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Think about all the mind- and mood-altering products available in the modern world.



Alcohol (the potable kind)


Cocaine (and derivatives)

Opium (morphine, heroin, etc.)


And I'm no doubt missing a few. My impression is that our civilization has a very conflicted view of mind and mood altering substances. Our attitudes and laws seem to be based more on puritanical principles and outdated laws than on any rational outlook.

Take marijuana, for example. It has again just recently been demonized by the Bush administration flunkies as the "gateway" drug and escapist self-medication for unhappy teens. So it is made illegal and those unhappy teens caught smoking or dealing are put into the legal grinder.

Where they are more happy, no doubt, being protected from themselves.

Alcohol and tobacco, on the other hand, have a long history of destructiveness and abuse, but are not only legal but highly admired as self-medications. We just had a Cinco de Mayo Day where several died to prove the point. They are no doubt happier.

Patients with dreadful diseases, in excruciating pain, are denied pain killers in the name of avoiding addiction. Heaven forbid they should need to relieve their pain. They will be happier if their characters are built strong by enduring it stoically. Yeah, pain builds character.

And escapism is bad. Gimme chocolate!

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