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Weed Not Good For Music


Tone Taster

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As a former pot smoker of 15 years, after having been busted years ago on felony possession, and having serious problems with trying to quit it, but with limited success, after being WAY LESS productive while on the drug then I am now; I can say that smoking weed is not good for playing.

 

I used to think it "enhanced" my creativity because I would "tap into something" I normally wouldn't if I hadn't smoked.

The problem was that it would seem to be cool for the first 30 minutes to 2 hours (depending on the quality) and then I would get really sluggish and have to drink coffee or something to stay up and get other stuff done (with a lot less focus. IT got so ridiculous that I couldn't be with out it as if I were enslaved, and i finally got off of it due to spiritual pursuits.

 

Now, having been sober since 2000, I can say that the idea that being high helps your creativity is simply a deception.

I believe that people get into the habit of playing high and that they believe that they can't play any other way because that is how they practice. It's the same thing as people who can't play pool unless they've had a few beers because they learned how to play pool at the bar.

 

I have Listened to recordings of gigs where I knew I was stoned while thinking it sounded so cool at the time i was playing it, only to listen to the stuff now only to see that, while still listenable, the material is no more "extraterrestrial" than what I would play now (even less so)

 

In sobriety, I have noticed an EXPONENTIAL increase of an ability to focus and balance many different projects practice wise, compositionally, and improvisationally.

 

If were still smoking up, there would be no way I would be able to focus and complete so many of those musical assignments due to sluggishness, lack of motivation, or scattered/fragmented mental processes. I now know first hand that I can tap into a higher consciousness, and more focused consciousness at that, without being high.

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Hello Caputo,

 

Great comment... :)

I hope younger players will read your post.

Pete Townshend has often said that he had stopped smoking weed for the same reasons and that after a while, you just become a 'softball' .It actually blocks creativity since your brain only focuses on a few things.

 

As well as being a recording musician for many years now,I am also teaching sound engineering and stage lighting to high school kids.This topic often comes back with them and we discuss it freely...you'd be surprised at how teenagers these days think the same way you do.

Not to say that smoking weed or having a few drinks cannot help loosesing up...which I think DOES but...

It would a good thing for musicians to inquire methods of meditation for instance...like Steve Vai does.It IS more profitable in the long run,believe me.

 

:) ))))))))))))))))

 

Cool post!

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Weed smoke and play and drink and think and then weed do it again. Over and over droaning out this mash of sound that for some reason seemed to captivate our interests....

 

but as you've said.. it was that our interests were shrinking and our ability to think outside the bag as it were... had gone up in smoke.

 

I still have the tapes of those sessions, some are 25+ years old and I tell you... to play them and describe what I could possible have been thinking is painful. It's simply that horrible!

 

.. like music, we should avoid becoming slaves to anything. Anything other than gravity that is.

I still think guitars are like shoes, but louder.

 

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All pot ever did for me was make me stupid. I dunno...I guess I may have been able to tap into some super-creative "zone", but I couldn't ever remember what it was I was supposed to be doing. Plus, I always had to get up and go find some Doritos.....

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Originally posted by Bluesape:

Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

[QB] All pot ever did for me was make me stupid.

 

 

WHAT HIM MEAN? :cry:

What I mean is.....uhhh.......ahhh.........................................ummmm..........................uhhhh...What were we talking about, man?......Has anybody seen my Doritos, man?...I'm starving, man....Wow, do I have a case of cottonmouth, man....I need a Coke....weren't we going to do something a while ago, man? I think it was a long, long time ago,man...what time is it? Oh, man...I think your watch stopped, man. I KNOW it was more than 2 minutes ago. Hey, wasn't there somebody else here a minute ago?.....Maybe he took my Doritos....didn't I have a Coke a few minutes ago?...Hey, man...roll another one..I think I'm staring to lose my buzz.....

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

Originally posted by Bluesape:

[qb]

Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

[QB] All pot ever did for me was make me stupid.

