Tag Archives: politics

10 questions about drugs

1. Which is the most common rape drug?

2. Which drug is associated with the most violence?

3. Which drug kills most people?

4. What kind of drugs are responsible for the most overdose deaths?

5. Name two drugs that have never killed anyone.

6. Name two drugs that have no or very little addictive properties.

7. Name two drugs that break addiction.

8. Name two drugs that are used to cure depression, trauma and abuse.

9. Which drugs are legal?

10. Which drugs are the most illegal?

 

You’ll find the correct answers below the picture.

Photo: Drug questions by Ano Lobb on Flickr.
Photo: Drug questions by Ano Lobb on Flickr

 

There are obviously legal, country and time specific variations to these answers, but this is the general picture.

1. Which is the most common rape drug?
Alcohol is the most common rape drug. Many think that they need to be wary of people who want to spike their drinks with other drugs, but in the overwhelming majority of cases it is the alcoholic drink itself that is the rape drug. Victims and offenders are often drunk and even when there are other drugs in the mix, alcohol is almost always the main drug.

2. Which drug is associated with the most violence?
Alcohol is involved in most cases of violence. 70 to 90 percent of all violence (wars excluded) is directly linked to alcohol. This is as true for domestic violence as it is for violent encounters between strangers. There are a few other drugs (mainly ego enhancing and consciousness decreasing drugs) that are also associated with violence, but even in cases when other drugs are present alcohol is usually the main drug.

This diagram gives you a hint at how many deaths are attributed to different drugs in the UK 2011. It is however misleading since the tobacco part of the diagram only shows England, while the other circles include all of the UK. In other words, the tobacco circle should be far much bigger than it is in this picture.
This diagram shows you how many deaths were attributed to different drugs in the UK 2011. The very large circle represent deaths due to tobacco and the next biggest one is alcohol. In third place we find opiates and opiate substitutes, which are mostly found in legal medications. In fourth place are legal anti-depressants and in fifth are legal benzodiazepines. In other words, all the big killer drugs except for heroin are legal.

3. Which drug kills most people?
Tobacco is by far the most lethal drug. Tobacco kills more people than all other legal and illegal drugs combined. Alcohol is the second most deadly drug and in third place we find prescription medications. Science is having a hard time putting these in relation to each other, but estimates are that tobacco takes somewhere between two and fifteen times as many lives as alcohol.

4. What kind of drugs are responsible for the most overdose deaths?
Pharmaceutical drugs/prescription medicines are the most commonly overdosed with a deadly outcome. One reason is of course the availability but another very important reason is that medications often are highly toxic.

5. Name two drugs that have never killed anyone.
LSD, cannabis and magic mushrooms are a few non-lethal drugs, but there are certainly more. The doses needed to die from them are simply so ridiculously high that it is physically impossible to consume such quantities of cannabis or mushrooms. In the case of LSD it is probably possible to take that much, but you would need to take thousands of doses and as far as I know that still hasn’t happened. It is of course possible to die in an accident or such while on these drugs, but even so these are not drugs that typically make users accident prone. Science rather suggests that people using these drugs are usually more careful and considerate.

6. Name two drugs that have no or very little addictive properties.

Photo: Hícuri by Mierdamian Rondana on Flickr
Photo: Hícuri by Mierdamian Rondana on Flickr

Psychedelics generally have strong anti-addictive properties and are therefore fantastic for breaking addiction. Some such drugs are LSD, magic mushrooms (psilocybin), San Pedro/Peyote (mescaline), Ayahuasca, DMT, Iboga (ibogaine) and Salvia Divinorum. Another thing that several of the psychedelics have in common is that the user’s tolerance towards them increases rapidly, so even if a user would want to use it several days in a row it would quickly become meaningless to do so because the effects would vanish.

7. Name two drugs that break addiction.
LSD, magic mushrooms and Iboga are all well known in the treatment of addicts, but psychedelics of all kinds can be helpful. Before being made illegal LSD was among other things used to cure alcoholism. AA co-founder Bill Wilson was an advocate of using it specifically to treat cynical alcoholics by giving them a spiritual experience. Ironically LSD had a higher success rate of curing alcoholics than AA or any other program has ever had.

8. Name two drugs that are used to cure depression, trauma and abuse.
Again, psychedelics are fantastic tools for curing depression, trauma and abuse, especially LSD, magic mushrooms, Ayahuasca and San Pedro/Peyote. They make the user more aware of his/her situation and give insights and experiences that help the user deal with past trauma. Within a spiritual context the plants are especially helpful since they actually speak to the user in a way that an isolated substance cannot do.

