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Ayn Rand's almost cannabis moment with Ayn Rand


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#21 Reidy

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 08:44 PM

I suspect that many, perhaps most, of the people who have died from prescription drugs prescribed for them and used as the prescriber intended, were already sick. If so, even if more of them have died than from illegal drigs, the comparison, lacking controls, would not be statistically sound.

#22 CNA

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:15 PM

I suspect that many, perhaps most, of the people who have died from prescription drugs prescribed for them and used as the prescriber intended, were already sick. If so, even if more of them have died than from illegal drigs, the comparison, lacking controls, would not be statistically sound.


Perhaps should have worded what I said in a different manner but nevertheless could use a control group for it. But you could still project given the current statistics and what it would be but wouldn't be accurate enough but would definitely give a gauge of it. What I was pointing out to George is that it's difficult to claim given the expansive gap and the numbers between the two groups that more people have died from prescription drugs than that of drug users when one group is drastically smaller just wouldn't work so difficult to use that as an argument.
The evil man is the one who, knowing that sex is good, takes pleasure in forbidding it and thus causing men to suffer. ~AR

#23 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:24 PM

If so, even if more of them have died than from illegal drigs...

Pete,

I never used any drigs, but they sound far out...

Do you smoke 'em, snort 'em, pop 'em or shoot 'em?

:)

Michael

Know thyself...


#24 Brant Gaede

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:40 PM

I suspect that many, perhaps most, of the people who have died from prescription drugs prescribed for them and used as the prescriber intended, were already sick. If so, even if more of them have died than from illegal drigs, the comparison, lacking controls, would not be statistically sound.

I agree with the second sentence. The first needs work; you can take to the bank that almost every one was sick or had a debilitative condition. Most medicine is reactive. There is some proactive use of some prescription drugs by life-extenders. I doubt very many of those croaked consequently.

--Brant

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#25 blackhorse

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:11 PM

I think that more Objectivists (esp. the ARI camp) would benefit from low dose cannabis consumption. It seems that their primary drugs of choice are alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol can turn your mood into an emotional roller coaster and caffeine has you go-go-going! Cannabis is different in that it relaxes you yet stimulates your senses in a way that can give one a spiritual respite. Nathaniel Branden understands the value of R & R and engaging in other spiritually recreational activities. Man is not an industrial robot.-he is human with very important spiritual needs that are essential to his well being. I take cannabis maybe once a week at most and in moderation at that. The key is to be conscience of what one is doing and why.

#26 George H. Smith

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:32 PM

George,

Some people die from obesity, but this isn't an argument against eating. My father died in a boating accident during a fishing trip, but I never construed this as an argument against going fishing. Some people are killed while playing sports, etc., etc.

Such examples are endless. Life is full of risks.


Yes, of course, I could easily break my neck and die due to an accident falling down the stairs. But please keep context. We are talking about drug use.


You were talking about the risks associated with drug use. I simply pointed out that your reasoning applies to many other activities as well.

For example, you mentioned the risk of alcoholism. Do you seriously contend that a person should never drink, say, beer or wine, for fear of becoming an excessive drinker? If so, that strikes me as an absurd argument.

Given all I have written previously on the subject of drug use, I am not especially interested in pursuing this subject in detail at present. My own experiences with drugs were mixed. For example, I never had much of a problem with cocaine; on the contrary, my years of cocaine use were the most productive, intellectually and financially, of my life. My serious problems began with heroin use. Heroin is physically addictive, whereas cocaine is not. Even so, I used heroin for nearly a year before becoming addicted to it. The trick is to use it no more than one day out of every three or four.

The myths about illicit drugs are legion, even among people who favor legalization. As my stepdaughter became older, she asked me about various drugs. I didn't feed her the usual BS; I didn't tell her that if she tried something once she would become "addicted." I told her the truth, based on my own experiences and the experiences of friends.

In brief, I told my stepdaughter that she was a sensible person and to use her best judgment. I advised her to stay away from heroin altogether. I said she would probably try coke or LSD or ecstasy at some point, so she should exercise certain precautions. And I told her not to worry about pot, so long as she didn't intend to drive. I also warned her that alcohol would mess her up in the long run more than almost any street drug. Lastly, I stressed that she should come to me if she felt she was getting in over her head.

My stepdaughter tried pot, coke, and ecstasy a few times but quickly lost interest in them. She told me that my nonhysterical, matter-of-fact approach had a lot to do with stripping drug use of its mystery and glamor -- that "forbidden fruit" aspect that can act as a strong lure to young people. The either/or "this is your brain on drugs" approach frequently backfires. When young people learn they have been lied to about, say, marijuana, they often dismiss everything that their elders tell them about drugs. This is potentially disastrous, since some drugs really are dangerous.

