Berliner (captward) Sat 22 May 04 03:11
Martin, in re funding for the documentary, I'd urge you to look into Channel 4 (UK) or the French/German TV channel Arte. Both would be interested, I'd think, and you'd wind up with some theatrical and festival screenings as well.
Martin Torgoff (martintorgoff) Sat 22 May 04 05:40
Ed. yes, I know about those places in Europe to go for funding; I wonder, though, if the uniquely American focus of my approach might work against it. It's worth fginding out...Nice to have you in the conversation. Marcy: great question, one that really set off the whole book for me. It's taken a lot of time and perspective. I write about this in the last part of the last chapter. Generally, I feel ppositiove about my early experimentation, but with serious qualifications. The most useful approach for me has been to consider all the drugs I took over t he course of my life, their effects, and honestly put checks where they belong in the plus and minus columns respectively. Marijuana: there's no doubt that it opened my synapses in profound ways. Baudelaire called it "a mirror that magnifies" and I think that says it all: it can't put something there that isn't there but it sure as hell can magnify, amplify, enhance--and distort. On the whole I think I was fortunate in my use of it. Ginsberg liked to descibe its potential as "an educational experience" and I came to see it very much like that. I was the sort of person who was very interested in things and it only made me more so, opening up my interests in poetry, music, photography, film, cooking, nature, sensuality, on and on. I liked to read when I was stoned and in college was able to stay very engaged, unlike some of my compadres who did nothing but smoke a lot of pick and lay around and pick lint out of their navels. The danger for me was in how it can distort experience and pereception, especially emotionally. In my case it really allowed me to distance myself from my feelings and merely observe them--as if they were just another part of the entertainment of the experience--rather than really be in them. I had this tendency anyway, and the pot I smoked helped establish it as real personality dynamic of my alcoholism/addiction (even though I never felt I was ever addicted to marijuana). I think this can be a real danger for certain types of adoloscents who are pretty confused about what the hell they're feeling anyway--much more so than any "amotivational syndrome" or "gateway" stuff, although that exists for certain types as well (though I certainly don't believe they should be used as the reasons for the criminalization of marijuana). I took LSD as least fifty times between 1969-1974 and I could go on about it for days. The only time I ever came close to a bad experience was when I had already taken a nice amount and went to a party where the punch was seriously dosed and unwittingly drank enough to trip for, like, three days. It got very weird and rocky at times there, with things dissollving down to their molecular structures, but I was ok. On the other had I was around some people when they were having massive acid bummers and that's not a pretty sight. But then so many other drugs came into the cauldron and it all became this giant polydrug stew. Qualudes, whoa. Fun, stupid, sloppy. I once went tumbling down a flight of stairs and didn't feel a thing. They produced the kind of sexual situations that no other drug could have produced--if you could remember them (and acts of true moral squalor for me, like having sex with my best friend's girlfriend while he slept in the next room). nd then came cocaine. Loved it at first, as did so many others. I loved it when Mountain Girl called it "just a bunch of bullshit" in my book, because that's what it really is. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America called i The Big Lie, and I think ity's the only time they ever came close to telling the truth about anything: it literally makes your brain tell you that you're experiencing pleasure when you're not. Unfortunately, I did a ton of it... So, to come back to your question, no, I do feel positive about my early experimentation, and don't disavow anything. On the whole, they both helped and hurt me in ways that profoundly shaped the course of my life, positive and negative. And I can't make judgements about others, only myself.
Dennis Donley (dennisd) Sat 22 May 04 07:41
>Fun, stupid, sloppy. I once went tumbling down a flight of stairs and didn't feel a thing They didn't call Qualudes "Wallbangers" for nothing!
Andrew Alden (alden) Sat 22 May 04 14:37
I have to agree about your experience of marijuana--if you stay engaged rather than just vegetate, the result is likely to be positive. I stopped smoking recently, but I would usually go outside and take a walk, or work in the yard--active things--and take small doses. There's a pattern in recent drug history that I saw at least twice in the book. The first instance was with Timothy Leary's group at Harvard--it began as a quiet scene among high-functioning people, then at some point the object became turning on the whole world. The second was with MDMA, explored by a a network of researchers and therapists until a group in Texas decided that renaming it Ecstasy and selling it wholesale was the thing to do. At this point in both examples, the authorities and control freaks slammed the lid down as hard as they could. There doesn't seem to be a middle way-- unless the medical marijuana campaign is one. Is this the way it has to be in America?
