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The Right to get High

By       Message Allan Goldstein     Permalink
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Just that simple. No, I'm not advocating intoxication in critical places
or times, so I don't want to hear any silliness about loaded drivers,
pilots, cops and surgeons. It should be illegal to get high anywhere and
everywhere it is illegal to drink. And nowhere else.

There is no difference between drinking and getting high. Everybody
knows this, it's a truism, a cliche, but society acts surprised every
time anyone says it. Oh no, they say, surely you can't mean cocaine, you
can't mean marijuana, you can't mean heroin, for god sakes!

Yes, that's exactly what I mean. I don't care if the drug kills you dead
on the toilet. Or rather, I do care, because if there was a right to get
high, intoxicants would be included under the pure food and drug laws and
it would be a felony to sell unlabeled poisons.

Here's how it would work. You go to your friendly neighborhood liquor
store. You say, I'd like a gram of cocaine please. The clerk would say,
domestic or Peruvian, then he'd ask for your ID and say, that'll be a
hundred dollars.

Then you'd get your drugs and drive home. If the cops found you with
"open bindle" on the way you'd get the DUI you deserve. If you took it
out and started snorting off a park bench you'd get busted for public
intoxication. But if you did what you're supposed to do, the same thing
you do with that Remy VSOP you bought at the same time, take it home and
use it alone, or offer it to your adult guests at a dinner party, there
would be no legal consequences.

Addiction is no excuse for drug prohibition. We have come to see that
there are countless types of addiction, drugs, sex, gambling, video
games, internet porn, even work. You don't go to prison if you can't
pull yourself away from the blackjack table, your kids don't lose their
father, and your employer doesn't get to test your fingers for casino
residue.
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You can damage yourself, your relationships, your loved ones, you can
even lose your life if you overdo any of those freedoms. That's the
price we pay for freedom.

But a mere taste, a little buzz, a one-time indulgence at a party can
ruin your life, if you get caught. Not because of what you did to
yourself, or what the drugs did to you, but because of what people did to
you, when you violated their arbitrary, theocratic, tyrannical laws.

I'm done compromising on this issue. Either we are free or we're not.
We have to have the courage to speak the truth about a practice that
millions upon millions of Americans indulge in, always have and always
will.

Let it start with one courageous congressperson, let the 28th amendment
be offered upon the floor of the House. "Congress shall make no law
abridging the people's right to get high."

Who knows, maybe in three thousand years it will pass.

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San Francisco based columnist, author, gym rat and novelist. My book, "The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie" is the best memoir ever written by a cat. Available on Amazon.com, or wherever fine literature is sold with no sales tax collected. For (more...)
 

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