit. They are supremely self-confident, and they have not even reached the stage of self-doubt.
Other than passing their classes, they are contemptuous of learning and knowledge in general and never admit there is anything they don’t know. If they can’t figure it out, it’s worthless. This age group is a prime example of the notion that a little bit of knowledge is dangerous.
They have a grotesquely poor understanding of their fellow man, and they are horribly intolerant. Also, they are very much group-thinkers who are terrified to defy group-think and peer pressure.
If we put them in charge, it would be a nightmare. They would hold public executions and would probably torture people in public. There would be stupid wars all the time. Everything would be legal, and no one would care. There would be private armies all over the place and probably some form of fascism would be the flavor of the day.
We occasionally put them in charge of some stuff, like being Presidents of fraternities, but often they even fuck that up.
Mind you, I was an 18-22 year old too, and those were the best days of my life. I remember myself as being supremely mature and with-it, but I assume I had my head up my ass like the rest of them.
Yes, the brain declines with age, but wisdom is good. The crystallized intelligence of age does have advantages over the rarely-used super-brains of the young. Our brains are slower, but with the gifts and harsh lessons of time, we are vastly superior at making decisions.
Any tribe or civilization of any worth always put middle-aged to old guys in charge and revered its elders. We are cautious and careful, and we already did most of the dumb things there are to do, and we are not likely to do them again.
Crystallized intelligence is more or less the stuff you know. As you age, you accumulate knowledge and theoretically wisdom. You don’t get a hardon with every passing breeze, but you’re much less likely to do stupid shit. It’s called a trade-off.
A process called pruning occurs in which there is actually a massive loss of brain cells and connections. Most folks do not know this, but there is a massive overgrowth of brain cells in childhood. At adolescence, the brain decides to clear out all those stupid dirt roads that don’t go much of anywhere and make some superhighways instead. The result is like pruning a tree, and the brain works much better as a result.
There is quite a bit of loss of brain structure in the process, but it’s all good in the end. In fact, pruning is an essential process for the adolescent brain. If you observe most adolescents, it would not seem controversial that they are experiencing massive loss of brain structure, but a lot of folks still refuse to believe this.
There is a window in the brain for language that starts to close at about age 7. If you wait until later, you never really get language right. We have folks born deaf who got hearing at age 33 and have still never picked up language right. You can learn a foreign language in adulthood, but you will always have an accent, and you will never get 100% native speaker competence.
There is a blind cave fish that has a window for sight. If it is exposed to light before a certain age, it can see. If not, it just figures there is no light down in this cave, so it just goes blind and turns the visual portion of the brain over to something else. The brain seems to open up windows, so to speak.
The brain opens a language window that says, “Any language here?” as it waits for input. If there is no input, the brain just closes the window, figures there is no language coming, and turns the area over to something else.
The brain is plastic. That does not mean it is made out of polyurethane. It just means that it is smart. For instance, if one part gets damaged, your brain will try to reroute connections around the damaged area. Also, other areas of the brain will try to take over for the damaged area. Brains are smart! They actually think about how to fix up messed up brains! Cool!

Psilocybin Doesn't Cause Brain Damage

Repost from the old site.
Told you so.
Hell, I’ve only taken it, what, 30 times or so? It never fried me, or at least I don’t think so. I never noticed any long-lasting harm after taking this drug. One time, I had bright colors for about six months after I took it. Another time, I got depressed and sat around alone on Saturday night feeling sorry for myself. Next morning, I woke up and was not depressed anymore.
One time, I took some, got in my car, and drove from Los Angeles to the Owens Valley, then turned around and drove home again. I think the whole trip took me about 12-14 hours. You can drive great on the stuff if you have a nice, clear, open road in front of you, and the towering Sierra Nevada sure looks great when you are frying. Plus, the stuff keeps you awake for many hours somehow.
I used to sell these mushrooms, and boy was it fun. I was a student, a schoolteacher, a paralegal and a drug dealer. I would sell quarter pounds and pounds and make insane profits like $300 for an hour’s work or so. Plus you get to feel like a spy and feel some real terror when you carry the dope around and do the deal itself.
You get to drive past lots of cops with a car full of dope that could send you to jail for a long time. You look at the cops and just drive right on by like nothing is happening. You carry the dope in a briefcase and dress up like an office worker, or you carry it in an athletic bag and dress up like you’re going to gym.
There’s nothing like the rush you get being out in public with a car full of felonious dope or a wallet full of tainted drug money.
My friends and I dealt dope in the smart way, and most of us never got caught. We were not all totally White, but most of us were raised in a mostly-White beach town. We dressed up like college kids, office workers, gym enthusiasts, and conformed to White middle class society in every way.
Yet we sold dope right in front of the cops and society’s noses for years for years and never got caught. There’s a luscious feeling in that.
A friend of mine made so much money selling coke that he bought two homes in San Fransisco, one to store the coke and another to live in. He was so hot I didn’t dare even look him up. You don’t even want to hang around some super-dealer like that.
I just checked him out and he’s resurfaced in Southern California, fit, healthy and fifty, selling real estate. A survivor. I guess he never got caught either. Even my Mom shakes her head in admiration of him. White society always respects someone who can outsmart the cops in a not-too-evil way. Why? It places a premium on not being stupid, and not being caught.
I often wonder if other ethnics share this value.
Sometimes I think that these young Blacks and Hispanics nowadays place a premium on getting caught, and therefore being a moron. This I will never understand.
These Hispanic kids around here are the biggest idiots on Earth. They do dope deals, albeit for small amounts of pot, right out in the open in front of everyone. They seem to take special delight in doing an obvious drug deal right out where anyone can see it happen. I guess it’s a macho thing.
White middle class me says it’s not a macho thing, it’s a stupid thing. No wonder they are always getting hauled in on dope-selling charges. They dress up like gangsters and criminals and then wonder why they get stopped by the cops. Duh.
There really is an art to being a criminal.
All in all, psilocybin is a fun drug. You keep hearing horror stories about this stuff, about people who took too much of it and are mentally ill, or people who took too much and are fried in some way or another. Problem is that there is not the tiniest evidence that this stuff damages your brain, unlike almost other drugs of abuse. Yes, the drugs that make you feel the most insane of all do not do the slightest harm to your brain in any way.
All those stories floating around about people taking too much hallucinogens need to be taken with a grain of salt. If it’s harmless to the brain, how is it supposed to create fried-out acidheads? Answer: it’s can’t.
I’m not saying take them every weekend. I haven’t taken the stuff in about 23 years, and I’m not sure if I will ever take it again.
Taking these kinds of drugs is one of the most bizarre experiences that one can have on this Earth, though, and you can have some really terrifying bad trips. Psychological harm can occur from traumatic experiences.
By the way, it’s not harmful to any other organ in your body either. Plus there are long-lasting positive effects, apparently.
On the other hand, this drug can cause HPPD , so I’d advise against taking it. I have HPPD, but I only have bright colors, and it’s really not so bad. You’re living in a Technicolor world, and if you just accept it, the world looks a lot better this way.

Cannabis, Teens and Schizophrenia

Repost from the old site.
I received a mail today from someone who attended an interesting conference in the Midwest.
At a Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Conference today in Omaha, Nebraska, Dr. Frederick Frese, who is the Coordinator of the Summit County Recovery Project and Assistant Prof of Psychology in Clinical Psychology at NEOUCOM and Case Western Reserve U, and on the Board of Trustees for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, gave a session on teenage cannabis use and schizophrenia.
He has been a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic for 40 years.
Frese stated that use of cannabis between the ages of 15 and 18 in persons who have a variant allele of the COMT gene will lead to an almost certain psychotic break by the age of 25. He said it’s because of the formative time that the brain is in during those years, in combination with that certain allele, together with cannabis use.
He said that if you have do not have the variant allele, no problem. Frese is so concerned about this that he and his team are going to start setting up genetic testing booths for kids at rock concerts because of the very real danger that the studies show exist.
I applaud Dr. Frese for the very real efforts he is taking to try to prevent schizophrenia in vulnerable youth.
I am dubious about how many kids this will save. The rate of schizophrenia has not gone up since the cannabis era began. This suggests that use of cannabis if anything will cause schizophrenia to occur sooner than it would otherwise occur, and it would occur anyway, just later.
The number of folks with this variant allele is high in absolute numbers, and many of them use MJ and don’t get schizophrenia. But it does cause a 10 times elevated risk. I think that Frese is wrong to say that it’s almost certain that these kids will get schizophrenia by 25 after smoking one jay between ages 15-18.
As I’ve said before on this blog, I have known 1000’s of cannabis users over my lifetime, many heavy users. The number who went on develop schizophrenia? Zero. This is why this whole subject makes me yawn.
I wish Frese good luck with his experiment though. Ideally, we could construct a good experiment this way. We could follow kids with the variant allele who wait til 19 to start MJ (Is this protective?) or avoid it period, with another group who did not avoid cannabis and see how many of each develop schiz and at what ages.
Tell the truth, I am quite concerned about use of cannabis by minors. I wish they would not do it. Period. Wait til you’re an adult!
I have OCD (another, though vastly less devastating, mental illness), and I have found that cannabis is actually a superb psychiatric drug for this illness. It works better than almost any med I have ever taken for this (The drugs work great at high doses, but nuke my sex drive, so what good are they?), and I have suffered for 26 yrs.
No clinician believes me when I tell them this; all insist that pot makes you mentally ill or worsens all mental illness or caused my problem in the first place (The gall of them!?), and all try to steer me to drug treatment or drug counseling when I tell them I use. I’m really getting tired of this shit. I’m 50 years old, and I’m being treated like a child.
I have some opinions about the mental health profession, but in general they are extremely low. For such a bunch of super-smart people, there sure is a lot of bullshit groupthink, scaredy-cat thinking and just general lack of an empirical outlook.