 

 

WHAT HIM MEAN? :freak:

 

What I mean is.....uhhh.......ahhh.........................................ummmm..........................uhhhh...What were we talking about, man?......Has anybody seen my Doritos, man?...I'm starving, man....Wow, do I have a case of cottonmouth, man....I need a Coke....weren't we going to do something a while ago, man? I think it was a long, long time ago,man...what time is it? Oh, man...I think your watch stopped, man. I KNOW it was more than 2 minutes ago. Hey, wasn't there somebody else here a minute ago?.....Maybe he took my Doritos....didn't I have a Coke a few minutes ago?...Hey, man...roll another one..I think I'm staring to lose my buzz.....

This emergency calls for a pizza injection - don't worry ma'am - were musicians. :D
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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I don't smoke, but I don't object.... except in drummers. Stoned drummers are a total waste of time as they meander somewhere close to the beat occasionally, probably by accident.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

[QB] I don't smoke, but I don't object.... except in drummers. Stoned drummers are a total waste of time as they meander somewhere close to the beat occasionally, probably by accident.

 

I agree, but drunk drummers fare no better. Still, ya can't sanction some members gettin' high and others not, based whether or not they serve a time keeping function. It's been my experience that many musicians consume heavily until they hit bottom. It's scary how many great players I know either need or have been through AA, and those that have are far easier to live with in a band.

Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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I played with a drummer years ago that was a great drummer as long as he was straight and sober. However, he developed a bad habit of getting completely wired on Meth. Then he had no concept of tempo. When we first hired him he wasn't doing that but once it started he just kept getting worse and worse until we finally just had to fire him. I saw him a few weeks ago in a convenience store and he looked TERRIBLE. He didn't recognize me and I didn't say anything to him.....

 

I think Willie Nelson has the best policy for his band members: "If you're wired, you're fired."

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Great thread.

 

God willing on November 13th I will hit my 6 months of sobriety.

 

This is what it has done for my playing.

I have come to the realization that I can't play. I haven't picked up the guitar except for a few times here and there.

 

It's called living in reality.

 

I'm off doing other things and as I say now I will learn how to really play the guitar when I retire.

 

Drugs and booze allow you to live in a fantasy land where you can actually waste years of your life with big dreams and nothing to show for it.

 

I wasted years. I try to live each day to the fullest. I'm in a race against myself. Time is running out, I want a happy life and drugs and booze don't allow that.

 

 

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Yeah, I'm not likely to have so much as a single beer, if I'm playing.

 

I generally put it this way: playing an instrument- and enjoying live music in general- is a 'substance' in itself, all on its own. Anything else detracts from it for me.

 

I can't stand it when someone is messed up on whatever and it's very, painfully obvious that it's affecting their playing for the worse; usually, they'll be in total denial of this, and even wave that tired old "it makes me better" bullshit flag...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I went completely straight a number of years ago. I have a beer once in a while, that's it. Not that I haven't done it all, the "been there done that" thing. I won't be casting the first stone at anyone. I do find it really really refreshing to be completely sober. No drugs, no booze. It's just a personal preference, not a judgement.

Music is to be cherished. I think it is a lifesaver, whether you are a listener or a player, and it's all the better when you have your wits about you.

Being straight can seriously curtail your social life though, as those who like to party slowly move away from inviting you in.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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Well I`ve been around both sides of the fence and it`s amazing how good people are at ignoring the fence. I don`t like to drink at gigs, not because of any horrible experiences, it`s just bad for the voice. But some drinks after, no problem if I`m not driving.

I have friends with whom I`ve smoked and jammed. I have those tapes too, it`s actually not that bad but no one`s pretending it`s going to set the world on fire. That was never the purpose.

I also know people who, one or twice a year, will set out for the woods, maybe with some friends, and eat mushrooms. The rest of the time they are serious, hard working people. They didn`t run in front of tractor trailers, set their house on fire or spend all their money on Krispy Kreme doughnuts. It saddens me to hear of so many crash and burn stories, I know it happens way too often but I don`t presume to tell people how they should be living their lives. In the end we make our choices and accept where it takes us.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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If you think pot is bad for your playing, don't get into cocaine. I was in a band that had started rehearsing about the same time as a serious coke dealer took a liking to us. We got a lot of almost free coke almose every day, and we'd do up enough to feel "creative" before rehearsing. When we were playing, it felt like God couldn't touch us, we were so good. We made the mistake(?) of recording the rehearsal one day, and man, did that screw up the illusion! IT 3was awful. We sucked! And the whole time, we thought we were denying the world the Next Big Thing by not making a record immediately.

