Drug prohibition is preventing us from having the conversations that are needed. It needs to be responsible use not never use.I had a pretty good laugh about a story from Lindon, Utah last night - and laughed more talking about it with my co-workers this morning. The gist of the story is that a man from Lindon, Utah took some Xanax and ate some mushrooms (not the grocery store variety) and decided to go for a little drive. He proceeded to hit multiple cars before crashing into the garage of a house. Luckily no one was injured and this story gets to stay funny instead of being tragic.
For those that don't know - there is a family of mushrooms that have a substance that induces a hallucinogenic state. In other words if you eat those mushrooms you will start seeing things.
The story from last night had the 29 year old ingest-or of the mushrooms sitting on a motorcycle pretending to ride it complete with motor noises and all. He also drove his mustang into a closed garage - damage he caused is estimated at around $100,000. He is currently sitting in a Utah County jail.
Don't get me wrong, I think using illicit drugs is a bad idea - especially if you are going to be driving, even more so if combined with other prescription drugs. If you want to eat a bunch of mushrooms that will make you see dolphins and rainbows while sitting in your living room - that's your business. But we can't have that conversation. We can't talk about how to be responsible when using substances that modify your mental state; remember there is a "War on Drugs." Drugs are bad and you should never use them is the only acceptable conversation.
I won't debate the morality of freedom in recreational substance use, that's not my target today. My focus is on changing the conversation to promote a reasonable and responsible use of those substances. There is plenty of evidence of successful abstinence based sexual education (don't have sex until you are ready use protection when you do) - why not have the same education on substances?
You might scoff at the idea of using 'shrooms' responsibly. Did you know another famous hallucinogen LSD has its roots in clinical psychology and continues to be researched to this day fort's uses in overcoming things like alcohol and nicotine addiction? Granted most of those studies are not considered "mainstream," it serves as a case in point - there is a way to responsibly use many "illicit" drugs.
I'm not suggesting we take grade school students and give them a local drug dealers number. I am suggesting that drug education be changed to focus on not using drugs AND give students tools to use those drugs responsibly should they make that decision. I am talking things "like if you are going to be doing drugs you should be in a safe location and with people you can trust."
Many people turn to substances as a way to self medicate. We should create an environment where people can talk about their true feelings on the subject instead of feeling they have to hide it from the people that are best equipped to help them. It seems tragic to me that someone trying to quiet feelings of depression would partake of an illicit substance in an irresponsible way then cause harm to another person (or their property) and be sentenced to life as a 'convict'.
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