Ghs

#27 CNA

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:58 PM

For example, you mentioned the risk of alcoholism. Do you seriously contend that a person should never drink, say, beer or wine, for fear of becoming an excessive drinker? If so, that strikes me as an absurd argument.


In what posts did I write that a person should never drink for fear of becoming an alcoholic? I drink alcohol on occasion as I have stated and you know this. *sighing* In a great majority of my posts, I have ended it with something such as to each their own, use at your own risk but make sure to make informed decisions, knowing the consequences of those actions and so forth. Anyway.

Given all I have written previously on the subject of drug use, I am not especially interested in pursuing this subject in detail at present.


That's all you had to say.
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#28 George H. Smith

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 11:28 PM



Also interesting that you bring up the prescription drug use, medicines that have been created to further man's life, to enhance their quality of life; to make man's life that much easier, drugs that may very well keep a woman or man alive. There's tremendous evidence to show that drugs such as heroin, cocaine, PCP, meth, etc., cause more problems and destruction of lives than they do good.


I would be very interested to learn of any studies that focus on the good aspects of illicit drug use. I think you will find that virtually every "study" is based on the experiences of people who have crashed and burned. This is hardly an accurate sampling.

I would contend that illicit drugs can also enhance the quality of life. They can produce a great deal of pleasure, and pleasure is essential to living a good life. Drugs, whether legal or illegal, are simply a technology, and, like many technologies, they can be used to good or bad effect.

If necessary, I will break down both of these aspects in more detail and comparisons of the two. I know both of these worlds all too well because of my past drug use and seeing firsthand what it does, what it did to me, observing others who were once great men and women who have wasted their lives away.


People waste their lives away for all kinds of reasons. I have seen upright Objectivists, who would never dream of "polluting" their minds with artificial substances, waste their lives away as well.

Yes, there have been a few drug users that have accomplished quite a bit. But the real question is: Does a great man or woman need such drugs to be highly successful, to accomplish and achieve a tremendous amount? The answer is no....


You cannot possibly know this. John Steinbeck was once asked what he needed to write. He replied, "Whiskey, a pencil and paper." Would Steinbeck have produced as much if he didn't drink at all? Who knows? He certainly didn't think so.

There is a reason why cocaine is a very popular drug among writers; its ability to "cure" writer's block is almost magical. I could be stalled for weeks on a writing project, but after one line of coke I would be working like a fiend -- and I produced high quality material, some of the best stuff I have ever written. Some fiction writers have told me that they have produced some of their most creative work while on pot or LSD, and, judging from my own experiences, I have no reason to doubt their accounts.

This doesn't pertain to you, but some fanatical anti-drug Objectivists remind me very much of Christians and other creationists. That is to say, they seem to assume that humans are created "perfect" and that artificial substances affecting the mind can do nothing but diminish one's mental powers. This is balderdash. The truth is that some drugs, when used intelligently, can actually enhance one's mental powers.

Ghs

#29 George H. Smith

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 11:46 PM

In what posts did I write that a person should never drink for fear of becoming an alcoholic? I drink alcohol on occasion as I have stated and you know this. *sighing* In a great majority of my posts, I have ended it with something such as to each their own, use at your own risk but make sure to make informed decisions, knowing the consequences of those actions and so forth. Anyway.


This is the comment I had in mind. You wrote:

You are absolutely correct in how it affects people in different ways and that is why I stated in a prior post of "I'm not saying that this happens to everyone because obviously it doesn't but the consequences and seeing it firsthand is some scary ass shit and this truly one of the most dreadful end results."

My point being is that this could be the end result short of actual death. You can't predict how each person is going to react to different substances but ultimately the consequences and the end results can be utter devastation. So why risk it? It's similar to saying, "Well, it happens to other people but not to me." So it's not a generalization and you've missed my point. Again, what I'm talking about and pointing out is: This is reality and these are some of the end results. You can't predict to what degree of devastation and how each person will react to it. Did I ever think that my mom's alcohol abuse or anyone else for that matter who knew her as a pretty happy drunk and high functioning for many many years would ultimately end up years later with Wet Brain? Definitely not.

If it happens to these people, it can easily happen to you.



Here you seem to say that drinking is not worth the risk of becoming an alcoholic, because you cannot predict the ultimate consequences, i.e., "utter devastation" that could "easily happen to you." Did you mean to say something else?

Ghs

#30 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 08:33 AM

Heroin is physically addictive, whereas cocaine is not.

George,

Sure it is. Believing what you just stated is what got me physically addicted to cocaine--especially crack.

The physical parts of the addiction manifest themselves in a different manner than heroin--especially in biochemical triggering during synapses, but they exist. Some people are more tolerant of this--or deal with it better--than others, but that does not wipe these parts out of existence.