Cannabis Is Good For You

Repost from the old site.
Well, not necessarily in general, but if you are a regular methamphetamine user, there is a suggestion that you get less, not more, brain damage, or cognitive impairment (whichever it was) if you concurrently use cannabis than if you use methamphetamine only. The fact that there is a drug that gets you high that might actually be protective of brain damage in some cases is downright fascinating.
Keep in mind that this study found only a trend, and did not prove that cannabis protected against the damage caused by meth use. However, if you read the study, there was a linear trend that showed that the meth + cannabis users had scores intermediate to the controls (no drugs) and meth only groups.
The meth only group scored worst, the controls scored best, and there was a trend for the meth + cannabis group to score intermediate. The trend was not significant enough at the .05 level to be probative, but there was a suggestive trend towards better scores if meth users used cannabis also.
What was found was only cognitive impairment, or worse scores on a test, but with meth use, at some level, say 1/2 gram a day for 1 1/2 years, there is definitely brain damage, and it does not completely clear up with abstention.
There is anecdotal evidence for permanent damage after only 2-3 weeks of very heavy use, but it’s not proven. We don’t yet know when structural damage to the brain due to meth use begins. Meth can probably be used up to a dozen times or so in a lifetime with no problems, but after that, all bets are off.
If anyone has some good data on meth and brain damage, please comment or email me the links.

Risks of LSD Use

Commenter Nobody questions what the risks of LSD use are:

RL: There are good reasons not to do acid, but fear of being permanently mentally ill is not one of them.
Nobody: What are those reasons, in your mind? I’ve done acid and have my own ideas, but I’m curious what you have to say about it.

Use of LSD can cause permanent visual disruptions called Hallucinogen Post Perception Disorder. I have it myself, but it’s not bad. Others have it very bad.
It can also cause a temporary psychosis or mental breakdown, not because it did any physical damage to the brain, but simply via psychological mechanisms like panic and whatnot.
It can also cause long-term psychological trauma via the same mechanism, not through physical damage to the brain but due to psychological trauma, upsetting experiences, unpleasant unconscious stuff coming to the forefront, etc. It’s similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I’ve known way too many people who have taken LSD 100+ times who were totally normal in every way, shape and form. One guy took it 700 times and was completely normal.
On the other hand, there are folks who have taken LSD many, many times, like over 1,000 times and especially 2,000-4,000 times. Timothy Leary comes to mind. Tim Leary was one of the few drug cases I can think of who did seem to be damaged somehow. He wasn’t really nuts; he just seemed sort of fried. I’m not sure if it was the acid, but I’m worried. There are other folks who have taken LSD 1,500-4,000 times and are now permanently mentally ill. Some of them fade in and out of it. The diagnoses vary. At the same time, there’s no evidence that these folks suffer from any kind of brain damage, so the facts are confusing. Nevertheless, taking LSD 1,000 times or more seems to be a pretty risky endeavor in terms of your mental health, even though the reasons for why are not known.

The 50 Craziest Rock Stars Ever

Here.
This article is pretty damn funny.
A lot of rockers are or were seriously nuts!
I’m having a hard time figuring out dx’s for a lot of these people. It seems to be something towards the more extroverted end. I suspect a lot of them are acting this way on purpose, sort of like a lot of artists act “deliberately insane.”
I only see a few who were obviously psychotic: Syd Barrett, Peter Green, Roky Erikson, Brian Wilson, Jim Gordon and Skip Spence for starters. I’m familiar with all these cases. They all had schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. It’s commonly said that they are all drug burnouts, but I doubt it.
For one thing, LSD does not appear to cause permanent psychosis. I’ve known too many completely normal folks who have taken it 100-300 times. It’s not even proven to damage your brain. The worst that can be said about it is that very heavy users sometimes do go psychotic and have to be hospitalized. Typically, they get better, but they often go back to heavy LSD use and become mentally ill again. No one has any idea how LSD even makes you temporarily insane.
All of these people simply developed schizophrenia. LSD can trigger schizophrenia, but no one knows how that works either. LSD-induced schizophrenia looks just like the rest of schizophrenia and it responds to the same drugs too. Since acid doesn’t damage your brain, I can’t see how it could cause schizophrenia. There are good reasons not to do acid, but fear of being permanently mentally ill is not one of them.
For the rest of them, dx’s are difficult. Some seem to have issues with narcissism and borderline personality disorder. Some were just seriously whacked out on booze and dope, often cocaine and/or heroin.
Ike Turner used cocaine for some 45 years until it killed him at age 76.
Sly Stone spent years on cocaine, even living on the streets smoking a crack pipe. No one quite knows what is up with Sly these days. He shows up at occasional performance, acts very strange, walks off stage in mid-show, gets on his motorcycle and rides away.
Rick James spent a good 15 years on a crack pipe.
Whitney Houston is ruined and is heavy into cocaine.
David Bowie went nuts on coke in the 1970’s, became full-blown psychotic and embraced Nazism.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard is on crack.
John Frusciante almost killed himself on heroin and coke.
Ozzy Osborne, Jerry Lee Lewis and Liza Minnelli were alcoholics.
Keith Moon was a drunk and a pillhead who liked to blow up toilets with dynamite for fun.
Elvis was a hardcore pillhead who apparently went insane from all the tablets.
Arthur Lee of Love spent 20 years abusing drugs heavily, became homeless, set buildings on fire and shot up his neighbor’s house.
Carlos Santana used acid heavily, then 20 years ago met up with an angel named Metatron who looks like Santa Claus who has been guiding his life ever since. He communicates with Miles Davis, a dead person, on a regular basis.
Miles Davis (while he was alive and not talking to Santana) spent years shooting heroin, beating his wife and just acting weird.
Little Richard spent years binging on cocaine, having sex orgies and sucking cocks in men’s restrooms.
James Taylor was a depressive and a heroin addict.
Some were suicidal.
Wendy O Williams sawed instruments in half with a chainsaw, then retired and blew her brains out.
Ian Curtis recorded some of the most depressing music ever made, then hung himself on the night of his US tour.
Adam Ant is a depressive.
Mariah Carey assaulted staff and reporters and slit her wrists.
Some like Courtney Love and Britney Spears simply cannot seem to function as adults.
Sinéad O’Connor is just a kook.
Lou Reed’s main problem is that he’s a terminal asshole.
R. Keely is just a weirdo with a taste for underage girls.
Sid Vicious assaulted fans, carved up his chest onstage, murdered his girlfriend, then OD’d on heroin as a grand finale.
Jaz Coleman, George Clinton, Captain Beefheart and Julian Cope are unclassifiable.
No one knows what’s up with Sun Ra.
GG Allin was just nuts, dx’d as narcissistic, Borderline PD and masochistic.
Michael Jackson was one of the weirdest of all. No one seems to know what was wrong with him. He seems to have been a homosexual pedophile. I’m familiar with most of his weird antics, but I never knew that he said he had fathered 2 “Aryan” babes named Prince 1 and Prince 2. Weird!
Just because you aren’t psychotic (and most of these folks are not) doesn’t mean you’re not nuts. You can be plenty nuts without being psychotic, plenty.

Latest Scary Marijuana-Brain Damage Study

Repost from the old site.

A new study of cannabis and brain damage is continuing to get a lot of publicity.

Study Strengthens Marijuana Brain Damage Case is the title of the accompanying headline.

Marijuana users who had smoked more than 5 joints a day (average of 11 joints a day) for more than 10 years (average use of 20 years) were tested.

They found that there was shrinkage in the amygdala and the hippocampus related to how much cannabis the person used.

The shrinkage was not large in either structure. The damage is described as “equivalent to mild traumatic brain injury or premature aging.” The article:

Doctors have known for years there is nothing “soft” about the drug cannabis. Professor Jon Currie is the director of addiction medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne.”This is a very exciting study because it proves for the first time what we have been really worried out. That brain problems are real and that people who smoke cannabis over a long term do get problems.” he said.

It’s also equivalent to drinking over 2 drinks per day. It’s equivalent to severe stress. It’s equivalent to having PTSD. It’s equivalent to all sorts of stuff.

This study was done by Nadia Solowij out of Australia. For whatever reason, every single study done by Solowij and colleagues seems to find pretty serious brain damage.

This study is pretty scary, but so far there have been four other studies of heavy cannabis users that did not find damage to the hippocampus or the amygdala.

An MRI study from 2005 of very heavy cannabis users who had used cannabis on average of 20,100 times found no damage to the hippocampus at all. A study of cannabis-using young adults from 2006 found no damage to the hippocampus, or to any other structure. And a third study also found no hippocampal damage .

