Pot, MDMA, and Too Damn Many Happy People 

Pot, MDMA, and Too Damn Many Happy People 
Posted by FoM on August 17, 2001 at 09:04:50 PT
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Source: SF Gate 
What would be really just randomly fabulous is if the UC Santa Barbara would suddenly buck the trend and find some progressive moral fiber and discover a sudden impulse of commonsense justice and just up and decide to go to court and defend its recently arrested pot-growin' professor. You know, that religious-studies prof and her husband who were recently busted for growing upwards of 58 pot plants in their home and are accused of, well, growing 58 pot plants in their home that you can potentially dry and smoke and then feel all funny and warm afterwards, similar to alcohol but not nearly as dangerous or addictive or famously violence-provoking but which for some reason is still illegal. 
And wouldn't it be wondrous indeed if institutions like UCSB would begin to disregard what I imagine must be a relatively antediluvian policy regarding employees caught with benign herbs, a policy which I'm sure forces them to issue a reprimand and an official statement and a disapproving scowl, and instead bail out the professor and openly declare to all the world that pot busts like this one are ridiculous and pointless and arbitrary and ultimately insulting? Thus reinforcing what most of us already know: That while marijuana ain't exactly health food, no one but the most uninformed or panicky anti-drug zealot actually thinks it's genuinely dangerous to the public at large anymore, really, especially in harmless gilded little towns like Santa Barbara, especially not when compared with the demons of alcohol or television or unchecked Republicanism. Maybe this is what is required. Maybe our public institutions need to modify their drugs policies, forward-thinking corporations come right out and say they don't mind what employees do in their spare time, will in fact defend them, or at least quit with the Puritanical puling and the drug testing and the faux-concern, everyone finally acknowledging that most drug policies are merely shallow maneuvers designed to make the powers that be look honest and virtuous and deeply concerned when in fact they're mostly just posturing for the cameras and the polls and the shareholders, and/or trying to force everyone to conform to certain behavioral norms because otherwise those kids are just too damn scary what with all the dancing and the sex and the crazy smiling and the non-violence. And while we're indulging utopian dreams, what if our goodly scientists and psychologists and politicians and even casual users were allowed to give honest accounts of, say, Ecstasy and its real effects? Just come right out and thwart the panicky disinfo constantly being spit out by the DEA and the FBI and even CNN, and instead divulge that it's really not an epidemic at all, that millions of people are safely discovering the joys of MDMA and are doing just fine. Sure MDMA use is rising dramatically and there are more Ecstasy-related emergency-room visits than ever (nowhere near the massive scale of our pal alcohol, mind), simply because many uninformed folks abuse the stuff and don't know what they're doing, a problem that has little to do with the idea of debauched nihilistic youth and everything to do with how much how much the powers that be refuse to address the problem in fair and honest terms that don't openly mock and degrade the intelligence of the millions of casual users everywhere. Which is not to say dumb or otherwise persistently naive people won't abuse the drug anyway, but that can be said of just about anything. And let's go even further: What if our media and our officials could honestly reveal that MDMA really ain't all that bad, that it's even comparable in overall harmlessness to our UCSB's professor's goodly marijuana, all things considered and as far as chemical stimulants go (read: they all take a toll on your health -- it's just a question of balance), and that if it's pure and delivered in the right dose MDMA is almost completely safe and non-addictive can actually be just terribly fun and inspiring and soul-expanding and even world-altering for the better? Which is only a slight hyperbole, honestly, despite what you've probably heard and despite the BS you see via CNN's overblown special reports, as they trot out not-very-bright teens to tell overly dramatized, exaggerated horror stories about their, like, totally like, gnarly experience with MDMA at this party this one time, because that's what viewers and politicians and TV news directors want to see. Maybe they could even come right out and announce with a big smile that if you're going to enjoy Ecstasy, do so in moderation and drink lots of water and test the stuff first to make sure it's not laced with other sundry vile crap, and don't imbibe it to excess because that's simply stupid and dangerous and in extremely rare cases could actually kill you, which has happened on occasion but again, only because of serious abuse or complications resulting from severe hyperthermia (overheating) and not nearly to the scale and violence and epic idiocy of booze. And then they could finally add that we're only talking openly and honestly like this because we care about our kids and our citizenry and we wish to inform and protect them and let them know some drugs can be a fascinating and worthy psychological and cultural experience, if you're ready for them, instead of constantly cramming harmful alarmist rhetoric and misinformation down their disbelieving throats, which only causes resentment and rebellion and mistrust. Newsflash: All drugs are not all bad all the time. Now shut up and pop another Xanax, senator. Instead we have cops cracking down on rave culture, authorities shutting down parties and dance clubs and utterly benign gatherings, trying to somehow rein in the flood of mostly joyous Ecstasy and throttle youth culture for its own good. We have ridiculously tendentious news reports and brow-furrowed politicians pretending to care and drawing up narrow-minded legislation and further alienating young people and intelligent culturally savvy adults users across the nation. Hell, we're not even half as enlightened as the Swiss. We have people like Governor George H. Ryan of Illinois, who just signed one of the nation's harshest anti-Ecstasy laws, wherein a person convicted of possessing a mere 15 pills in his militantly unfriendly little state will receive a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison. Right. That oughta do it. Sometimes it seems just painfully clear: In terms of social enlightenment, we have not progressed a single inch. Mark Morford's Notes & Errata column appears every Wednesday and Friday on SF Gate, just like a special magic bunny of love. He also writes the Morning Fix, a deeply skewed daily email column and newsletter. Complete Title: Ecstasy Saves The World: Pot, MDMA, and Too Damn Many Happy People Source: SF Gate (CA)Author: Mark Morford, SF Gate ColumnistPublished: Wednesday, August 15, 2001 Copyright: 2001 SF Gate  Contact: mmorford sfgate.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Switzerland and Ecstasy American Way Articles - Ecstasy
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Comment #3 posted by im sohi on August 17, 2001 at 17:06:56 PT:
im stoned
im HIGH right now forgor to read that shit. sAnDiEgO,Ca
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Comment #2 posted by flowermonster on August 17, 2001 at 14:56:27 PT:
Absolutely! Wow, can you just imagine a big company like IBM or something announcing that they were against hassling their employees for their personal choices like drug use?Just like to add that all those anti-happiness, anti-empathy policies end up causing MORE people to get hurt on Ecstasy, because the more legal penalties against selling real ecstasy and hindering harm reduction, the more bad pills are sold.Hang onto that vision!
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Comment #1 posted by Stoned Philosopher on August 17, 2001 at 13:40:56 PT
Right on!
I wish many other people in this country were smart as this guy.Anyway our goverment has a nasty habit of pretty much "disbanding" cultures that are peaceful and having a good time. The cops arresting the rave culture is history repeating itself when cops where arresting hippies.The same goes with MDMA,sure MDMA is somewhat more "harmful" than marijuana,but most the harm that comes from MDMA is due to misinfromation and ignorance all thanks to the Drug Warriors in there all rightious jihad in making sure theyre doing whats best "for the children".They should just relegalize MDMA and many other drugs that are currently schedule 1,afterall,MDMA was originally illegalized due to it not being regulated properly and "Exctasy Madeness" equeivilent to the original "Reefer Madeness".The Stoned Philosopher
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