Dope does nothing but put you in a screwy little Peter Pan universe where you can't really rell what is going on. The smart money doesn't mess with it.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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I dont believe in using drugs to "enhance creativity"...sure you can come up with some pretty crazy stuff when you're high...but then in an hour or 2 when your buzz wears off and you look back on whatever you were talking about it makes no sense and is just stupid to the point of being funny. The same applies to music in my experience. The only time i can see weed or alcohol acceptable at any gig is AFTER the show, but smoking or drinking before or during a performance will only make it worse IMO.

 

peace

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Wtih playing i can agree, i become a little sluggish at the guitar "not terrible though" and really just get tired. Listening to music on the other hand cant be beat like that. I love it, and probably always will. Im mainly talkin about weed here but listening to music on lsd is pretty sweet too. Ive never had the chance to play on it though. Congrats to all who have been sober, thats great, though i dont want to be there. Not that i do this stuff all the time. (pot like once or twice a week if that, and in the past like 3 months ive only done lsd twice). But yea do what makes you happy though and im proud of yall.
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Believe it or not, I have managed to never have smoked any weed. I know it would be enjoyable and enlightening, but I just don't trust myself being able to control it. I have an addictive personality.

 

All I can add to this discussion are my observations of other stoned musicians. I jam regularly with some friends all of whom are pretty good players and singers. But almost every party/jam at some point a group of them soes and smokes some weed. They come back and can hardly play at all. It builds my ego up of course hehe, because they sure think I sound good when they are stoned.

 

When my brother and I rented a practice studio awhile back, we noticed most of the other bands were mostly there to get high. They would get high first then maybe play. There focus was obviously not on music. The band next to us was "busy" writing songs. But in reality it was one song that they practiced for 6 months an I don't recall them ever getting through it without stopping.

 

One of the guys in the other room next to us asked me to record some of his acoustic songs for him. His band usually paid for studio time but he couldn't afford to do some of his solo stuff. So after him asking me for months to record him, I finally agreed to give up a saturday afternoon to do some of his songs. He tuned up on one song and sounded fine. He then proceeded to light up to "get in the mood". He couldn't play for 30 seconds without getting lost on his own songs after that. I am not a confrontational person so I didn't say anything but I was burning inside. He was like laughing and saying that he was fucked up and that we would have to reschedule. I just shook my head. Thats about time I decided to end my stay at that practice space. With all the drugs going through that place I was worrying about break ins or worse. There had already been some thefts as well as vandalism.

 

So, sorry for the rant, but this subject always sets me off. I believe there is a time and place for everything. I am sure that drugs are fun (at least while you are high). But you have to think about when you do them. If your band practices once or twice a week and all you do is get high, then you really have a problem. I am sure some people have higher tolerances and can actually be inspired by whatever they take. I personally like to have a few beers or drinks, but if I am playing, I keep it very moderate. I know that I cannot play the things I want to play even if I am only a little buzzed. I have had a beer on gigs where I am overly nervous ( I get stage fright) and it seems to actually help. But if I have even 3 beers in a night, then the 3rd set goes to shit. I only did that once at a paying gig and will never do it again. Save the second and 3rd beer till after the gig.

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Originally posted by Gruupi:

Believe it or not, I have managed to never have smoked any weed.

 

I know it would be enjoyable and enlightening... "

Maybe, maybe not!

 

Weed has generally made me just stupid to the point of stoopit; any enjoyment was more likely due to socially laughing and having a good time with others (yeah, I know, kinda redundant there), I mean I'm sure the weed was a part of it, but I probably would've had a good time anyways.