The study of users from 2006 also found no damage to the amygdala. This study actually found that the hippocampus-amygdala was 5% larger in the cannabis users than in the non-users, but the difference was not thought to be significant.

So there you have it. There are some pretty scary new findings coming out about cannabis and damage to the limbic system, but things are still far from proven. The single study so hyped by the media nowadays has already been contradicted by four negative studies. You would think that the media might have noted that. You would think wrong.

The road forward? More studies, I guess. You could always try smoking less than five joints a day too, just to be on the safe side.

I Actually Don’t Mind This Guy

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vYJ6d9VPOo]

Tom Metzger, Third Positionist and White nationalist racist, interviews John Jewel, a former IWW representative.

I’m not really wild about Metzger. He urged his followers to beat up random non-Whites, and they beat a poor Ethiopian immigrant to death in Portland. On the other hand, Metzger’s always been a socialist. He wants socialism for Whites, which sucks, but it’s better than neoliberalism for all.

I drove by his home in Fallbrook once 20 years ago when I was in my anti-racist mode. There were elaborate security protections all around the large two story home in a nice White housing tract. Fallbrook was still a nice place 20 years ago, heavily rural. Not sure what it’s like now.

They grew a lot of pot out there in the late 70’s-80’s. They grew the pot in the avocado ranches and irrigated it from the avocado irrigation lines. You buy an avocado ranch as a cover, grow avocados, and grow pot too.

Jewel is an interesting guy. He’s clearly a socialist, and I like his basic direction. In the entire 7-minute interview, he only mentions his “racism” once. He says he learned White racism from his father, an LA police officer in the South Central Division. However, this same racist cop also admired the Black Muslims for trying better their people, and he refused to arrest Black kids who stole food because they were hungry. Some racist cop.

Anyway, I’ve known a lot of White cops in my time. Most White cops are racist against Blacks. Trust me on that one. Blacks commit tons of crime, cops see it up close and personal, and they put two and two together. I’m not sure if I blame them.

5 seconds of racism amidst a 7-minute talk. Whoop dee fuckin doo. The rest of the talk is straight up IWW socialism channeling Joe Hill’s ghost itself straight from the gallows.

It’s Metzger who seems more racially oriented. He honestly doesn’t seem that interested in the socialist stuff, and he keeps trying to steer the subject back to race, either White power exhortations or jabs against non-Whites. I think Metzger is a racist first and a socialist second, possibly opportunistically with the latter, but who knows?

But the Jewel types are salvageable. I’ll take their “racist” Wobbly socialism over SWPL Critical Race Theory Multicultural Curriculum corporate neoliberal globalist “Leftists” any day of the week. The racism is rather problematic, but we can work that out later, or we won’t, but we’ll support them anway. I’ve never supported the divisive line of excluding or shunning racist White workers. So they’re racist? So what. If they’re workers and they’re on the Left, they’re our people. We’ll deal with the racism later if it becomes a problem, or we’ll just ignore it if it doesn’t.

Fresno Has a Bad Rap

Fresno, 30 miles away from me to the South, has a bad rap. It’s just another large city in California anymore. There are 440,000 people living here now, and it’s not that different from other California big cities, except that in a lot of ways it’s nicer.

There’s nothing particularly unpleasant about it except the weather. The crime rate is not that high. There are few Blacks. The traffic is excellent, and even at rush hour, it is still pretty much doable. There are nice parts of town and not so nice parts of town, but mostly it isn’t terrifying like parts of LA. The gangs mostly prey on their own kind. One thing though: this region has been one of the top cities in the nation for auto theft for some time now.

Many of the Whites here are derived from poor Whites – Arkies and Okies, who came here with the Dust Bowl. They have a working class base, are conservative and many practice fundamentalist Protestantism. They are often very friendly in a small town or Southern kind of way. When I lived in Fresno 20 years ago, it still had kind of a small town feel to it. Even people in stores would treat you like you were their neighbors. Not sure if that has changed.

A few areas have been taken over by Underclass Blacks and are best avoided.

Rents are quite reasonable.

All of the California subcultures are here: hippies, punks, goths, bikers, gays, preppies, emos, you name it, we’ve got it. There are art galleries and rock and roll clubs. There is even at artsy fartsy district called the Tower District.

The White politics is rather conservative, sort of like Reagan Democrats. They were originally Southern Democrats, but they’ve been registering Republican for 30 years now. The Hispanics and Blacks all vote Dem. The politics is divided between conservative White politics (some of the most conservative pols in California) and liberal Hispanic and Black politics.

Big Ag rules the day out here and is deeply conservative. They own most of the press and all of the pols. The whole Central Valley is like a company town with Big Ag as the employer.

The Sierra Nevadas are only an hour or so away, and they’re a total blast if you like mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, etc. A world-famous national park, Yosemite National Park, is 2 hours away.

Clovis is a suburb of Fresno the east. This is “White Fresno.” The Whites have moved here, and White culture is still well and alive in Clovis. Many apartments and new homes around here advertise “Clovis schools.” That’s racist code talk for “White schools.” Get the hint? Clovis schools are very hardass and really try to hold the line academically.

Fresno is just another big city school district full of large numbers of the usual Hispanics dropping out, getting pregnant, joining gangs and getting lousy grades. But serious problems on campus are rare.

Seriously hostile anti-White Aztlan Hispanic culture hasn’t really taken root here, since it’s an outgrowth of liberal politics, and we don’t really have that here.

The Hispanics have lived in the Valley forever and often grow up speaking Spanish as a first language. They learn English in school. They’re almost the majority group around here, so there’s nothing to rebel against. The Hispanics are socially conservative, often have deep roots, and are very family-oriented. Idiot liberal MECHA politics never really took hold here too much. These Hispanics are too conservative for that crap.

The Blacks are not very political either. They’re also mostly conservative working class people. There is an area called Southwest Fresno that is a Black ghetto and is best avoided, but as far as ghettos go, it’s not that bad. The Blacks around here have no numbers, so they don’t cause a lot of trouble, and mostly they hang out with Whites, Hispanics, etc. In lower class areas, Whites, Hispanics and Blacks all hang out and have sort of assimilated to some sort of Hispanic gangster culture, except most folks are not gangsters.

There are few Black gangs here, and some of the worst gangs, like the Bulldogs, are actually multiracial (Black and Hispanic).

There are White Supremacist gangs too. One is called the Peckerwoods. However, like the Aryan Nations, their White Supremacism is mostly for show. White culture is so far gone here that even our White Supremacists have gone Multicult. I understand that the local Peckerwoods mostly have Mexican girlfriends. At the local jails, they are good friends with the local Hispanics.

I was told that the White Supremacist stuff is a bunch of crap and that the whole purpose of the Peckerwoods is “all about drugs.” It’s just a way for Whites to form their own gang, sell dope and get by like everyone else.

The big drug around here is methamphetamine. It used to be manufactured in large quantity in the rural areas around here. It’s a drug of working class Whites, but the Hispanics have started to get into it. Hispanics often smoke it in a form called ice, which is one nasty drug.

There’s also a lot of very good pot around here, but it’s very expensive. The stuff around here almost all comes from the Bay Area, where it is grown in indoor gardens. The stuff is incredibly strong for an old stoner like me. I imagine the THC levels might be 15-20%. I can handle it, but then I can handle most any drug. This stuff is almost like a hallucinogen.

There isn’t much racism here either for some reason. I think all the hardcore racists just took off for White California or left the state altogether. This area is turning seriously into the Multicult, the new culture of California and maybe the US.

Conformism Versus Non-Conformism

Repost from the old site.

In the comments, Perry notes:

Your description of your youth – hippie, glam, disco, punk, goth etc – doesn’t strike me as ‘not normal’ or ‘fucked in the head’. Not an outsider, a reject or outcast.

Rather, it is the trajectory of the Ultra-Conformist, always clinging to the dominant cultural strand. What is called culture and ‘counter-culture’ are like the twin strands of DNA revolving around each other. If you can’t escape that, then you are cattle. You say you followed and adopted each culture, but then say ‘I never want to fit in, be normal or be accepted.’ That’s exactly what you wanted.

Allow me to differ here.

As far as hippies, OK, we had a group, but straight society treated us like serious shit, the older generation especially. I seem to recall I lost a number of jobs over being a longhair and suspected doper, and there was no end of warfare with my folks, all of their friends and all of my older relatives. It was generational war, but we had to get jobs from these older assholes, and they seemed to delight in firing us just for who we were.

There was no way to be a member of serious, normal, straight society when you looked like that. It was like one rejection after another, especially in the workplace.

I refer especially to dope. There was never a time when dope was accepted by straight or mainstream society, especially older folks. It did get close there for a bit around thirty years ago, but then Reagan came in, the War on Drugs hit, and it was out in the biggest way.

I can’t tell you how much endless rejection, hassle and general crap I got for being a doper, and all I was was a pot smoker. Vast numbers of people, even my own age, were just flat out not into it. Especially as you got to the university and then into good high-paying jobs in offices and whatnot.

Nowadays, dope is more condemned than ever. The honeymoon is over. A lot of kids hate all dope, and the older generation truly despises it.

