What will the new American Republic be like? Evolved? Humanitarian? Honest? How about dreaming up something that will make me want to come home to the USA instead of just longing to stay down here forever because the people in Puerto Vallarta are so interesting, friendly and nice?
Maybe we can follow the example of the friendly Huitchol Indians and give everyone in America a ritual dose of peyote to wake them all up. The mall isn't everything, you know. Human ideals and aspirations to higher things need to come first on our shopping list. And making America completely self-sufficient should be second on said shopping list. That's COMPLETELY self-sufficient -- down to the last job and the last steel mill and the last basket of strawberries and the last product-not-made-in-China. To hell with Globalization. But I digress. This report from Vallarta is supposed to be about the drug-and-alcohol scene here and about a talk I just gave to Puerto Vallarta's ex-pat community. Let's get on with that.
"IS there a big drug scene down here?" I asked my friend Rick, a botanist who specializes in exotic plants (www.xplanta.com).
From what I have heard, many types of US prescription drugs such as Valium, Quaaludes, anti-depressants, uppers and downers are available over the counter at the local farmacia. "No, Jane, they don't sell Quaaludes any more. They don't even MAKE Quaaludes any more." I'm that far out of the drug loop these days? Oh.
According to my local sources, Ecstasy, marijuana, speed, crack and hashish are also available down on the beach. Apparently, however, there isn't as much heroin available down here as there is back in the States. Bush and Cheney's Afghanistan pipeline hasn't gotten down here quite yet -- but give it time. And also you can make or buy tinctures of medical marijuana that are good for joint pain. Hey, I got joint pain! I could use some of that. "You soak the leaves in oil and then just rub it in," said one of my ex-pat friends.
"Sure, but a month would be better."
For the more adventurous tourists, there are also several more esoteric drugs around if one wants to expand one's consciousness, but they are harder to find. Salvia divinorium is legal here. It was originally grown by the Mazatec indians in Oaxaca and used to induce trances. Apparently you ingest its leaves and it knocks you unconscious for about five minutes. But couldn't you just do that with a baseball bat?
"No, Jane, you've got that wrong too. Used traditionally in shamanic ways for divination, etc., salvia is an introspective and visual experience but if used in concentrated forms in modern (US) methods, it knocks you into a five-minute extreme hallucinogenic state where you lose consciousness. But when the effects wear off, you do remember what happened. Sorry, Jane. No complete loss of consciousness. No baseball bat effect."
What other drug variations can one find down here? Hmmm.... There's peyote, a cactus grown in the Sierra Madres and also used to produce hallucinations. And mescaline and psilocybin aka magic mushrooms. And there's Baby Hawaiian Woodrose seeds which, when ingested, act sort of like LSD. Florists used to sell them in the States in the 1960s but not any more.
Ayahuasca, the shamanic drink from the Amazon? Check. And we finally found a recipe on how to brew it: You take the bark of a one-foot length of the vine which gives you a MAO inhibitor that lets the leaves of another plant into your brain. Then you boil the whole thing all day; down into a brown sludge. Then you drink it. I could do that!
And then there are the sugar addicts like me. A slice or two of coconut cream pie can give you a very nice high. But unfortunately it wears off -- as does all of this stuff. Be it drugs, alcohol or sugar, eventually you gotta come back to reality. So why not just fix reality instead?
"The locals just stick to pot and tequila." But wait. Is marijuana LEGAL in Mexico? Nope. But the cops don't enforce the minor use of pot in most cases. You get something like a parking ticket for possession -- if the cops even bother to go that far -- and it doesn't go on your permanent record either. And this keeps Mexican taxpayers from having to spend billions and billions of dollars each year keeping all those traditionalist hombres in jail.