 

Very often, it just made me feel messed-up, unpleasantly dopey, and brought on headaches and a sore throat. And I certainly didn't even want to pick up my guitar then!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I say: weed is illegal--So don't throw me in hail for saying this, but....

 

There's a time for practice, a time for playing and a time for writing/composing/arranging. If it helps for writing for 30 minutes to 2 hours, and that's all you want to get done and getting high makes you feel more 'creative', then get high. Problem is, make sure it sounds good once you're sober, too. For playing, usually it doesn't help unless you've done your practice well and sober (from what I've witnessed/experienced), and I dont' think it helps at all for practice.

 

Coffee sometimes may help for practice, if you need to just "get to it", and sometimes for concentration when the practice requires you to 'mentally' or 'intellectually' understand some new concept or musical passage. But usually what I've found is that it's best to go into "practice mode" sober and with a 'naturally' clear mind, maybe so w/ playing. I know people who can play fairly well high or drunk, and we've all seen people like that hit the stage. Problem is, at least the ones I've known are high/drunk when they hit the stage, usually play FAIRLY well. In most instances 'the pocket' is gone... but they may feel they're more 'in the pocket' than ever, since many of these 'creativity' drugs just slow you down.

 

The problem I have w/ any drug, legal or illegal, is the habit. I hate having habits, feeling that I "need" something in order to function properly, satisfactorily, or outstandingly. It's enough w/ the guitar and the girlfriend, those are the only two habits I plan to keep--other habits get in the way of life.

 

But I have to admit I like magic shrooms :freak: , but I've never broken a law when it comes to these!!! :D

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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Originally posted by EmptinessOFYouth:

Wtih playing i can agree, i become a little sluggish at the guitar "not terrible though" and really just get tired. Listening to music on the other hand cant be beat like that.

Yeah, but going to concerts/gigs where there is intense , above-average musicianship, you may be enjoying it at the moment, but most likely won't retain what you heard in ordr to fully benefit.

 

Originally posted by EmptinessOFYouth:

listening to music on lsd is pretty sweet too. Ive never had the chance to play on it though.

I remember i saw DiMeola back in '87 on LSD. All I can remember is that there were some pretty cool finger patterns he was doing at a fast speed. That's it

 

I also used to do LSD at gigs, too. It's definitely not what it's all cracked up to be. You think it's this incredible supernatural experience while the buzz is on; but if you record it and listen to it later, you see very quickly that it's stuff you would've played anyway w/o the drugs

 

Also, it's all fun and games till some one who is your "friend" rats you out or leaves you out to dry and then you get chauferred to the Greybar Hotel.

 

Been there done that . . .

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Originally posted by MILLO:

The problem I have w/ any drug, legal or illegal, is the habit. I hate having habits, feeling that I "need" something in order to function properly, satisfactorily, or even outstandingly.

I should list: love, sex, music, sleep, food, guitar, shelter and some money in the pocket... Those things are enough for a happy existence (not necessarily in any particular order), and as such they should also be enough for a succesful-to-outstanding [insert life, creativity, career, anything...].

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

My MySpace Space

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i have never really noticed any improvement in my playing other than being more relaxed.

i don't get how someone would want to be in that condition continually. my friend was and now he is clean. he was almost annoying to be around when he was stoned. like watching grass grow.

all i have ever done was smoke a little weed. i have never done anything else.

my big problem now is coffee. i live on it.

i like being in control of my brain and i don't need anything to override my judgement.

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I don't know if there is 'absolute truth' regarding this topic. I posted about this probably a couple years back and it was a long thread.

 

I must say the bands that have impacted me probably smoked and did thier fair share of weed and drugs. example : Pink Floyd, Beatles, VH, Rush, Led Zep, Alice in Chains.. Does it make drug abuse admirable? Not really, but it does raise the question, do these altered states 'give' something to a musician/artist? There is certainly an immersive element in them that hyperfocuses attention on details that maybe wouldn't be a big deal if the person wasn't doing bong rips. Maybe it is a personal sacrifice..?