RUSirius (rusirius) Sat 22 May 04 15:42
I think it comes down to following my first law of intelligent drug use: Getting high is only interesting in contrast to staying straight. I think Tim believed that too although we may not have followed it all the time...
Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Sat 22 May 04 18:21
Thanks for your thoughtful response, Martin. I should qualify what I said by adding a few details: first, I was not a teenager when I did drugs, I was the young mother of two toddlers, one of whom had a disability. Second, although pot and hallucinogens opened me up tremendously, in the ways that you describe--to music, literature, yoga, the inner life (altho I was pretty open to begin with), I think there was a residual effect not just while doing the drugs, but in my life in general. I now believe that I was walking around in a somewhat altered state even when not actively ingesting drugs. As a result, I seriously neglected important issues in my life and made some bad decisions based on being a "free spirit." Those decisions have had repercussions on my children and myself that I am dealing with to this day.
Crankydyke (gertiestn) Sat 22 May 04 18:30
I'm enjoying the dickens out of reading this book...and I really hadn't expected to. I mean, I thought I'd learn a lot, and remember a lot, but I didn't think I'd actually enjoy the thing. I think the presence of so many voices, as mentioned uptopic, adds immeasurably to the richness.
Martin Torgoff (martintorgoff) Sat 22 May 04 20:44
Andrew, your observation about "no middle ground" when it comes to drugs in America is dead on right, and it goes way back. It's a kind of schizophrenia in which we swing wildly from the transcendental and the messianic, to the outright hysteria of drug scares and "epidemics." Just one example of extremes--there are many, deeply ingrained in the nature of drugs, and how our culture has traditionally processed the experience of them. There is no middle ground largely because the terrain has been shaped and defined by the drug laws and this insane and brutal drug war. I don't know that the medical marijuana thing is a middle way so much as it represents the possibility of a small breach in a giant dam. Just to get any water tricking out at all is monumental. In the book I call it the one stone that the David of the drug reform movement can sling at the Goliath of the drug war...
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Sun 23 May 04 02:22
There are other possible breaches in the dam. Medical marijuana is ok as far as it goes, but that's not very far, and I go along with those who believe that it's a poorly disguised wedge issue. THe biggfer breach, the one that can sweep the whole thing away, is if the 30 millionn or60 million or whatever the number is of Americans who are the targets of the drug war started to fight it as a civil rights issue. You don't have to subscribe to anything as far out as the notoin of freedom of consciousness to take this position--it's really just a larger version of the outcry against the 55 mph spped limit or other examples of the government's just geting it totally wrong at the expense of its citizens and causing them to live in terror as a result. Turn it into a civil rights struggle and the next thing you know it isn't just peple with glaucoma and wasting syndrome, it's every stoner, every weekend warrior, every college kid who can march, and just about any one of them who can be a Rosa Parks. But the drug war has one important difference: People who have stood up against the stigma of racial hatred or homophobia (the two best examples in American society recently) can do so on the grounds that they don't have any choice. That's why the change in the scientific view about homsexuality--that it's inborn and not a disease--was so crucial to gay rights. (Which means, by the way, that if a personstarted having sex with same sex opartners because he or she simply wanted to that his or her claim to the right to do so would lose its foundation in law and practice, which is prety darn weird if you ask me.) Because our society rewards and pubnishes on the basis of the "choices" we make, it's hard to stand up and say, "Yeah, I choose to get high, and I think it's an okay choice." I'm pinnign my hopes on the neuroscientists: I think they will find that the population of drug takers has a different brain chemistry than other people, one that makes their "choice" involuntary. But I hvae another question for you, Martin. One of the ways you document that swing of the pendulum you just mentioned--in addition to the way that lsd and mdma escaped their confines--is in the switchover from pot and acid to cocaine. That's the context for the Mountain Girl quote above, and it's in a section of the book you call "The Place Where the Wave Finally Broke and Rolled Back." After her comment about coke being bullshit, MOuntain Girl goes on to say: Unfortunately it became the thing for everybody else I knew. People were suddenly slipping off to the bathroom...But why? I isolated myself from the whole Grateful Dead scene at that point because I couldn't stand it. I was very lonely for a number of years. It was the end of that wonderful community spirit where we shared everything." Now, coke isn't the only drug that seems to inpsire selfishness and atomization, although it may be (in the opinion of someon who , I admit, never grokked coke) the least transofrmative of the drugs that do this. And it's easy to see the effects of this tendency on a community that generally shared its wine, i.e., to blame this lamentable outcome on the drug itself. But that's sort of drug-warish, and I wonder if there's another way to look at what happened. MG's question is the important one. Why were people suddenly slipping off the bathroom? What was going onin society or politics or culture that made this drug's ascendancy, which seems so unlikely in some ways, possible?
