Cocaine. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration photograph.
A Blogage Plane
POWDER TO THE PEOPLE? YES.
by Jack Freeman
Although I am not advocating the use of hard drugs, the legalization of Opium, Cocaine and Heroin along with Marijuana is a good idea. 1. It will save lives. 2. From a cultural stand point, it will, I think, help save and restore the health and integrity of society which should be progressive and positive, rather than negative and digressive. And we will not be living in the past. 3. Fewer Covert Wars and Drug Wars would be fought by governments, private armies or militias. One reason for my writing this statement is because of the negative influence I saw the new Drug climate had on the art scene in San Francisco in the 1960 and 70s when the laws were enforced in a public way. The 60s were a chaotic transition from Post WWII. The 70s was when a the New World Order began. It had many reactions. One was Drugs another was going back… a kind of neurosis.
First, medically, Drug addiction can result in poor health and death. As the writer Tom Wolfe said after researching “The Electric Cool Aid Acid Test” in San Francisco, that the Black Plague had returned in some Hippie patients who dropped out and refused to be vaccinated. Second, socially, in the local Art Scene, there was a kind of atrophy of personality that crept in from use or the new Drug cultural influence. Conversations became empty. Nothing technical was discussed, at least on a traditional level, just words like “far out” or “that’s a gas, man”. And, the dress was down. Art students became divided between drug users and non users. So, painters, “daubers”, drank wine and the Hard Edge and Funk artists smoked grass, basically. Jokes were not funny. People were remarking that America had lost its sense of humor. That was not lost on Charles Schulz who said on TV that the comics were not funny any more. It was a national epidemic that is still around. And, for what ever complex reasons, by the 1970s, people were becoming divorced from nature and them selves. This resulted in the Cyborg cult movies. If drugs had been legal, this would not have happened because use would have not been iconoclastic or recklessly recreational, in my opinion.
For some there was a special drug, Acid that fueled an art movement, Acid Rock music and the visual arts, too. That is one thing, but I have read that experiments with acid on unsuspecting people were done by COINTELPRO. Acid was slipped into cocktails at a party at 200 Chestnut st to see if mind control was possible. One lady jumped out of a window. Another person went to SF General. COINTELPRO was the organization that collected names of the Berkeley Free Speech demonstrators. This still goes on. In a 500 page report, 1,500 incidents have been listed over a 10 month period. Drug Laws facilitate arrests and reporting of names at demonstrations.
My argument about the negative side of Drug Laws is that they make enforcing racial profiling too easy and exclusive. It is like the haves and the have nots. We are all ethnic. When arrests have to be made, they should be made when someone has committed a violent act or where or there is a victim of some kind. The way it appears is that people are being arrested for being different therefore they are wrong in what they do.
Today the negative influence of Drug Trafficking and use in society has become worse than it was 50 years ago. It is insidious. Taking drugs is not a rebellion forward, for example. We live in the past as Tom Wolfe has suggested. Leadership should lead. It was not being strong enough after WWII to stop the trafficking that Drugs got a foot hold and now 60 years later we are in a backward mode like a hermit crab.
We are back in time which is not far to go in one sense, since it is all around us. But, if you are at the apex of modern civilization, it is a long way back. It is retarded. Maybe this is one reason for the rebirth of folk music.
If you ever wondered what happened to the Middle Ages, and thought it ended before the Italian Renaissance, you would be wrong.