Western chemical based medicine often uses medications such as anti-depressants but these medicines most often only put a lid on things and sedate the person. These medicines are also highly addictive and toxic, which makes them very dangerous in comparison.

9. Which drugs are legal?
Alcohol and tobacco are legal, although you need to be of a certain age to buy them. Prescription medications are legal as long as you have a prescription.

10. Which drugs are the most illegal?

Contrary to what many think today's drug laws are not based on science but on politics. For example, did you know that the push to make cannabis illegal was mostly based on racism?
Contrary to what many think today’s drug laws are not based on science but on politics. For example, did you know that the push to make cannabis illegal was greatly based on racism?

Class A drugs are defined as drugs that are especially harmful, have a high abuse potential and that have no medical value. Among these you will find heroin, crack, cocaine, cannabis, LSD, magic mushrooms and mescaline. Which class a drug is placed in is however a political decision, not a scientific one. From a strictly scientific point of view this classification is utterly absurd. Heroin and crack would definitely fall within the definition of a class A drug, but so would the legal drugs alcohol and tobacco since they obviously are extremely addictive, harmful and lack all medical value. The psychedelics and cannabis on the other hand are proven to have huge medical value and do very little harm, so they would be stricken if the list was based on science. It appears however that drug policies are among the least scientifically based policies today.

Main photo: fififififiesta! by Adriano Agulló on Flickr

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Devalue politics

I am quite skeptical that the political system is able to handle the drug issue in a sensible manner, because politics are essentially driven by opinion. We may think that our western democracy is very good, but the fact is that it has serious weaknesses. Today’s drug laws are a shining example. They are not based on science, but on opinions and moralistic lobbying. The legislation that it has led to is riddled with hypocrisy.

It creates a system where “democracy” is used to legitimize oppression. It punishes people who are sick. It chases people who use substances that are less harmful than the legal alternatives. It criminalizes healing and growing. Spiritual exploration is prohibited. It is a law that is discriminatory, unfair and used to persecute minorities.

The political system has similar problems addressing serious global environmental issues. Opinions and strong economic interests outweigh the survival of the human species. Despite several decades of political work at the global level, our politicians are not able to deal with the serious threats that humanity faces. Countries look to their own short-term interests and go their companies’ errands when they go into negotiations, rather than to see the bigger picture.

My conclusion is that the political system is not able to deal with certain issues in a balanced, fair and sustainable manner. The best we can do, I think, is to revoke the right for the political system to handle certain issues. Many of them should return to be determined by the people themselves, while others should be referred to expert groups. The drug issue and the environmental issue are two clear examples where the political system falls short, but there are several others.

It’s time to take back power from the politicians and the corrupt system that has been created.

Photo: Goethe Girl on Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 33 by David Shankbone on Flickr

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Playing to lose

Politics is like football.

People spend a hell of a lot of time running around positioning themselves, in order to hopefully make a goal in the not too distant future. For the onlookers it might be pretty fun, but if the aim is to score goals, football is probably one of the least effective ways to achieve that purpose.

I have been running around on the field for three innings and I have made ​​a few, but not game changing, goals. But the goals in no means stand in proportion to how much energy I have put in to running around and how much it has cost the taxpayers to let me run around. To be quite honest, it has been a scandalous waste.

To carry on the football analogy, one of the basic problems is that we have (at least) two teams playing. Both teams want to score for themselves, but are just as focused on preventing the other team from scoring. They deliberately tackle, shout insults and sabotage for each other.

In the best case scenario only half of the players will walk away unhappy with the outcome. In the worst case there will be no goals at all, and everyone walks away unhappy.

Now try out the idea that we sent home all the football players, except for the two teams best goal makers. All saboteurs, all tacklers, goalkeepers – goodbye. Then the goal makers got to stand there shooting footballs at an empty goal. And to really confuse the matter, they would be on the same team.

I agree that it wouldn’t make a particular interesting football game. But there would be a hell of a lot of goals scored! And what should politics be about? Should politics be about scoring goals, or should it be about chasing the ball and positioning oneself?

Photo: Lyngby Boldklub – FC Midtjylland by Stig Nygaard on Flickr

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The war on drugs will soon be over

For the know nothing cannabis opponents the world must really be turning upside down right now. Yesterday they were on top of it. All the pundits were on their side, the government propaganda was on their side and it all just seemed so simple.