A very large # of folks even my age never got into it and seriously look down on you if you did, even if it was years ago. God forbid if you still get high. This is especially true in the medical and psychiatry fields. Doctors won’t tolerate pot at all, and therapists and p-docs will all try to blame all your problems on it, even if it was 30 years in the past. It’s like a guilt trip that never goes away.

At this point, straight society seriously rejects dope in all forms, and I do include pot. I’m not talking the working class here. I’m talking older folks, and especially once you get into proper and respectable society, older folks who dress up for work, wear jackets and ties, make good money, work in an office, etc.

All dope is seriously out with that crowd, even past use. If you talk to most folks like that, even my age, they deny all current use and as far as the past, well, they smoked a joint once.

You can’t discuss dope at all in public (you’re liable to get tossed out of the establishment) other than to condemn it. You can’t even mention past use. At work, it’s pretty much off the table and it’s probably reason for firing.

Even a past history of drug use is thought to make you unqualified for many jobs. I speak in particular of education, as I was a teacher for years. If any of us told our classes that we so much as took a hit off a joint once, legions of parents would march down to the office and we would probably be fired.

The glam scene was not popular at all at the time and people who were into it were really treated like shit by most ppl for it. It was a fringe thing.

Disco was popular, but walking around with 4-inch blue platforms, velvet pants and silk scarves was not. People who did that really got hammered a lot, mostly people calling them queer.

Sure, punk is pretty normal now, but back then we were really outsiders and rejects. Most everyone really hated it. As an example, almost all of my old friends hated punk and weren’t impressed that I was into it. Punks got treated like serious shit all the time. It was serious fringe stuff. We also got called queer a lot.

I don’t remember the goth scene well, but in the early days, it wasn’t really normal to be into that stuff. Just one more reason for most everyone to think you were a fucking weirdo.

Furthermore, all of these were countercultural movements that were at odds with mainstream society in a serious way – but disco much, much less so. If you were into them and it was obvious, you got stared at a lot, pointed to a lot, and got treated like a general freak. You got called names like weird, strange, creep, etc all the time.

You had your sanity questioned all the time and it was just assumed that you must be mentally ill in some way. In most cases, you also got called faggot a lot for some reason. I guess to the macho straight society idiots, any nonconformist is automatically a “fag”.

I recall my father nearly punching my lights out one time for having long hair that according to him made me look like a fag.

No sane person went into any of this stuff to be accepted. Sure you got some acceptance by the scene people, but even for all of these, they were a serious minority. They’d be like 5% of the people, and the others (mostly haters) would be like 95%. You’d have to be a moron to go into most of these things to make gain acceptance. It was like hitching a ride on the Rejection Express.

And none of these things was “the dominant cultural strand” at the time. It’s not like nowadays, when punk, goth, hippie and whatnot are all mainstream aspects of youth culture. In the beginning of all these things (except disco), the first people really were outsiders.

More importantly, all of us got used to constantly being called weird, strange, bizarre, freaks, not normal, creepy, crazy, nuts, psycho and all that stuff. So if someone calls me something like that, that’s like a compliment.

Now how many normal society types get called stuff like that all time? And how many of them take it as a compliment to be called something like that?

So I’m not buying your argument.

What the Heck? Juggalo Funeral

Repost from the old site.

A real White trash funeral, complete with booze cooler casket and the bereaved dressed in their Sunday best.

There is something about this picture that really bothers me. Those people with the Insane Clown Posse t-shirts are known as juggalos. Juggalos are the fan base of the Detroit White hip hop group Insane Clown Posse.

Juggalos have lately gotten a reputation for being associated with a lot of crimes, to the extent that they are now considered to be a White street gang. But only about 15% of juggalos are involved in gang-related criminal activity.

The dead baby. Yuck. Ninja down!

There is something just so wrong about showing up at your baby’s funeral wearing Insane Clown Posse t-shirts. And the coffin looks like a beer cooler. And if you look at the really weird markings on the coffin, there are two aliens engaged in a shootout.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMv9d1pIoBA]

The story around this baby’s death is that it died preterm when the woman with the dyed hair was 6-7 months pregnant, due to her very heavy use of drugs. She was supposedly a very heavy drug user who took all sorts of drugs every day during her pregnancy, resulting in the stillbirth of the baby preterm. Afterward, she supposedly sued the hospital for killing the baby, when in fact it was her drug abuse that did it.

What’s even worse was she called in to some Juggalo radio show and talked about her dead baby for about a minute, then started bitching about some merchandise they never sent her.

Below is from her MySpace page. It’s worse. Here is a closeup of the cartoon images on the casket from the MySpace page along with some text:

The “psychopathics” from outer space are going to protect this stillborn baby from evil? WTH?

Here is the funeral announcement from the MySpace page:

Juggalo Ho posted:

R * I * P

*Anabelle Lotus Krawczyk*
05 – 11 – 2008

Mother ~ Julie aka Juggalo Julz
Father ~ Joe aka Druggalo JK47

BORN ~ Mothers Day, Sun.

May 11, 2008 10:39am

DIED ~ Mothers Day, Sun.

May 11, 2008 10:52

FROM MOMMA, JUGGALO JULZ::

MY LITTLE NINJETTE DIED 1 IN A MILLION MEDICAL ERROR..FOR NO REASON. THE DOCTORS SHOOK THERE HEADS AT ME AND SAID WERE DONT KNOW WHY OR HOW. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? MY DAUGHTER SHOULD BE IN MY ARMS RIGHT NOW AND SHES GONE AND THATS PRICELESS TO ME!!! I PROMISED MY LOTUS I WOULD GET JUSTICE FOR HER DEATH TO MY VERY LAST BREATH! PLEASE HELP A JUGGALO FAMILY OUT…

EVERY & ANY JUGGALO & JUGGALETTE IS INVITED TO MY BABY NINJETTE ANABELLE LOTUS KRAWCZYK FUNERAL…WERE ALL A FUCK’N FAMILY AND OUR LITTLE LOTUS IS GONE TO SHANGRI-LA…PLEASE WRITE ME BACK HERE OR EMAIL IF U WILL COME. IM STILL MAKING ARRANGEMENTS. ON DATE OR TIME YET..

BEST WISHES ~

PLEASE WEAR ANYTHING DARK LOTUS OR IF U FONT HAVE LOTUS ANYTHING PSYCHOPATHIC GEAR TO HER FUNERAL

PLEASE JUGGALOS IF U CAN DONATE ANYTHING EVEN.

$0.01 OR $1.OO WILL HELP US TO GET A HEADSTONE FOR OUR DAUGHTER.

YOU CAN DONATE AT THE FUNERAL OR IF U CANT ATTEND PLEASE FEEL FREE TO STILL DONATE ANYTHING TO OUR HOME AND EMAIL ME ON HERE AND I WILL SEND U MY ADDRESS…

PLEASE BRING A LOTUS FLOWER THEY ARE SO RARE TO FIND. OR PLEASE TELL ME WHERE I CAN FIND ONE.. IM HAVING A LOT TROUBLE FINDING IT…

PLEASE FAMILY COME AND SUPPORT US IN OUR DARKEST HOUR…NINJA DOWN

MCL JULIE & JOE

WHERE ~ MALEC & SONS FUNERAL HOME

ADDRESS ~ 6000 N. MILWAUKEE AVE.
CHICAGO IL 60646

FUNERAL HOME PHONE ~ 773 – 774 – 4100

DATE ~ FRIDAY MAY 23 2008

TIME ~ 9:00AM – 1:00PM (Service starts at 9:00AM then we go to the cemetery)

*REMEMBER AT A FUNERAL WE ALL FOLLOW TOGETHER TO THE CEMETERY AFTER THE SERVICE…..

LAYED TO REST AT ~ EDEN CEMETERY

ADDRESS ~ 9851 W. IRVING PARK ROAD
SCHILLER PARK IL 60176

CEMETERY PHONE ~ 847 – 678 – 1631

*WE PRAY TO SEE ALL JUGGALOS THERE FOR ANABELLE LOTUS….

THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT,
A GRIEVING JUGGALO MOTHER & FATHER

You’ve got to be kidding? “Ninja down”? The mother’s name is “Juggalo Julz,” and the father’s name is “Druggalo JK47?” Tell me this isn’t true. Something about that is just wrong.

I realize I have been told that it’s un-Commie of me to make fun of White trash, and there’s nothing really funny about a stillborn baby, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.

It’s always sad when a kid dies, but at least she didn’t get to be raised by these parents.

LOL. Not much I can say to this photo. I started busting up the first time I even looked at it, and it’s about a dead baby!

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Cannabis and Schizophrenia is Probably a Minimal Relationship

One thing that is interesting when you study certain issues a lot is that the more you learn about the issue, the less you understand it. In fact, most things just get more and more confusing and make less and less sense the more you study them. And this points to the limits of scientism. So many things just don’t seem to make much sense. Science claims it can discover the truth to anything and everything. In theory, it can.

But in praxis, it’s another thing altogether. So much of life remains fairly or seriously mysterious no matter how many studies and books are issued on the matters at end. Is science able to explian these things? Not at the moment anyway.

I often find that in discussions, I have to say things like, “Yes, I know it doesn’t make sense, but in this field a lot of things don’t make sense.”

So it is with cannabis and schizophrenia. Things just don’t make sense.

