Let me start off by stating that I don’t condone doing drugs. With that being said, drugs are and most importantly have always been a staple part of society. I’m talking as far back as ancient societies; in China BC those gurus were mixing herbs and getting high off of them, Aztecs were smoking plants, Marcus Aurelius was a fan of opium (along with many others) and one of the most popular, passed down stories of a man named Jesus was about him turning water into enough wine for the whole village. And this was considered a miracle.
Some of the most brilliant and talented people in the history of the arts and sciences and even politics were drunks or getting high as kites on whatever it was that they could find to smoke or sniff. Sigmund Freud, the man basically responsible for creating psychology and the therapy we still teach and use today, loved him some cocaine. George Washington grew a hemp plant, Ben Franklin openly spoke about opium use, Shakespeare- the great literary icon of all time- has been speculated to be a fan of thy cannabis. Pablo Picasso was quoted “The smell of opium is the least stupid smell in the world.” The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, Bob Marley – all changed music forever, all had their drug of choice and even made songs up about them. Each generation and each decade can be identified by the music and the drug associated with it. The 60’s had LSD and the introduction of heroine, the 70’s was a lot of free love and a lot of marijuana, the 80’s: cocaine and big hair, the 90’s was about acid and a pill called XTC. Now in the 2010s, a hot blonde has come to represent what all the kids are talking about and all the rappers are rapping about: Molly.
I pose this conversation of drugs not- like I said- because I condone it. But it fascinates me when I acknowledge its history. Especially that of alcohol, the most commonly accepted mind alternating drug we have. Because it’s legal (now), we tend not to think of alcohol as a drug. But it most certainly is, and in my opinion, it’s the most dangerous one out there. Throughout all societies, in all eras, people have been escaping from reality sip by sip to feel…I don’t know- better? Is it happier, calmer, horny, more fun, more free ? And from what exactly are we escaping from? Is it each other, is it ourselves?
You cannot argue the facts I have given. Beautiful, inspiring, ground-breaking works have been produced while people have been under the influence of intoxication. And on the downside- and boy, is there a downside- drugs ruin, kill, destroy and devastate brains, lives, and families. It’s a thin line, and it’s hard to know when you’ve crossed over until it’s too late.
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