5143320976_3438e95a87_zThen all of a sudden there was the critical mass of people that knew better and the flood gates opened. Overnight several US states legalized the substance and real scientists got to study the direct effects of the change. So the world turned and wobbled and now the anti-cannabis lobby are clinging on to whatever they can find, as not to fall of altogether.

In Sweden we apparently haven’t reached the critical mass yet. A lot of people are raising their voices, more than ever before, but the political parties are even more feverishly dressing in the same attire as the naked king. These are times of polarization and dogmatism, among an ever more pragmatic and tolerant general population.

The more the Swedish political parties can feel the winds of change coming, the more they huddle together in their misconception that harsher drug laws will help end substance abuse. They have already invested so massively in the losing cause, that they refuse to back down until they are thrown out.

It is time to face the fact. The war on drugs is over and the drugs won.

Read more:
Fewer pain pill overdoses in states with legal medical marijuana
Since marijuana legalization, highway fatalities in Colorado are at near-historic lows
Study: couples who smoke marijuana are less likely to engage in domestic violence
Crime down and revenue up in Colorado since start of marijuana legalization
Drugs in Portugal: Did Decrimilization work?

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Letting go when the moment has passed

Grab hold tightly
Let go lightly

The full cup can take no more
The candle burns down
The taut bow must be loosed
The razors edge cannot long endure

Nor this moment re-lived

So now…
Grab hold tightly
Now…
Let go lightly

The Moment of Fullness from Psychedelic Prayers by Timothy Leary

● ● ●

$_35Timothy Leary’s Psychedelic Prayers is a adaptation of Lao Tse’s Tao Te Ching for a psychedelic setting. To be more precise it is a book of meditations that are absolutely wonderful to do on LSD, complete with a manual on how to use it for the best results. You read meditations before the trip, during the peak, and after that at four different points in the trip.

If you ever doubted the genius of Timothy Leary, this manual and these meditations will prove it to you. The seemingly simple texts with their ancient Taoist wisdoms unfold and expand while on LSD and reveal worlds of understanding between the lines, words and even letters. If you are able to relax and follow, you will shoot straight out into the universe and gain insight into how it all works.

The meditation above isn’t one of the most powerful, but I am so very fond of it and it has meant the world to me. This is life.

Life is one moment after another.
One challenge after another.
One love after another.

When we find what we are supposed to do in the moment, we should grab on tightly and do it with all our heart. We should experience it to the fullest, throw ourselves into the challenge without hesitation and love unconditionally.

But it is equally, if not even more important to let go of the moment when it done. We cling to people, things and ideas. We become attached to our sense of self and our understanding of the world, and this causes suffering. We suffer because we dare not let go of what we have been holding on to.

People invest so heavily in what they are doing, that in the end they dare not walk away, because who would they be without it? They have invested time, money and prestige. They have climbed the ladder and built an identity around it. And when they are there, in the midst of all that they cling to, the most frightening thing of all to imagine is that it is all a castle built of air.

And of course, it is. How could it ever be anything else?

I have held on to many things in my life. In recent years I could mention something as mundane as politics. I had an interest in politics since I was 17 years old and was elected to city council at 20. I have spent approximately eight years in politics, but I came to a point where it was blocking my life purpose. And it was difficult for me to let go, because I had so many attachments there. Friends, feelings of duty, responsibility, doubt over who I would be without it, the feeling that I would be abandoning others if I left.

I held on several years longer than I should have, and it was truly a pain in the ass, but eventually I mustered the courage to let go. And as soon as I did a weight was lifted from my shoulders and new, greater challenges were laid out before me.

It isn’t always easy, but I try to keep in mind to keep moving. Not to cling to things and create attachments. To let go when the moment is lived, so as not to try to re-live the same moment over and over.

And when that new moment comes, I grab hold tightly and do my best to be brave.

And here it is.

The next moment.

Wish me luck.

Photo: Timothy Leary

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In love with a younger woman

I was asked today why I am interested in younger women.

It’s obviously something I have asked myself too. My relationships in recent years have been with women who are 10 to 20 years younger than me. Depending on the perspective one of course sees different things, but here are three things that I feel are relevant.

My alcoholism has delayed me

An active addiction will stop your personal development on many levels. This is particularly true in the case of a substance such as alcohol, which is a powerful anesthetic and poison. I drank for 13 years. That was 13 years where my emotional and social development almost stood still. When I ended my alcoholism at the age of 31, I was therefore in many ways no older than 18, if even that old. When I looked at other people my biological age I felt that they were indeed very, very old. That feeling has lingered, but has also changed a lot.