Those of us who went through the 1970’s watching 1000’s of people smoke cannabis heavily and never saw a single case of toxic psychosis, not to mention schizophrenia, are taken aback by the recent insistence that, say, cannabis ups the risk of schizophrenia by 38 times, or that 10% of regular adolescent cannabis users will become schizophrenic. Such theory punches right in the face of our very lived experience, so it makes no sense to us at all.

Yet the relationship keeps showing up, over and over, in study after study. It’s regular, independent of confounding factors, and even typically dose-dependent. That’s as good as it gets in science.

Nevertheless, it still doesn’t make sense.

The rate of schizophrenia collapsed while the rate of cannabis use exploded. Cause and effect indeed!

As you can see in the graph, a rate of schizophrenia of 12-13/100,000 from 1950-on collapsed starting in 1967, falling to around 3/100,000 as of 1983. It seems to have leveled off at around that rate ever since. Starting around the mid-60’s and continuing through the 1970’s at least, cannabis use in the UK went through the roof. It completely exploded. At the same time as the rate of schizophrenia collapsed by 75%. If there were indeed a relationship, the schizophrenia rate should have gone through the roof.

It doesn’t make sense.

Yet over and over, we see this relationship. The only explanation that makes sense is that something in the prodromal syndrome of schizophrenia makes pre-schizophrenics seek out cannabis in particular. The worse the prodromal symptoms, the more cannabis they use. Cannabis use clearly seems to be bringing schizophrenia on sooner in those who would develop it anyway.

This study is the best analysis yet. For every 4000 adolescents who use cannabis daily, one of them will get schizophrenia as a result. We have to prevent 4000 cases of heavy cannabis use by teens to prevent a single case of schizophrenia.

It hardly seems worth it.

How do we reconcile that cannabis is causing any psychosis at all nowadays, not to mention schizophrenia, when it never seemed to cause these reactions back in the day?

There was a young guy who was hanging out over here a lot a while back, an Hispanic gang associate type. He was a heavy user of this very strong “skunk” cannabis. When he used it, he was constantly peeking out the window, apparently looking for the cops. He also totally freaked out if I ever opened the blinds one bit. I’ve never seen anyone act so paranoid on pot before. I’ve only seen people act like that on cocaine, especially if they smoke it or shoot it.

The cannabis nowadays is much, much stronger than even the strongest pot we smoked in the 1970’s and even 1980’s. Sure, hashish and hashish oil were around back in the day, and sure we used it all right, but they were not widely used. They are breeding it for THC maximalization, and it has THC levels of up to 15-25%. It’s the THC that is psychotogenic, not the CBD. CBD acts like an antipsychotic, of all things.

Back in the day, cannabis had approximately equal levels of CBD and THC. The psychotomimetic effects of THC were counteracted by the antipsychotic effects of CBD.

I’ve smoked this new super-pot, and while I can handle it with no risk of psychosis or even serious freak-out (I doubt if any reasonable quantity of any reasonable drug would make me psychotic), it’s easy to see how it could bend someone’s head in a pretty bad way.

We are getting regular reports of people smoking this stuff and hearing voices afterwards, if only temporarily. That’s really strange; we never heard strories like that back in the day.

So the solution to the conundrum of how pot is psychosis now when it never seemed to in the past is that the pot is incredibly strong super-pot, which is almost like another drug altogether.

“Women Cry For It – Men Die For It!” by Alpha Unit

The 1930s were a volatile time, internationally. The world was moving inexorably toward the deadliest conflict in history, one foreshadowed by conflicts like the Spanish Civil War and the Italian occupation and annexation of Ethiopia. Germany, Japan, and Italy were tightening an alliance against the Soviet Union.

The world had been in a severe economic depression since about 1929, and this depression was partially to blame for a lot of the political upheaval that was taking place on just about every continent.

But all of this pales in comparison to what a certain group of Americans feared around 1936. Forget high unemployment and economic downturn; never mind German troops marching into the Rhineland. What scared the hell out of these people was something far worse, far more sinister and pressing.

The film Reefer Madness laid it all out for parents (obviously the White, middle-class parents) of America.

Over its typically melodramatic 1930’s opening soundtrack of swirling violins and somber horns, its foreword cautioned:

The motion picture you are about to watch may startle you.

Why? Because of its unsettlingly accurate depictions of the effects of “marihuana.”

It would not have been possible, otherwise, to sufficiently emphasize the frightful toll of the new drug menace which is destroying the youth of America in alarmingly-increasing numbers.

After calling marihuana “a violent narcotic,” “an unspeakable scourge,” and “The Real Public Enemy Number One,” the filmmakers inform the viewer of what happens to people when they smoke the stuff.

Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter…

If you’re ever around a bunch of kids and they suddenly start laughing violently and uncontrollably, they’re probably high. On pot. Next:

Then some dangerous hallucinations – space expands, time slows down, almost stands still…fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances…

What, exactly, are these fixed ideas and monstrous extravagances? Whatever they are, they are followed by:

…emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions…

This sounds bad enough, but it’s nothing in comparison to the end result: “acts of shocking violence” and “incurable insanity.”

And then, of course, they proceed to illustrate the corrupting effect of reefer on clean-cut young Americans.

They end up in attendance at parties where there are exuberant piano-playing and out-of-control dancing, which lead to lasciviousness and people dropping onto beds or being taken against their will on sofas. Or, worse yet, killed.

The stress of these events and their aftermath lead to an even more obsessive demand for “reefers” and, eventually, to sheer madness.

It was all part of a campaign to keep America’s children safe from a ubiquitous, noxious, soul-destroying weed. But whose campaign it was remains mysterious. Often you will read that it was financed originally by some kind of “church group,” whatever that means – but sometimes it is suggested that it was produced by the U.S. government, or, specifically, the U.S. Army.

It fell into the hands of people whose main affection was for American dollars. They laced it with some suggestive scenes, gave it its famous title, and made cult film history.

It’s been making people laugh – sometimes suddenly, perhaps uncontrollably – ever since.

Cannabis and Schizophrenia Redux

We have already gone over this subject at length in a previous post. However, I am starting to change my mind on the subject after a lot of reading. It is looking more and more like heavy cannabis consumption during the teenage years is somehow implicated in the development of schizophrenia later on.

How this works is not known. Cannabis is probably not causing it directly, otherwise we should see epidemics of schizophrenia. More likely it is triggering it in a person who is already vulnerable. But the evidence has been flooding from, now from 30 different studies. And the younger the person is when they start and the more they use in the teen years, the greater the risk of schizophrenia later on. Some studies are even finding a dose-response relationship.

The fatal flaw in this theory has been that the rate of schizophrenia has not risen during since the start of the cannabis epidemic. I used cannabis for many years myself, and I known thousands of users, many of them long-term and heavy users. Other than making some young people lazy and somewhat paranoid, I haven’t seen a lot of ill effects from the drug.

I knew one guy who had schizophrenia who loved pot, but it made him a lot worse, so everyone tried to keep it away from him.

I’ve known only one marijuana user out of the many thousands of drug users that I have known who developed schizophrenia, but he was a heavy speed user for 10-20 years. He developed schizophrenia around age 37 after using methamphetamine heavily for 10-20 years. I am pretty sure that over a decade of heavy speed use caused his schizophrenia since heavy meth use causes massive damage to the brain.

I’ve never known any other cases, and I never saw any cases the whole time I was growing up. I hung out with heavy users, sold the drug myself for many years, and never saw any psychosis, not even a temporary case. However, the pot around nowadays is extremely strong and the age at first use has been dropping. I tried some recently and can testify that it is extremely strong indeed. I can handle it fine as I can easily handle just about any drug out there, but I can see how it could flip someone.

Quite a few of the local young people around here smoke pot. I’ve gotten to know quite a few of them and learned of their heavy marijuana use. They ranged in age from 16-23. A couple of them were dealers in their 20’s who were using large quantities of this very strong pot.

I knew about the pot-schizophrenia link and I kept looking for it in all of these individuals. I have yet to see a case of psychosis, much less schizophrenia, among these young people. I saw one person who got paranoid on pot, and I saw other cases of the “lazy pothead” syndrome, but in general, they were quite healthy mentally and led full and enriched lives. If cannabis is implicated in schizophrenia, it sure doesn’t cause it very often, as most even heavy users seem to avoid this drastic consequence.

Many kids are using this extremely strong pot at younger and younger ages, often daily for many years in adolescence. The pot we were using was much weaker, most of us did not use it every day, and most of us didn’t start using until around age 16 or so. Heavy use started around age 20 or so.

While cannabis in general does not appear to cause significant structural damage in adults, some very ominous findings are coming out about use in adolescence.

A recent study found that adults who started using cannabis before age 17 (16 or younger) had smaller brains overall, had less grey matter (fewer brain cells) yet more white matter (connections between neurons) (Earleywine 2005). Less neurons yet more connections isn’t exactly brain damage. Instead it’s just a brain that appears to have developed in a different way.

But this is the problem. The brain is still developing during adolescence. If cannabis impairs and changes normal brain development, this could be a bad thing. As it stands, no one should use cannabis before age 17 due to the risk of permanent brain changes of unknown significance. Delaying use until after age 16 apparently results in avoidance of these changes.