Martin Torgoff (martintorgoff) Sun 23 May 04 06:07
GG, the notion of drug policy and law reform as a "civil rights" movement is a very arresting one (no pun intended). I think that's what Dennis Peron and others who forged the med marijuiana movement in California had in mind--at least the civil disobedience aspect. There's no doubt that if there were, say, thirty, forty, fifty million drug users, featuring a wide cross section of American society, willing to go out in the streets and demonstrate for their beliefs, and be arrested, and clog the courts and jails, that would create a very different situation than the one we presently find ourselves in. But I suspect that it would also provoke an anti-drug counter-reaction even more vociferous from the sixty million Christian conservatives who believe that these substances are the tools of Satan. Now, if we had 100 million people willing to go to the mat to change the drug laws? That might be very different, but, of course, we don't. This is why I think that Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance is essentially correct when he says that we're not really going to get anywhere until a large amount of middle class, middle of the road parents become convinced that their children will be better off if the policies were changed to ones that emphasized harm reduction and self-responsibility rather than abstinence; and that's why any progress toward reform is excrutiatingly show. As for pining your hopes on the neuroscientists establishing that drug users have a different brain chemistry, I can see the prohibitionists simply putting forward their own sham counter-science--the same way conservatives employ scientists to discredit global-warming. As you can see, I'm not very optimistic about major reform of the drug laws in our lifetime. About your cocaine question, I'm going to have to put that off until later today because I have to pop out for a few hours, but I can't wait to talk about it...
Berliner (captward) Sun 23 May 04 07:29
The neuroscientific angle was attempted here in Germany a couple of years ago by a Korean woman who said that because of her body chemistry, she couldn't tolerate alcohol and felt left out when she went to parties with her friends. Since she was in the fashion business, entertainment was an essential part of her earning a living. This was going to be a big deal, and I have no idea what happened to it. People willing to read German legal documents can find out more at (www.kimwillkiffen.de).
Uncle Jax (jax) Sun 23 May 04 09:35
Here in the United States, the question really is, "Whence derives the authority of the federal government to tell people what they may grow in their back yards and roll into cigarettes?" The proposed answer is, "Nowhere in the Constitution," an answer approved by many diverse voices, among them the ultraright U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo). Despite his support for suppression of drugs, Tancredo thinks it should be up to each state, telling me, "If, for example, a Vermont should wish to make itself the Las Vegas of drugs, I think the constitution allows that."
William H. Dailey (whdailey) Sun 23 May 04 14:11
I look at it from a different angle. I think a start of general problems was when California's Social Services created "mothers with dependent children." They extracted fathers from poor families and began paying mothers according to how many children they had. This resulted in street gangs forming. Boys with no father figure present you know. Then the federal government declared war on drugs. We all thought that would reduce the availability of drugs. Not so! What it was really about was the CIA getting worldwide control of drug distribution. Naturally, our country being the richest nation, we got the most drugs distributed to us. Of course they also passed a lot of unconstitutional laws to punish us for use. They also went after drug sources and banks that didn't fall into line. The favored World Banking Cartel, which owns our Federal Reserve, skims off the top. I don't know what it will take to shut this thing down. This was all a great boon to the street gangs, they could make tons of money, buy guns, and go around killing people.
Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Sun 23 May 04 14:22
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Sun 23 May 04 14:24
>As for pining your hopes on the neuroscientists >establishing that drug users have a different brain chemistry, I can >see the prohibitionists simply putting forward their own sham >counter-science--the same way conservatives employ scientists to >discredit global-warming. Of course, I wasd being facetious >The neuroscientific angle was attempted here in Germany a couple of> >years ago by a Korean woman who said that because of her body >chemistry, she couldn't tolerate alcohol and felt left out when she >went to parties with her friends. Since she was in the fashion >business, entertainment was an essential part of her earning a >living. And it's stuff like this that makes me get facetious. Yes, Dennis PEron had drug use as a civil right in mind. But that's not what the drug policy reform movement wants to foreground. That's probably realistic, but when Drug Policy Alliance disavowed Peron after he was widely quoted as saying, "All use is medical!" (a position which is, in my view, unassailable) on the heels of the Prop 215 victory, you could see the fault lines that open up when you don't go all the way past reform to revolution.