OLD MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN by Bill Strain on Flickr
OLD MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN by Bill Strain on Flickr

However, there are two things that counter this effect significantly. The first is my intensive work with psychedelics. A trip can be the equivalent of many years of therapy, compressed into one evening. It is no exaggeration to say that psychedelics have given me a couple of lifetimes worth of therapy by now. I find that I have on many levels caught up with and gone far beyond my biological age. But having said that, there are parts where I find that I am still trying to catch up.

The second is this. As I become better at seeing where people are, I realize that most of them are stuck in similar ways as I was. These times we live in are incredibly childish and collectively we try to avoid taking responsibility. At the individual level that is because many are stuck in their 14-year-old, even though they are 30 or 50 or 70. The most childish among us often wear a suit.
– But shouldn’t that make it easier for you to find a partner your own age, some might wonder.
No, quite the opposite. Someone who is 40 but behaves like 14 is stuck and has been so for a while. The only way I could find any romantic interest in such a person is if she would be dedicated to healing herself and growing beyond what she has been. A 40-year-old who is happy to act like 14 is a real turn off for me, just as I assume that 30-year-old Daniel must have been very uninteresting for sensible peers when I drank like an 18-year-old .

Rigor mortis has not yet set in

I often prefer being around young people, because their thinking has not yet stagnated and their sense of discovery is still there. I am of course generalizing, but I often meet people my own age who don’t seem to be able to talk about anything other than television, sports, news, gossip or politics.

Ascidian (Rhopalaea Crassa) (4 cm)by Samuel Chow on Flickr
Ascidian (Rhopalaea Crassa) (4 cm)by Samuel Chow on Flickr

Contemplate the Sea squirt. When it is young it swims about in the sea, discovering and playing with other Sea squirts. When it gets older it sets outside a sewage treatment plant or such and devours its own brain. Humans, as far as I can see, have much in common with the Sea squirt. When they are young they travel around, playing and exploring their visions. Then they sit down in front of the TV and devour their own brain.

I do of course understand that there are young people who have already devoured their brain, just as there are older people who have theirs intact. But I feel that there are far more brainless people the older people get. Then there are also many young who have not yet connected their brains, but that’s another matter.

Kindred spirits attract each other

Although my girlfriends have all been younger than me, it must be obvious to all who met them that I have always attracted very strong, talented and special women. So even though the age difference has in some cases given a thrilling dynamic, we have also been able to meet as equals.

364. by Deb Stgo on Flickr
364. by Deb Stgo on Flickr

We live hundreds or thousands of lives. Through these lives we form communities and friendships with other souls that we feel comfortable with. We meet again and again to play out different roles in relation to each other. The physical body is just a vessel, which people that get hung up on the biological age tend to miss.

There are many young people now who are much older than what they look to be on the outside. They are old, wise souls in young bodies. There has been a steady increase of these people since the early 80s. They are our indigo and crystal children. I am one of them, but an early one, who was born when they were still uncommon. I’m attracted to old, beautiful souls that I have met in past lives and they are attracted to me, because we are travelling in the same direction.

Main photo: Hampton Court Bridge – June 1971 – My First Love by Gareth Williams on Flickr

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It’s all about the Sweden Democrats

Photo: Green party of Karlstad. The sign reads
Photo: Green party of Karlstad. The sign reads “Turn your back on racism”.

In Sweden one would think that this EP election is all about one single political party – the racist Sweden Democrats.

Stories of them are absolutely flooding my newsfeed, and I don’t even think that I know anyone that votes for them. But everyone is going out of their way to get them into the spotlight. They are booing, turning their backs on them, criticizing their campaign, sending back their material to them and just keep going on and on about them.

Are the other political parties even campaigning? I don’t know, because even the other parties seem preoccupied with talking about the Sweden Democrats.

The consensus seems to be that everybody hates them and want them to shrivel up and die.

How they are going to achieve that by giving them 90 percent of my news feed is absolutely beyond me. The Sweden Democrats hardly have to put up a tent before the place is swarming with people making it into a media event.

Here’s a suggestion. Instead of following them around and turning your backs on them – try not being there in the first place. Don’t give them the time of day, don’t bother about them at all. Don’t repost all kinds of shit about them and don’t drown everyone around you in bullshit concerning them.

If that doesn’t keep them away from power, at least it will make my news feed a lot nicer.

Photo: Almedalsveckan Sverigedemokraterna Jimmie Akesson_20140701_0134 by News Oresund on Flickr

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