Even the most pot-critical researchers are claiming that cannabis is only causing 8-13% of schizophrenia cases. However, they can’t even prove that. Those are just models, and those models are not yet backed up with statistical data, which continues to show the schizophrenia rate as flat.

This interview was quite interesting. This psychiatrist posits that cannabis is causing schizophrenia, but only in people who use it, usually on a daily basis, for years starting in adolescence. The risk is greatest the younger you start. Delaying use until 19 or 20 results in dramatically lowered risk. The risk apparently drops to zero if one waits until age 21 to start using cannabis. In other words, I, at age 52, could smoke a ton of dope between now and the time I die and it won’t give me schizophrenia no matter how much I use.

At the very least, it’s certain that early and heavy cannabis use brings schizophrenia on sooner than it would have occurred ordinarily. However, that means years of life lost to psychosis that are gone forever. Many schizophrenics who use cannabis find that they have a worse course, as the cannabis triggers new psychotic episodes.

Yet schizophrenics seem to love the stuff, paradoxically. That’s probably because at first it seems to calm them down. Schizophrenia is a horrible illness, and sufferers will take just about anything to escape from the symptoms.

One theory that keeps coming is that is quite common in the early stages of schizophrenia (the prodromal phase) for users to turn to various drugs to relieve their distress. Schizophrenics often go years before their first diagnosis.

This article by Robin Murray, a notorious proponent of the cannabis-schizophrenia link, describes a case of supposed cannabis-induced schizophrenia in a teenager. At age 15, he became a heavy cannabis user at age 17, probably to treat his symptoms. A few years later, at age 20, he was finally diagnosed. Halfway through his prodromal symptoms, he began using cannabis to treat his illness.

I had a good friend recently who was a paranoid schizophrenic. He was 28 at the time and had apparently had the illness since he was 20 or so. He had not yet been diagnosed.

Hence the cannabis-schizophrenia link is said to be merely kids in the prodromal phase seeking relief for a condition that they are going to develop soon anyway and cannabis is not implicated in the disorder. This is always possible, but new research is suggesting that this is not the case.

With the new research, it is looking more and more like teenagers need to stay away from cannabis period. If they wish to use it, they should wait until age 19-20 or even better yet, age 21 when all cannabis-schizophrenia risk is gone.

References

Earleywine, Mitch. 2002. Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence (pp. 149-150). New York: Oxford University Press.

Paranoid Schizophrenia: Exhibit A

From an incoming link to a Twitter page and then to a Myspace page. I will say that he is an excellent artist. At first he seems like a very smart, sane person who is putting you on or doing some kind of a parody. Either that or he has some really fancy and elaborated thinking process going that’s well thought-out and coherent, but most of us are not onto it. The more you read, the less that seems to be the case.

Preoccupation with religion (the Bible) and especially the Devil (you can see he has shaved his head and grown a Devil goatee so he looks like The Evil One himself).

He does look like Satan, doesn't he? He also looks seriously nuts. He's got that crazy stare in his eyes. I wasn't going to divulge the guy's name, but if you try to download his photo, the paranoid motherfucker sends you a virus! So fuck you, Steven Pyle. And get help.

There’s also some complex stuff going on about Black Israelites and how Whites are evil invaders in America and need to be expelled. It’s like he’s incorporated whack Black and Brown Nationalist cant into his delusional project. LOL.

So I guess he’s a Cultural Marxist Multicultural Paranoid Schizophrenic. I figured it would come to this. Cultural Marxism and multiculturalism is so nuts on its face that you often wonder how it is that so many White people buy it. Answer I guess is hardcore brainwashing. It’s funny that Radical Multiculturalism is so nutty that even the crazies are incorporating it into their delusional systems, where it fits quite nicely.

But on the other hand, he has also seriously got into Tea Party “Obama is Evil” stuff and he parrots all the latest conspiracy theories about Obama. Once again this is risible because it just shows just how insane the Tea Partiers really are. When the schizophrenics start using your theory as material for their delusions, you’ve got to start wondering about the soundness of your theory.

I kept trying to go easy on the guy. He went to good schools, he went to art school in the US and Paris, and he’s a kickass artist, but he’s got to be out of his mind.

He’s also apparently a heavy cannabis user. As I make clear in the next post, in many cases, heavy cannabis use dramatically worsens the course of schizophrenia. I figure it’s probably making this guy a whole lot crazier.

You can also see that the personality is pretty well preserved in the paranoid subtype of schizophrenia, which tends to come on later in life, often in the late 20’s to early 30’s. But that’s just when they get dx’d. Typically, there is a 5-10 prodromal phase that precedes the dx. This guy is 31 years old, right around the age for full-blown paranoid schizophrenia to hit. You can also see that he’s got it together enough to produce a fancy webpage, along with some really cool artwork.

This is because paranoid schizophrenics, even when unmedicated, can often function at a fairly high level. The preservation of personality may be due to it hitting later in life. That is, the illness hits after the person has already developed a substantial personality. Other types that hit earlier in adolescence are worse because they hit while the personality is not yet well-formed. Many of these folks are said later to be “41 years old going on 16.” This is because the illness hit so early and their personality basically stopped developing after the illness hit.

Just the writing itself gives it away. If you study this stuff long enough, you can diagnose based on a writing sample alone. In this case there is no other possible diagnosis but Chronic Paranoid Schizophrenia. After 5 years, it goes chronic and the delusional system gets very well systematized and laid out. Yet the person has deteriorated quite a bit, and you can see the deterioration in the writing – you read it and you think it sort of makes sense, then you think again and say, “Huh?” That’s characteristic of schizophrenia.

Dope Makes You Act Intoxicated

Repost from the old site.

Reduces your performance in every way, is incapable of enhancing performance, and other lies.

This is one of the biggest lies of all about dope, and it needs to be challenged head on.

Most, if not all, non-users believe that all drugs make the user obviously intoxicated and reduce performance in all areas. I’ve tried to explain to them that drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine are stimulants, and hence don’t make you “fucked up.”

Instead, in the short term, they improve mental and physical performance. If you take a test on meth or coke, you will probably do better. The jury is still out on physical performance, but for at least some things, you will do better on coke or speed.

In the Valley here, farm workers are using meth to help them do their jobs. They’re able to work harder, pick more crops faster and work longer before they get tired on meth.

I’ve never driven a car on meth, but I have driven a car on amphetamine tablets. Works great. You can drive just fine on cocaine too. I don’t see why it’s illegal to drive under the influence of these drugs. Might as well make it illegal to drive under the influence of coffee.

Non-users only experience with drugs is with alcohol. Alcohol makes you obviously intoxicated as a general rule. But the other drugs don’t necessarily. Non-users find this clear fact almost impossible to comprehend.

I decided to ask Doperman about this:

Hi Bob, Doperman here. Thanks for letting me post here. Every time I took psychedelics (LSD, LSA, psilocybin, peyote), I assure you I knew completely what was going on.

I even drove a car once for 15 hours on a nice straight highway on a head full of acid. Another time I drove to Mexico with my brother, went to Tecate, cruised around a bit, and went back to the US and stayed at Cuyamaca State Park.

On the 15-hour trip, I don’t think I was normal, because I drove by the Owens River, and there were all these guys fly-fishing there, and they all looked up at me driving by like “What the fuck is with you man???!!!

I went into stores a few times and bought stuff, and at the end of the voyage, and stopped and got a motel room near the Nevada border at 1 AM. All flying on a head full of LSD.

I can act totally normal on any of those drugs.

Problem is you get these huge saucer eyeballs and it’s verging on a bust right there to be walking around in public. But people on acid don’t necessarily act all that different. You can’t even really tell that they’re on a drug if you see them. They’re not obviously intoxicated.

I once threw a party and at least 200 people showed up. At least among those who showed up at the beginning, a lot of them were on LSD. At the start, there was a house full of people high on acid. It wasn’t really obvious, and no one acted really weird or did anything crazy or stupid. Only a relative few LSD users act stupid or crazy or have to be hauled off by the cops. Most of them make it through the trip acting fairly normally.

Coke is the same way. The coke user is not obviously intoxicated either. You can’t even usually tell if someone is high on coke, because people don’t act all that much different when they are on it.

I don’t think people act all that different on speed either. I’ve seen a lot of people on that stuff and they typically don’t appear intoxicated.

It’s often the case that you cannot tell when someone is high on marijuana.

In my mid-20’s, I was living at home and getting my college degree. I was stoned out of my mind every night. I lived in the basement and had a separate entrance and a separate phone. My living at home included unwritten contracts stating that I could smoke pot and drink all I wanted to, and have visitors over until all hours of the night.

The folks were sleeping two floors up, so we had to turn down the music late at night. I didn’t have the right to fuck women at home, but I fought hard for that one. My Mom wouldn’t budge on that one. I used to violate it anyway. I had a separate entrance, and could sneak women in no problem.

My Mom even heard about the women I sneaked in and fucked, and if they were knock-dead gorgeous (some of them were) she was quite proud of her son in a perverse way. I’ll never be able to match Sexmaniacman (Who can?) but I did my best.

But my Mom could always tell when I was stoned, and she hated it. So if you’re around it a lot, maybe you can tell.