Martin Torgoff (martintorgoff) Sun 23 May 04 14:46
Jack, you're right. Nowhere in the constitution does is state that the federal government should exert this kind of influence in people's private lives. If anything, the "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" clause would seem to work in favor of the complete abolition of drugs laws, which have always been primarily cultural in origin as well as application. I think Tancredo should be lauded for his stance. The challenge of the drug policy reform movement is getting more conservatives to think that way--no easy task--because, first and foremost, they're interested in "sending the right message" about drugs, and you know what that is... Gary, getting back to your question about what was going on culturally and politically that made the ascendancy of cocaine so possible. It's useful to apply P.J. O'Rourke's quote here from Rolling Stone: "Every generation gets the drug it needs." It was the baby boom generation that fueled the ascendancy of coke. What was going on, what did we need? In what had become a mass commercial drug culture, we needed the Next Big Thing. The New Sensation. We'd been through psychedelics and were older with more disposable income. Jobs. Climbing the socio-economic ladder. Creature comforts. Flash and fandango. And here was the perfect status symbol. I think initially people went after coke for the same reason everybody always wanted that ever-better grade of primo weed: the Conoisseurship of Stonation. By that time we had our own media--hell, we were becoming the establishment--and everywhere we looked the coke message was being affirmed--High Times, SNL, the Tonight Show, Newsweek--along with the notion that it was relatively benign and non-addictive. It was the perfect set-up. But I think there was something about the nature of the high itself that became a psychophamacological metaphor of the time: so fleeting, you just wanted more as you tried to renew the blast of those first couple of lines but never could. So much like...the American Dream? Capitalism itself? It was the quintessence of sollipsism. I think what also made cocaine unique was the corruption it engendered. Laundered money from marijuana or heroin never ended up financing major construction booms, like cocaine did in South Florida and elsewhere. How much of it ended up on Wall Street, no one will ever know. What also made it unique was how it eventually reached across generations, fusing with and encompassing every aspect and dimension of the American experience: so many people who disdained marijuana and LSD would eventually come to use the drug. And it was tailor-made for both boom and bust (how American is that?). Finally, it became the perfect excuse for the Great Backlash of the Reagan years--a perfect political cudgel for the right wing to use to beat up the left. See what all those permissive liberals have done? They've given us a Cocaine Epidemic! Time to pass some new laws! Time to drug-test the piss out of them! Time to build more prisons!
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Sun 23 May 04 16:58
And don't forget the great crack baby caper, wherein they claimed thta a whole bunch of unwhite people had discovered a superdrug that threatened to deprave the not-yet-born.
Martin Torgoff (martintorgoff) Mon 24 May 04 05:00
I'll put this as succinctly as possible. I've witnessed the devastation that drugs can wreck, in all of its variegated manifestations; of course, it's very real. No doubt, crack was (is) bad news. But the part of it that was real, and the part of it that was the hysterical exaggeration, like crack babies, was used as an excuse to put in place and solidify laws and policies that represent the closest this society has come to actual fascism (with the possible exception of the Patriot Act, depending on your political point of view).
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Mon 24 May 04 06:10
This connection--between actual fascism and the drug war--is explored by Richard Miller in Drug Warriors and Their Prey, in which he explicitly compares the drug war to the HOlocaust. A little over the top, even for mu tastes, but an interesting cri de coeur in any event. I think the comparison between coke and capitalism is a little more trustworthy. I'm goint to be away from this conversation most of the day--back in the evening.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Mon 24 May 04 06:22
mmarquest, I know what you mean -- I quit doing drugs when I got pregnant, and haven't taken them up again, because even though my daughter is with her dad half the time, I don't want to be stoned when the call comes that she just got in an accident or something. Plus I know that I've used drugs for escape before, and I don't want to allow myself to do that again.
the Conoisseurship of Stonation (bratwood) Mon 24 May 04 06:47
Thanks for the pseud Martin! I always thought heroin money flowed through the Mafia and was therefore part of the original building fund for Las Vegas. Is that not correct?
