Thursday, February 5, 2009

Michael Phelps has nothing to apologize for

I wish Michael Phelps hadn't apologized for being photographed smoking weed from a bong. I understand that he doesn't make his money from swimming, but from advertising, and had to appease his advertisers to keep the money rolling in. Still, at the moment, he still has some cache and instead of saying he was wrong an pulling out the old "youthful indiscretion" cliche, I wished he would have said that what he did out of the public eye is no one's business. That his "friend" taking the picture and selling it to the media is a dick. That he is sorry that he broke the law, but is more sorry that the law exists in the first place.

Marijuana is a perfectly safe "relaxant" and much less harmful than alcohol. Again and Again, studies from institutions ranging from universities to the government itself has said that marijuana is: less harmful to the mind and body than alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine and could not find a single person physically addicted. Unlike alcohol, Marijuana does not make people violent. The cases where Marijuana has been used by people, often gang members, in the commitment of murder, there were many other factors involved, such as a predilection of violence, use of alcohol, and use of "heavy drugs" such as PCP or cocaine. I have never read a story where a pothead has robbed someone, burglarized a home, or gone into prostitution to support their weed addiction.

They say pot is a "gateway drug." If that is true we need to ban anything that chemically alters the brain which might chemically the brain. Besides the aforementioned alcohol, tobacco, and coffee, we would need to add to the list: chocolate, sugar, great tasting food in general, art (including music, TV and Movies), love and orgasms. And don't forget spinning around in a circle. How many of us kids used to spend a Spring day, spinning around in a circle until we couldn't stand anymore, staring at the blue sky and white clouds as they teetered back and forth. It's a slippery slope from spinning in circles to laying in an alley with your pants down and a needle in your arm.

I admit that, in my 45 years, I have done more than just smoke pot. I will have an occasional cocktail, but, and my friends might be able to back me up, I don't think I have ever finished a bottle or glass of beer. I've never really liked the taste of booze. I can drink the sweet stuff like Amaretto, White Russians, or PiƱa Coladas or something similarly sweet and creamy. But even if I have one drink I will regret it the next day. I can get a hangover after half a beer. It's too bad. in a way. I like the culture. I love the smell of breweries and the idea of experimenting with a home brew kit sounds fun, but then I wouldn't know if it tastes any good. I like the idea of wine. I like looking at the labels. The red liquid in a clean clear glass is very pretty. But I am not a fan when it comes to drinking it. I have had an $80 bottle of wine and a $7 bottle and if I took a taste test, I couldn't say which is which (not true with champagne though, you really do get what you pay for).

In the early mid-nineties I hung with a crowd (most of which are still close friends) and we went through the whole dress up wine and cocktail parties. I myself went out and bought a bunch of acutrumant, an ice bucket, shaker, many martini glasses (almost of all of which were broken over time). These parties were fun, but they were a lot more fun when I switched to drinking a sift drink and taking a pipe hit. I would say that 90% of the crowd I hung out with smoked weed. And we all had good jobs and arrived on work on time and did our jobs well.

Though I had been offered weed when I was in the sixth grade, I didn't smoke weed until 1982, when I was 18. I was without a car at the time and really wanted to see the Who at the King Dome (Seattle) so I bought two tickets and gave one of them to an older guy in class who had a car. We had a great time. It was my first trip to Seattle without a parent (probably the third time I'd been ever) and we went to all theses cool places. We went to Peaches Records (now Petco or Petsmart) and Cellophane Square (when it was big and full of vinyl, CDs were several years away). We went to Goldie's in Wallingford. My friend, Jim, parked me in front of a Dig Dug machine while he went and got us a pitcher. Then we went to a pizza place around 50th & Roosevelt (there have been many pizza places in that same spot since then) and I had shrimp on a pizza for the first time. Later we headed off for the King Dome and I smoked pot for the first time. I didn't think it ad any effect at the time. From the movies I was expecting a lot of weirdness, but at most I had a pleasant buzz. We missed the Clash but managed to see the Who and the show was so loud that I missed the next two weeks of school because that's how long it took for my ears to stop ringing.

I didn't smoke pot again, or at least I didn't have the opportunity to, until I went to college full time in 1987 (age 23). Ever since I have smoked it when it was available. There were times where weed was everywhere and easy to find. If I didn't know "the guy" I knew a guy who knew "the guy." But there have been dry spells where I just can't find it and I don't want to go put in the street and try to score off some stranger. I have either lost contact with the guys who dealt, or the friends I had who knew people now have families and weed and babies don't mix. Except for two instances where I was gifted with a little weed in the past several months, it really has been a few years since I have been able to smoke regularly.

For me, weed is a useful tool. It enhances my appetite, which has been greatly diminished since I got sick. Music sounds better. TV or Videos are more interesting, and, though it has been years, orgasms have been greater. It helps fight the boredom, which right now is the state of my life. It is also the best pin killer I know.

Since my illness I have been given a wide variety of pain killers. Morphine, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percocet, Codeine, Fentanyl, Vicodin, and finally Dilaudid. Fentanyl is a great anti-anxiety drug if administered intravenously, but orally, like almost all of the above, have little to know effect on me. I am not constantly in pain, but when my feet or my wounds are touched it hurts like hell. None of these drugs do anything to my mind and I have no desire to use them recreationaly.

Besides Marijuana I have experimented with a few other drugs, but Marijuana was not the gateway, because I always intended on trying these drugs if I had the opportunity.

In college, and once after, I did LSD a couple times. I also have done mushrooms about three or four times. These are true hallucinogens and the effects are what, as a kid, I thought Marijuana would be like. (Sometime when I am really at a loss for something to post I will write about my various "trips"). I also took Ecstasy a couple times in the early 90s. The first time I enjoyed it and the second time I didn't. The biggest reason I probably won't try LSD, Mushrooms, or Ecstasy again is because they are so time consuming. One of my LSD trips lasted nearly 24 hours, and the shortest trip on mushrooms was about eight hours.

I did experiment with nitrous oxide by sucking the gas out of Redi-Whip cans, then I bought whip cream maker and bought the chargers at one of the cooking stores. One time I thought I probably over did it, consuming 40 charges in the space of an hour, but I was probably exposed to more gas when I had my wisdom teeth out.

I have never had any desire to try cocaine, crack, heroin, or crystal meth because, as a rider of mass transit, I have seen the effects these drugs have on people. I admit there was a time where I would have tried cocaine if I had the guarantee that it would be accompanied by sex with a beautiful woman, but that opportunity never presented itself.

I had a roommate who said that if she were ever to have an incurable disease, or got really old, she would start smoking Opium. Since I do have an incurable disease I confess this is something I might be interested in. I did once have poppy seed tea, which was very relaxing, and if Opium was anything like that, I'd do it. But I bet Opium is even harder than finding weed (oh, and I did hash once to, but all hash is is the resin that drips from the Marijuana plant. Marginally more powerful than he plant itself).

Considering that every year there is a study that shows that more than 50% of high school students have smoked pot, at some point in the future, more than half the country will have tried pot and know the truth about pot.

If I had kids I would not recommend that they experiment with pot, but if they did I would hope they would, like I did, wait until they were adults and then be honest with me about it. But I am not going to be having any kids, so it's not something I have to worry about. But I will be extremely discreet around the children of my friends (though they are currently toddlers).

But even being around my friends kids is not much of an issue since none of them have wheelchair accessible houses and if I was a kid the last place I would want to be is a stinky nursing home with crazy old people. I sure as hell don't want to be here. I want out. And if I can't get out, I want to be high (if anyone reading this knows how I can score or gifted with some herb, leave me a comment).

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