I’m an experienced pot smoker for 35 years off and on, and I typically don’t have the faintest idea if someone is stoned or not. How can you tell anyway?

Lies About the Drug Burnouts

Repost from the old site.

Dope fries your brain, and all ex-dopers are “permafried,” or damaged by drugs. This condition is both immediately obvious and permanent.

This is one of the staples of the anti-drug line, and it appears that the vast majority of Americans have bought into it, including most drug users and former users.

I think it’s utter nonsense, so I’m going to take it on head-on here in this post.

Simply put, I don’t really think that “drug burnouts” exist anymore than “alcohol burnouts” do. The notion comes from the idea that illegal drug use damages the brain. Hence, after years of use of this, that, or various substances, the brain is permanently damaged, and the person is odd, strange, weird, bizarre, permanently spacey, “permafried,” crazy, nuts or mentally ill in some way or another.

The theory is very appealing in that unfortunately, it is starting to look like most of these drugs, at least in heavy use, are capable of damaging the brain. The jury is still somewhat out on cannabis, but even that does not look really encouraging for heavy long-term users.

The theory is typically used to abuse users of hallucinogens and psychedelics, probably because these are the most feared drugs of them all. There is a serious problem with the “fried brains acidheads” line: the hallucinogens are one of the very few drugs that look pretty clean as far as brain damage goes.

When you come out and say that LSD does not cause general damage to the brain, as I am doing now, people tend to get really upset. After all, if anything damages your brain, it must be LSD! After all, if acid, the ultimate evil drug, doesn’t mess with your brain, then surely nothing does.

The truth is much more strange. It’s now clear that the most popular drugs of all, like cocaine and methamphetamine. can damage the brain, often pretty quickly.

Cocaine begins to cause demonstrable brain damage after as few as 12 uses (constriction of the arteries of the brain). After a few grams a month for a few years, clear brain damage shows up on the P300 test (a general slowing of the EEG). There is now evidence for serious changes in white and gray matter with heavy cocaine use.

Meth is much harder to pin down, but heavy current users often appear scattered and damaged. After 1.5 grams a week for 1-2 years, clear signs of damage start showing up. I believe that damage is also starting to show up on white and gray matter tests.

I can’t emphasize strongly enough what bad news these white and gray matter tests are – they indicate destruction of the neurons themselves and the connections between them.

The damage from meth seems to be to dopamine neurons and their connections and is observable with brain diagnostic imaging tools. Whether or not damage occurs at lower doses over shorter periods of time is not known, but meth is starting to look like nasty stuff for your brain.

I still say you can take meth at least a dozen times or so (and possibly much more!) without any permanent damage. At some point though, you are going to start damaging your brain, and we don’t really know what that point is. Want to try to find out when the damage begins? Don’t bother!

Ecstasy or MDMA, formerly up in the air as far as brain damage goes, is looking worse all the time. The best we can say now is that one dose probably does not cause damage. More than one dose almost surely does, and the damage is cumulative. The drug damages serotonin neurons in certain parts of the brain by killing the connections (axons) between the neurons. The neurons themselves are not killed.

It is a common falsehood about drug abuse and the brain that “drugs kill brain cells.” In truth, actual neuronal death is hard to pin down for a lot of these drugs. Instead of killing brain cells outright, drugs often just damage them so they don’t work quite so well. With MDMA, the serotonin axons grow back, but they do not grow back correctly.

I never did MDMA – it was after my time.

Even heavy cannabis use is looking suspect.

Drinking more than two drinks a day over a period of time causes shrinkage of the brain. The shrinkage increases as the drinks per day does up. Periodic heavy drinking depresses brain cells for up to two years, and chronic heavy drinking actually kills neurons.

Now on to the psychedelics. The hard facts are that we do not have good evidence that LSD, peyote, psilocybin and similar drugs damage the brain in any way that would that reduce your intellect, make you odd, strange, weird, bizarre or crazy, or effect your ability to think and feel rationally.

It is true that LSD, psilocybin and MDMA are capable of causing HPPD. That is hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. The result is visual aberrations persisting into the period when one is not using the drug. LSD seems to be the worst offender, but some cases are caused by psilocybin. Until a cure or prevention is found, HPPD is an excellent reason to avoid using psychedelics, LSD in particular.

There is a board on the Net for HPPD sufferers, and if you go there and tell them that you are still using acid, they are going to give you a piece of their mind. They aren’t anti-drug ignoramuses or holier than thou moralistic types. They’ve just been there and done that and don’t want to see you in the same boat as they are.

No one has any idea what is causing HPPD, but a Dr. Abraham in Massachusetts has the notion that it is related to damage to the visual system. All LSD users show damage to the visual system. It’s not apparent to most of them, but it shows up on tests. It has to do with how fast you can adjust to from a totally light environment to a totally dark environment. LSD users do poorly on that.

It’s interesting to note that although all of the tests for LSD and brain damage in animals were negative with the exception of very high doses that would be about the equivalent of 1,000 50 mcg. hits at once, LSD was shown to be hypotoxic to the optic nerve in the bird.

These negative findings for brain damage and LSD go back to the 1950’s. We now have over 50 years of negative tests for LSD and brain damage in animals as well as humans.

LSD does some pretty bizarre things to animals. If you give it to a cat and put the cat in an enclosed area with a rat, the cat will cower in terror of the rat, which it normally would try to kill. Strange.

All tests of intellectual function damage for LSD users have come up negative. Some suggested temporary damage on visual function tests (the Trail-Making B Test), but as the HPPD data above suggests, LSD may indeed damage the visual system. Even this finding cleared up one year post-drug

Damage to the visual system would logically cause HPPD. Would it make a person weird, strange, odd, bizarre, insane and stupid? Why would it? The visual system effects vision. It doesn’t effect psychological stability or the ability to think or feel in a normal way.

That said, there is anecdotal evidence that very heavy LSD is somehow bad for your brain. It seems to go away if you quit, but it’s there nevertheless. There are reports on the net of users who used LSD very heavily – several hits, several times a week, for a year or so. Afterward, they had symptoms of brain damage.

They could no longer do the intellectual work that they could formerly do, and they had a hard time reading. After a year or so off the drug, their intellect seemed to return. The users were not mentally ill at any time.

The notion of mental illness from the use of LSD is very controversial. It seems almost impossible to understand how a drug that has no permanent brain effects outside the visual system could make a person weird, strange, odd, bizarre, crazy, nuts, insane, or mentally disturbed in any way at all. Surely, if it did so, the etiology could not be from actual brain damage but must be in purely psychological terms: psychogenic.

Nevertheless, we continue to get reports of mental illness after LSD use.

The most frightening to me are reports of mental illness after very heavy use. We have reports of individuals who used LSD very heavily (several times a week at high dose) for a year or two. After that, they became mentally ill and had to be admitted to a hospital. They got better and were released and seemed OK on the outside. But then they got into heavy LSD use again and had to be readmitted.

There are other reports of folks in their 40’s and 50’s who used LSD maybe 2,000-3,000 times. They are reported to be mentally ill to some degree or another.

We don’t yet have any good theory to explain cognitive problems or mental illness in extremely heavy LSD users, but nevertheless, based on anecdotal evidence, one ought to avoid this sort of high-risk behavior.

Timothy Leary probably used LSD between 1,000-2,000 times. I have to admit he looked pretty fried the last few times I saw him on TV. He also used all sorts of other drugs.

As a good general rule though, I haven’t met one person yet who is “permafried” from any kind of drugs. My perception has been that if you quit using, after a while you become normal again. Most of the so-called permafried types are still using drugs heavily. It seems to me that no matter how damaged people seemed, if they quit and sobered up, they seemed to be quite OK once they were clean.

I’ve met some folks who seemed damaged from very heavy dope use, but in the one case I can think of, he wasn’t really strange or weird. He could be socially inappropriate, and his basic problem was he didn’t give a damn about anything. You will find this personality syndrome in a lot of very heavy users that otherwise function pretty well – they seem like they don’t care about much of anything.

He couldn’t hold down a job because he was so damaged that he couldn’t even make change. Yet I was at a party with him once and he picked up this gorgeous young blond ten years his junior and fucked her brains out that night. How nuts can you be if you can pull off something like that?

I met another fellow like that on the streets of San Francisco 15 years ago. Smart guy, Masters Degree from a good university, lived off a trust fund, traveled the world, partied his brains out, in his 40’s.

He had that “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, but I don’t consider that mental illness. Hell, I don’t consider most stuff mental illness! He wasn’t ready for corporate America, but he didn’t want to be either, and I didn’t consider him mentally ill in any way, shape or form.

But then I think the whole notion of “crazy” is horribly abused against people who aren’t even nuts at all.

I’ve known many individuals who used drugs heavily for years who are now more or less sober, although some continue to use cannabis. For the life of me, I can’t see how even one of them has been permanently damaged by their drug use. I haven’t met a permafried person yet, but I guess there’s always a first.

I keep meeting people who used cocaine very heavily for 5-10 years, or so heavily as to have to go into drug treatment, or took LSD up to 300 times or so, or have been smoking pot for 20-30 years and still are, now heavily, in their 40’s. For the life of me, I can’t see anything wrong with them now. Some of them have very good jobs and make $100,000/yr or so.

