Warring with terminology: A different critique at the portrayal most media gives of "drugs".


I am honestly tired of people that think there are “certain” drugs. For this simple reason: everything is a drug, and specifically, your food is a drug. Why? Because a drug is any substance that causes a physiological change in the body. Wikipedia exempts food from this category, but I disagree, and if you kindly allow me your attention, I will describe why in the hopes of offering a different viewpoint while providing examples that are easy to extrapolate to address the issues currently derived from our failed drug policies.

You are experiencing consciousness because your body can process those sugars and other “nutrients” you ate earlier, or you would not be reading this at this very moment. If you think about it, what happens if you don’t eat? Cue in: death. Ok then, big surprise, everybody needs to eat to experience something other than death… but do you know what your body needs? How? Doesn’t your body let you know when you are hungry? Do you not feel more inclined towards salty foods or sweets at different times?

Now, please, imagine if I were to tell you all of the sudden what I think you should be eating and when. I hope your answer would be along the lines of “Who are YOU to tell ME when I AM feeling hungry?” So, would you rather eat at the scheduled times someone tells you to or when you are feeling hungry? Would you stuff your face full again just because someone who never once looked at your own body chemistry (and boy are we all different in that regard, let me tell you) said that we have to eat 3, 5, 7, 1, or whatever number of times a day they have come up with because it felt good or right for them or in the group of people they chose to examine? Notice a trend here?

We, as a society, have “obesity”. People taking too much of the food they need for their circumstances (and this is extremely important, context is always what makes the difference). This is causing a lot of problems, according to a quick google search to satisfy those numerically and economically inclined, it costed the UK £15.8 billion in 2007 to deal with obesity and I have only seen reports of it increasing. So, imagine if we had that money for, I don’t know, improving the country instead of spending it in keeping that situation going? I personally think it would be best to treat the issue. Now, to deal with something, however, you need to measure it, in order to understand it. But how can you measure obesity? I don’t think obesity can be measured by BMI, which only tells you the relationship between your height multiplied by itself and your weight; do we all look the same to begin with? Muscles are denser than fat, so a bodybuilder will have a higher BMI than I do with the same height and similar volume… are they obese? They must be doing poorly by looking at the numbers, with their arteries clogged in being healthier than me just because they weight more than I do… end of sarcasm. How does that account for what you are eating, or your lifestyle, or if you are allergic to chickpeas or anything else?

Yes people get high off food (why do we like raw sugar, c’mon), and yes there’s those who can’t control their urges and overindulge. There are things that give you a bad reaction or even dangerous reaction too, as I said with the chickpeas as a crude example, but really, the dieticians/doctors/politicians, are just guessing by what they know, it’s all a game of possibilities, they don’t know you are allergic to something yet until you take it (why genetics is important to research so we all don’t have to depend on probability as much for these things, and research in general as well). It happens with everything else in life that creates an emotional response, an altered state of consciousness, anything that can be enjoyed can be overused but the difference between safe and unsafe use is understanding, and that can only be achieved by learning, which is CATALYZED, and only catalyzed, by education (no matter how many times you repeat a concept in a classroom, some students process information differently and thus, they might not understand something they could have if approached in a different way, but the understanding can only be achieved by the student, not forced upon them). So there’s obviously something wrong with the way we are educating, or are we going to ban food next?
For a more graphic example, what would happen if you start taking sugar in the morning spoonful after spoonful and don’t stop? What keeps you from doing so? The consequences, I dare you to take all the sugar you physically can in an hour, I am pretty sure if you survive you’ll not want to go through that again, especially if you are diabetic. (Please, do not stuff yourself silly with sugar, in case I am not clear enough) Too much of a good thing can be bad, but all of us, we know how our body works in response to certain stimuli even if we cannot fully explain the underlying phenomena. Unless you aren’t capable of rational thought in which case I don’t want anything to do with you because even any other animal knows that a hot stove burns if they get too close.

Not understanding how our own body works is the source of our problems as a society. We have needs that are not being addressed by imposing restrictions based on unsustainable fears. We are condemning people for using substances that they know are helping them, like cannabis users managing their Crohn’s, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, etc. daily or people having low doses of psilocybin containing mushrooms every few months to deal with their migraines or depression, but they could be your friend, your doctor, a relative, that funny barista at the corner club that makes you smile, the bank accountant that always wears impeccable clothes, the person who insisted you have his seat in the bus, that other who let you pass them in the queue to get the train ticket when you were late, the town baker… yet they are criminals for pursuing their health, which is what helps them to function and be a better part of society, or can you work when you are dead?

So, is this society going to stop pretending that reality is not real or is it going to face its own issues?

And yes, oxygen is a drug too, so stop breathing if you don’t want any in.

Sasha Gatteisen
The Cheese Board Cannabis Social Club

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