There are sweats and hand shaking and stuff like that, too, if you need those things to call it physical. Those are light, but they're there with cocaine.

I'm not saying that you will become physically addicted to cocaine if you use it (in moderation), but you certainly can become physically addicted. To those who want to use this stuff, this is something to look out for. I think it's like using alcohol, except the addiction is much easier to develop. I advise extreme care if someone wants to use it.

If you can and you want to, you should. It's your life. But be careful. It's easy to believe you can if you really can't when addictions start growing. I speak from study, interaction with other addicts and personal experience.

Michael

Know thyself...


#31 George H. Smith

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:05 AM

Heroin is physically addictive, whereas cocaine is not.

George,

Sure it is. Believing what you just stated is what got me physically addicted to cocaine--especially crack.

The physical parts of the addiction manifest themselves in a different manner than heroin--especially in biochemical triggering during synapses, but they exist. Some people are more tolerant of this--or deal with it better--than others, but that does not wipe these parts out of existence.

There are sweats and hand shaking and stuff like that, too, if you need those things to call it physical. Those are light, but they're there with cocaine.

I'm not saying that you will become physically addicted to cocaine if you use it (in moderation), but you certainly can become physically addicted. To those who want to use this stuff, this is something to look out for. I think it's like using alcohol, except the addiction is much easier to develop. I advise extreme care if someone wants to use it.

If you can and you want to, you should. It's your life. But be careful. It's really easy to believe you can when you can't when addictions start grows. I speak from study, interaction with other addicts and personal experience.

Michael


I used coke on a regular basis for nearly 15 years (c. 1980-1995). There were times, especially while pushing writing deadlines, that I used it nonstop for days at a time. But I never experienced anything that I would remotely describe as withdrawal. After a long siege I was typically tired the next day, but that was owing to lack of sleep. I had no trouble using every day for a week or more and then stopping for a week or more. I felt fine; in fact, I often felt very relaxed and had no discernible craving for the drug. There were times when I went a month or two, even longer, without touching the stuff.

I always used powder. Crack is something I had very little experience with. I smoked it a few times but didn't care for it much -- I found the experience too intense and of a different quality than powder -- so I cannot speak to its addictive characteristics. I never sought out crack on those occasions when I could not score powder, even though it was much easier to find crack on the streets of Hollywood and Long Beach. I simply abstained instead.

Ghs

#32 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:57 AM

George,

I know many of these kinds of experiences. And I know of many that had far more disastrous consequences.

Rather than make one-size fits all judgments, I prefer to urge caution. There is so much that is not known.

Here's a speculation. Suppose the synapses misfirings can be overridden by other synapses firings that we are not yet aware of--or at least have not identified the patterns and causes of. There will be no discernible cravings for those cases. Sort of like when pain can be ignored by intensely focusing your awareness on something else. Does that mean there is no pain? No. It only means that you are successful in keeping the awareness intensity so low that it falls below conscious awareness.

There are so many wrecked lives that can be directly attributed to cocaine use that I believe caution is not too much to ask.

Look at it this way. The following metaphor does not fit perfectly, but it gives the gist really well. If you tell a person who is allergic to peanut butter that such allergies do not exist, and demonstrate by your own example, and he thus becomes convinced that there is no danger, and he eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you basically kill him.

Michael

Know thyself...


#33 Jeff Riggenbach

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 11:43 AM

Subject: The Failure of Objectivists and just about all other human beings to take my advice and do things in the way I know is best.
>There are so many. . .lives that can be directly attributed to cocaine use that I believe caution is not too much to ask. (MSK)

It seems to me that the question we have to ask ourselves here is, "What would E. B. White do?" He would certainly never use the passive voice as Michael did in this sentence. Understanding as he did that there is only one valid way of writing (his own), he would have forthrightly declared that "Many obstetricians attribute the recent rise in births directly to cocaine use."

Phillip Coates

#34 Rich Engle

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 11:53 AM

The drug situation in the United States is deplorable, and pathetic, but I am not saying that for the official reasons that are spewed out everywhere. It is a mess on all levels--supply, enforcement, user...

And let's face the fact that that has been the case much longer than even this (one of my personal faves, though an oldie-but-goodie):
Posted Image
Tweaked-out pill junkie Elvis, receiving his honorary DEA badge from Nixon, legendary booze-hound.

Most of us know that The King was a non-drinker, and staunch "anti-drug" guy (except for the fact that he had one of the best strategic acquisition teams for pills known to man, spearheaded by The Memphis Mafia). Elvis thought that if a doctor prescribed drugs to you, they were OK. Well, yeah, he did hedge a little--if you had a doctor's prescription for drugs, they were OK--there, that's better. Or, if you could get a pharmacist to open up in the middle of the night and...anyway, you get the idea. Nixon, I'm not going there other than to say we can mostly thank him for putting pot on the same schedule as heroin and LSD. Sheer brilliance, I have to admit.