Despite a lot of theoretical support for the “permafried” notion (in that many of these drugs are now being found to actually damage your brain), I haven’t seen much of it in my life. If anyone knows any “permafried” individuals who are now clean and have been clean for a while, let me know in the comments.

Until then, I think the whole notion is ridiculous.

Dope Sucks

Repost from the old site.

At the time I was into getting high, roughly 1973-1988, there wasn’t a lot of good information that most of that stuff was bad for you, or certainly that it was bad for your brain. There was a lot of information that said that drugs could be used recreationally in moderation without problems. That was the spirit of the age. It’s dead and gone now, maybe forever.

I keep thinking that if I knew then what I know now, I would not have gotten into drugs as much as I did. The drugs all seem so much worse now because our information is greater. My use was really a product of an era as opposed to just some general degenerate tendency of mine.

Cocaine.

Towards the end of the period, cocaine had turned from the Yuppie Party Drug into the Evillest Drug of Them All. A lot of us were still using it, because we couldn’t seem to make sense of how this drug had gone from White Status Symbol to Black Slum Drug. I guess we just didn’t believe it. We still thought we could use the drug recreationally.

Over a 13 year period, I probably did about 16 grams of cocaine by myself. Most non-dopers are horrified when I tell them that; they assume that anyone who used for 13 years is automatically an “addict”. But if you know anything about coke, you know a little over a gram a year is nothing more than dabbling, and it’s not really serious cocaine use at all. Further, of course you can do coke for 13 years without getting addicted. I did so myself.

But just about everyone I knew who got into coke at least to the extent that I did turned into an addict. Sooner or later, sniffers move on to smoking or shooting, because it’s simply a more economical way to take the drug.

I’m convinced that cocaine is a great big drag. For instance, I’m such a dabbler that I would actually save up coke. I’d get some out for the evening, lay out of a few lines for everyone in attendance, then sit back and drink Heinekens with everyone else. Coke is such a stupid drug that you can’t just give people a little bit of it and then put it away. If you do, you’re risking a riot.

After an hour or two, they start bothering you for more. You tell them that you’re saving it for later. Now they start getting belligerent.

I’ve had people swear right to my face that they were going to come back when I wasn’t home and steal my coke. The very idea of “saving coke” from one night to the next was considered to be the ultimate in stupidity, and they were going to punish me for being a moron.

So, really, coke sucks. It’s no fun. Even if you can somehow stay a dabbler like me, everyone else turns into an addict, and when they do, they’re actually dangerous to be around.

The addict idiots would come over, excuse themselves to go to the bathroom, and then shoot up in there for the next thirty minutes. We’d be out in the room steaming away. When the guy came out, we’d confront him and tell him to quit shooting up in the damned bathroom, but they never would quit. Addicts don’t take no for an answer.

Other coke addicts stole from me, then had the nerve to blame it on the coke, then told me flat out the money was never coming back. No problem, as long as you stay the Hell away. But they wouldn’t. They rip you off, then they keep knocking on your door and coming around.

I kept banning the worst ones, but they would come back, like males who batter their wives, bearing gifts and apologies. Soon they were back into their abusive manipulative addict game again.

One of the reasons I moved to Central California was to get away from some of these morons. I’d banned them over and over, but they kept coming back. I’d known them for many years, and they were still friends with all of our friends. Sometimes to cut yourself off from these idiots, you might just have to pack up and move away from them.

The addict has a personality. The personality is that of a callous, manipulative prick. There are some decent or classy addicts out there, but those are mostly dealers who deal to afford the habit. If they’re not doing that, they’re hungry for cash and all sorts of other stuff all the time, and probably mooching off or using others. The addict is a user. He doesn’t care about you or anyone else. The only thing he cares about is dope.

Speed.

Speed has got to suck even worse than coke. I did meth around three times in my whole life. When I tell this to non-users, they get a snarl of contempt on their face. But I’m comfortable with it. Three times is basically nothing; it’s experimental use. Why should I feel guilty about it because some annoying Puritan shit wants me to be?

The reason I only took it three times is because that’s how long it took me to realize it’s one of the most awful drugs on Earth. The high is excellent. You’re smart, in control, sane, happy and confident. You feel warm and friendly and talk all night with your wonderful friends. You don’t act wild or crazy or insane or anything like that. Your mind is sharp as a pencil, and your emotions are controlled. It lasts a good 18 hours.

The next day you feel like you got hit by a freight train. First it feels like your IQ just dropped 10 points. The stupid feeling gradually goes away after about a week. Your body feels like a sack of bones. It feels like someone took a vacuum cleaner and sucked all the energy out of you. That lasts a few days too.

So 18 hours of high is followed by up to one week of crash. Who needs this?

PCP.

PCP is a really strange drug, and I took it about a dozen times, mostly unwittingly. When I tell that to non-users, they get this wild, horrified look in their eyes, but it’s no big deal. A dozen trips is experimental use, and I don’t regret a thing.

Back in the 70’s, scumbag PCP users were common. They were evangelizing, and the way they did it was to pass PCP joints around masquerading as pot joints and not tell you.

You could always figure it out real quick due to the bizarre minty metallic taste, but you were still mad at the dusters for being so dishonest. The first time was out of this world; the rest of the trips were unremarkable. I’ve certainly heard of people doing strange things on the drug, but I’ve never seen it much myself.

I remember once I was at a party in downtown Huntington Beach in 1976. There was a band playing, then people started passing joints. At some point, the dusters sneaked theirs in too. By the time I realized it, I was flying, so I just kept taking hits off the PCP jays.

This was a party of around 20-30 young folks, most around age 18, and everyone was high on PCP. Not one person was acting weird in the slightest. Non-users don’t get it. Even crazy drugs like PCP typically don’t make most folks act nuts.

LSD and psychedelics.

Acid and all the other psychedelics suck because just about everybody on Earth despises them and the people who take them. We were never in the stage of psychedelic acceptance when I was using them from 1974-1988, and I’m not sure if we ever will be.

Nothing strikes terror, rage and disgust into the heart of the non-user like the word LSD.

In truth, psychedelics are probably my favorite drugs of all. I took them about 40 times and never really had a bad trip.

Once on mushrooms on got on a bit of a bad trip – sort of an anxiety – awkwardness – nerd trip where I suddenly felt like the biggest geek on Earth. I was with a tripping partner and he wasn’t cool about me being transformed into Ultra Nerd.

So I turned the trip around. There were bad nerd vibes with strange deep blue colors and energy fields running through my body like waves of electricity. Those were the shitty nerd vibes. The rest of you might refer to them as an emotion. The fascinating thing about psychedelics is the way your feelings actually become extremely electric and even colorful. Joy has one color, sadness another, on and on.

Well, I decided I was going to turn this trip around. It took me about 45 minutes, but I was able to do it. I took the bad nerd electricity, changed it from blue to red and changed its direction. It was going from my skull down all through my body and out my feet in a big fat blue-purple electric drag feeling.

I changed it by reversing it. A new red electricity feeling would start at the toes and go up, fighting the perennial 18 year old vibe in a sort of battle of the feelings. It took me a good 45 minutes to get the good feelings going in an excellent flow that didn’t hang up on the bad stuff on the way up. Then the trip was turned around and a really crappy trip was turned into a fantastic trip.

You know that, you bad trippers? A lot of you can do that. You can change your trips, turn them around, make them go this way and that way. It’s just a drug. You’re still generally steering the ship you call your mind.

I often would buy a hit of LSD and just keep it in my drawer for months or even years until I felt that I was ready to take it. I would wait until a period in my life when I was feeling happier, more together and more mentally healthy and centered than I had in a while. Sometimes I might have to wait a while until I felt my head was ready for it.

That’s really the only way to take LSD. Never take it when you’re out of sorts in any way at all, in a bad mood, or in a bad, down or stressed out phase in your life. That’s how bad trips happen.

I haven’t taken a psychedelic in 20 years. I probably won’t take one ever again.

You really don’t get any credit for being a casual, recreational or responsible doper. It’s hard to do with most drugs anyway, but you can do it with pot and possibly psychedelics.

But you don’t get any credit. If you take a hit off a joint once a year, you’re the same as some guy slamming a gram of coke a day. The non-users hate all dope and all dopers, and that’s one of the sad rules of the game.

With booze, people are pretty sane. If you drink lightly, say no more than 1-2 drinks a day, most non-drinkers are sane enough to recognize that that’s not a problem.

Not so with dope. If you don’t use, you hate it, and you hate people who use it. I’m not sure if I’ve ever met a non-user who was tolerant towards any kind of kind of drug use. Ex-users are pretty much the same way. I’m not sure if I’ve ever met an ex-user of even marijuana who was willing to tolerate it in anyone else. Once they put on that ex-doper crown, they get up on that high horse and never get off.

It’s for all of these reasons that I think dope sucks.

Drinking is fun in part because it’s socially acceptable. Things that aren’t socially acceptable are a drag. You’re always paranoid about who to reveal your drug use too, and you’re always running into morons who think that heroin and weed are one and the same.

Not because dope is bad for you or you’re evil or immoral if you use it, but more that the whole scene around it, and the ridiculous non-users, is a great big gigantic drag. If even pot ever gets to the point where non-users can accept it the way they accept social drinking, maybe it might get fun again.