Berliner (captward) Mon 24 May 04 08:14
As far as I know, it depends on where you're buying it. Chinese gangs, Russian mafiya, and the Italians all have a piece of the action, often competing for the same turf. Over here we have Russians, Italians, and the eternal Turks-versus-Kurds fight.
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Mon 24 May 04 14:47
It's hard for me to believe that anyone ever doubted that coke was addictive, especially since Freud famously declared it so in about 1890. . It seems, in fact, that the real urban legend isn't that coke is non-addictive, but that everyone was doing it because they thought it was non-addictive. I mean, why would a bunch of people who had taken lsd despite warnings about broken chromosomes, or smoked dope despite various reefer madness prophesies, suddenly start believing scientists? The appeal must be in its being the "quintessence of solipsism," as you aptly put it. And there's more to the psychopharmacology than that: coke pretty much leaves your sensory apparatus intact. It doesn't make you hungry or horny or want to stop and stare at a tree stump as the embodiment of birth, death, and the eternal cosmos. It mostly leaves you alone, so long as what you want to do is to assert your ego, which is what so much of that time seemed ot be about: rescuing the ego. So , as you say, it's a great drug for making money. And I'd change th O'Rourke quote to "Every generation gets the drug it deserves." But the charm of the cocaine discussion in your book is that it gets you totally focused on the problem of excess in drug use. Here again, the tension between meaningful distinctions and glib stereotyping becomes important, for I am tempted to say that you imply that the excess of the cocdaine era was somehow worse than the excesses of the psychedelic era. It sure seems more depraved at every level. Your account also leads naturally to the chapter on recovery, which was the chapter that left me with the most questions, for it seemed to me that you were saying that recovery completes the dependence/excess story, gives redemptive meaning to it. Is that what you meant?
Andrew Alden (alden) Mon 24 May 04 14:51
I thought the problem of excess was consistently brought up throughout the book, from Charlie Parker's abject fate, to the STP overdoses at the Human Be-In, to the hash-oil influx at Chicago '68, et cetera. There is no drug that hasn't been overdone, and I was sobered to read about the casualties of every "golden age of [drug X]", even the times that were supposed to be great times.
Martin Torgoff (martintorgoff) Mon 24 May 04 19:29
Running around today like a chicken with my head cut off. Got reviewed yesterday in the Wash Post Book World (more on that later). Lately, haven't been able to get to this until I help my wife put our little boy to bed after she gets home from work. I so look forward to that, as I so look forward to this. Life is good (more on that later). First, to Donna re: my statement about cocaine financing the construction boom of South Florida circa '80-'83, and her point about the Mafia and Las Vegas. Heroin appeared on the streets of Harlem for the first time, significantly, in '48; but the first "heroin summer," which is so powerfully chronicled by Claude Brown in Manchild, was in '50. Until that time, the lion's share of money in organized crime came from bootlegging, gambling-numbers, and prostitution, all of which continued as Luciano built the global heroin trade from '46 on. As Vegas went up simultaneously with all of this, and was primarily funded by Luciano through Meyer Lansky, there's no doubt that heroin dollars found their way there, along with money from all their other rackets. Whereas the Florida boom was mostly funded by landered cocaine dollars. So I definitely stand partially corrected... Gary, it's timely that you bring up the issue of excess and recovery, because it factored mightily in the review of my book. First, about the excess of the cocaine era being greater than the psychedelic era. Having come of age in the late 60s, I can attest to the excess of that bacchanalia, and the smorgasbord that became available. People went off the deep end routinely, but there was also a brand newness to drug use--a wide-eyed innocence, if you will--as well as a cultural emphasis and context to using them, whether it was about music, politics, nature, sensuality, sex, community, consciousness itself--that all but disappeared by the time the coke thing really started gathering serious momentum in '78-'79. Getting fucked up had become an end unto itself. The VALUES of drugs shifted along with the drugs themselves. And another factor that changed was the organization of the drug trade and the profits involved. Sailboats became tankers. Small planes became fleets of DC 9s... The cocaine rage leads into recovery in the book for many reasons, personally and societally. As horrific as an acid bummer could be, as tragic as a heroin OD was, there really had been nothing like the phenomenon of middle class cocaine addicts rifling through savings and losing the family home and business etc. (especially if they were into free base). The only thing that compared were intravenous meth freaks, and that was a tiny subculture compared to cocaine (there were never five