Raw opitates are the cheapest, most effective, and most natural means by which to stop physical pain. A keyword here is "cheap," if you are a pharmaceutical company, and are used to making thousands of points in profit margin on pills--regulation is VERY important to them, and they have always been willing to pay for it. Even now, their so-far inability to regulate the herbal/homeopathic market is driving them apeshit. I just bought a bottle of Valerian root yesterday, and it cost me four bucks, at Walmart. That's what valium was modelled after, by the way, and Valerian does pretty much the same job (although a small percentage of the population can't take it, because their systems lack certain elements and it causes them "night terrors"). Ingesting raw opiates for pain is better on your body (and, in a perfect world, your wallet), than going through the hoops of the medical world to get, say, Percocet (street value for a 10mg around here is about 15 bucks, btw).

The disabled have developed complex, elegant barter networks between themselves in order to get medications that will work for them.

The development of crack was ingenious because of its cheapness. It's a short high, and you get what you pay for. It is debilatating as Hell because, among other reasons, that's not how you are supposed to do drugs in that family. There is an ART to using drugs. You have to educate yourself, and, like in most things, that is problematic among the masses. The main two remaining "legal" non-script drugs (tobacco and alcohol) are probably the two worst there are overall, but I guess they figure a man has to have something, plus you can tax and regulate them to death without putting them out of existence. Both, however, are becoming increasingly stigmatized.

For the most part, people who screw up on drugs are either dealing with an educational issue, or they are educated people that know better than to overuse/improperly use but do it anyway, hence making them morons.

If you don't listen to what your body is telling you, it will tell you in another, less pleasant manner.

I could go on forever about this, the nature of addiction (whether it is always a choice, sometimes a choice, or never a choice), the fiendishness of government drug enforcement over the decades, the monkey-nature of ignorant users, the indecent avarice of the pharmaceutical lobby, etc., but not to much more end. It is what it is.

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#35 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 06:35 PM

... "What would E. B. White do?" He would certainly never use the passive voice as Michael did in this sentence.

Jeff,

Oh God....

LOL...

Red ears--and I have no excuse.

There's a reason, but it's not an excuse. I translated about 35,000 pages of technical material from Portuguese into Engilish over a period of about 10 years. Brazilian engineers and technicians use the passive voice almost exclusively. So some really bad habits were developed by me... :)

Still, I know better.

The manner in which I write, at times, is demonstrated by a staggering propensity toward boredom in style. For example, participles have been known to dangle from my pen while writing.

:)

Michael

Know thyself...


#36 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:27 PM

Stuttle,

Speed freak?

Nah.

Used speed to get a buzz and not just as medicine?

Yes.

Let's keep it real. That kind of exaggeration is ARI-fundie-stuff.


OK. Acknowledged that you didn't mean something on the order of "speed freak" in your earlier comment:

Other than Rand's "almost cannabis moment," there is her very real speed moment..." and moment.. and moment.. and moment.. and moment..


And your still earlier (quoted in the above-linked post):

That doesn't sound like someone simply following a doctor's prescription until a problem is resolved. That sounds like getting wired qua getting wired.


Also, I said Barbara was over-protective because she speculated that the effect of the pills became that of a placebo over time, insinuating that Rand didn't use them for the buzz, but only for the energy problem that led her to start taking them in the first place, and possibly weight control. Getting a drug buzz is moral death to the fundies. (But Paterson's letters show clearly that buzz is where it was at with Rand once she got going.) That's what I meant by over-protective.


I'm still not sure if you're indicating a belief that Barbara believed, at the time she wrote Passion, that there was more to Rand's amphetamine use than Barbara said. (She didn't have Paterson's letters available, right?)

I'm working on compiling a complete set of references to Rand's drug use from the published bios and memoirs and interviews. It looks to me from material Heller quotes from the Blumenthals as if Rand was continuing use of the pills after the time Barbara thought she'd discontinued. Hard to tell, since Heller doesn't date the time frame of the recollections. Childs' report I look on with a salt shaker handy, for reasons I'll explain. Later.

Ellen

Edited by Ellen Stuttle, 16 July 2010 - 09:34 PM.


#37 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:48 PM

Stuttle,

Getting high and long-term use by themselves use do not constitute "speed freak" in my understanding.

My conceptual referents for that category come from the Brazilian underworld, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, my own research, etc., over decades.

Enjoying a buzz is as different as night and day from freaking out or spiraling into a drug meltdown.

Not everyone agrees with this. They're wrong.

Michael

Know thyself...





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