million iv meth addicts, like there were daily users of cocaine). Yes, I did posit recovery, its philosophy, way of life, and spiritual awakening and path, as the "redemptive" meaning for excess and dependence, but only for myself. That was my experience. If there is any single overriding force that drove me to do this book, it was my certainly that we must start telling the truth about drugs, whatever they may be, wherever they may lead. So I had to tell the truth about myself. I do write about myself to a degree, but mostly I used a character, Suzie Ryan (pseudonym), because I wanted to take the reader deep inside the experience. In recovery we tell our own stories, but I wanted to tell someone else's, as a third person narrator, as objectively as possible, because that way I knew there would not be an issue of preaching or proselytizing, which brings me to the review in the Post. It was written by Nick Gillespie, editor of the journal of the Reason Foundation, the libertarian organization that supports drug policy reform. He said some very nice things about the book calling it "brave," "in many ways as pleasantly and as richly intoxicating as a double hit on Humboldt County Calif.'s finest." But here's his conclusion: ultimately, the books is a "bummer, a downer, maybe even a bad trip." Why? My personal experience with drugs "is nothing if not unrepresentative, veering as it does between abuse and abstinence." Then he mentions that I ended in a 12-step program, quoting me--"I have never been happier." What this means to him is that, "despite its merits," and even though "the extremes" makes for "more interesting reading," "it suggests that a truly measured discussion of American drug use is yet to come." In other words, the book is a "bad trip" because I became an abuser/addict, bottoms, and ended happy, but abstinent (key word). Notwithstanding that I state unequivocally in the the book that the overwhelming majority of people who use drugs do NOT become addicts, this conclusion is especially revealing and significant to me, coming, as it does, from a libertarian supporter of drug policy reform. Many (most?) people who have never truly experienced addiction and all that it entails--"powerlessness, loss of control and choice"--don't get it addiction and recovery (this is why people in the program call non addicts and alcoholics "civilians") but its especially true of a certain kind of secular humanist/rationalist/libertarian/ intellectual type, of which Gillespie probably is. Ironically, I included the last part of the last chapter, in which I write about my work with homeless junkies in New York and discuss where my journey has brought me, as an afterthought. It was obvious to me something was missing from the end, something that I knew I had to pull out of my gut, and this is what came out: what Gary calls my "redemptive meaning." The question becomes: how could my redemption possibly be a "bad trip'? I'll conjecture a few possible answers. In addition to not getting it about what it's like to really be an addict, many reformists are seriously discomfited by addicton for the obvious reason that it has always been cited since 1914 as the raison d'etre for the drug laws and the drug war. So there's a natural suspicion about an ex-addict presuming to write objectively, let alone definitively, about drugs. Layer onto that how a faction truly believes the "disease concept" is bullshit and the 12-steps a pseudo-spiritual sham that merely creates another form of dependence. Add to that how they resent the hell out of how the 12-steps have sparked a mass movement that has become increasingly influential. And finally, stir it with the wand of how they see an alliance between the treatment industry and the drug war, with felons being mandated into treatment that emphasize the 12-steps ("forced abstinence"), and you begin to get a sense of why my redemption is Gillespie's "bummer." Ok, there are people in the treatment industry, like Dr. Mitchell Rosenbloom of Phoenix House, who are examples of this. And I truly understand and agree with their point that the majority of folks who might want a taste of something should not be restricted in their freedom of choice because of the existence of those of us who do get into trouble with drugs, but "bummer?" Correct me if I'm wrong, but the real bummer would have been had I OD'ed and fucking died, right? No doubt Gillespie would have preferred if I'd ended with: "Today I remain perfectly capable of controlling my drug use and use marijuana recreationally, on occasion. and always in a moderate and responsible manner." But, alas, such is not where my journey took me. I submit to you that Gillespie's view that my personal experience of use/abuse/addiction is a "bad trip," and that it makes my book any less "measured" than anyone else's might be as a result, reflects a bias as deep-seated and distorted, in its own way, as the bias of the prohibitionist. Such is the nature of this subject. The libertarian reformist doesn't get addiction any more than the anti-drug zealot gets "personal and responsible use." This is why we're fucked. By the way, I was far from displeased with the review. Stay tuned for the New York Times Book Review on June 6th.
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