 

Of course in our society there is marketed judgement attached to the use of drugs, even though it is ok to drink whenever you want. I find this to be one of the blaring hypocrisies of living in the US. They attach such a negative spin on everything, then they have these funny/cute beer commercials programming society (from a young age) to believe that it is ok to drink tons of beer when watching sports or whenever. Everyone knows that alcohol is the WORST drug on the planet.

 

It is responsible for more deaths and violence than all of then combined. Wife beating, violence, murder, drunk driving, joblessness, dysfunctional families.

 

Alcohol and cigarettes are unquestionably the # 1 gateway drug. Not to mention the millions spent each year in lobby groups to separate alcohol & drugs in literature.

 

It is all big money in the end, morality is marketed to fuel whatever big money causes there are. Thats my opinion of course.

 

Does pot make someone become a slave to addiction? It can, but someone can become addicted to food too. We are the fattest country in the world, which is pathetic. Demonizing pot is worthless unless you are willing to demonize all of the other things that are wrong with society.

 

Anyways, my 'spin' on it. I hope nobody gets pissed!! Hehe

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Originally posted by flagshipmile:

Demonizing pot is worthless unless you are willing to demonize all of the other things that are wrong with society.

This is true. As a freedom loving American, I am for De-Criminalization of every drug and for any other purported "law" in which there is no party who was injured, damaged, or violated somehow as the result of another's action or duty breach.

 

In my first post, i should've included alcohol, too, because i was an alcoholic also.

 

It is my opinion that it is not necessary to alter one's consiousness to be creative or more creative.

 

I believe that full creative potential can be tapped into without the aid of extraneous chemicals.

I just said that was my opinion, right?

Well It is an opinion from personal knowledge and from both sides of the looking glass.

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When I was (much) younger, I probably never played a gig straight. I enjoyed it, it didn't seem like an addiction. I enjoyed playing that way and the band had fun, jammed a lot and people seemed to enjoy it.

 

These days I usually limit myself to a drink or two and NEVER smoke weed when I play. I just can't handle it now.

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well, I'm not trying to demonize anything. And in terms of personal freedoms, I pretty much think that adults should make up their own minds. I'm a bit of a partier myself, though I do things in moderation, and they are a social deal, not a lifestyle.

 

But my point still stands, in that few if any drummers that I've worked with can keep a beat after they get stoned. It may not matter with some kinds of music, but it certainly does with other styles. Amd crispness is lost, too. You wanna hear what I mean, listen to Robert Palmer's version of "Landslide" verses whichever one of the California Mafia chicks sang it... Ronstadt maybe? Nice vibe I guess, and I love the players, but it has no soul at all. Palmer's version is crisp and tight, the way a good R&B tune should be. Knowing the players involved and the time frame, I'm willing to leap to the conclusion that these Ca guys were stoned. Palmer's guys could have been,too, for all I know, but I'm just trying to show an example of what I'm talking about with crispness and soul. I like the snap that a good drummer puts down, and (again, in my experience..)few drummers that I have worked with have that snap or crispness when they get crispy.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by flagshipmile:

I don't know if there is 'absolute truth' regarding this topic. I posted about this probably a couple years back and it was a long thread.

 

I must say the bands that have impacted me probably smoked and did thier fair share of weed and drugs. example : Pink Floyd, Beatles, VH, Rush, Led Zep, Alice in Chains.. Does it make drug abuse admirable? Not really, but it does raise the question, do these altered states 'give' something to a musician/artist? There is certainly an immersive element in them that hyperfocuses attention on details that maybe wouldn't be a big deal if the person wasn't doing bong rips. Maybe it is a personal sacrifice..?

 

Of course in our society there is marketed judgement attached to the use of drugs, even though it is ok to drink whenever you want. I find this to be one of the blaring hypocrisies of living in the US. They attach such a negative spin on everything, then they have these funny/cute beer commercials programming society (from a young age) to believe that it is ok to drink tons of beer when watching sports or whenever. Everyone knows that alcohol is the WORST drug on the planet.

 

It is responsible for more deaths and violence than all of then combined. Wife beating, violence, murder, drunk driving, joblessness, dysfunctional families.

 

Alcohol and cigarettes are unquestionably the # 1 gateway drug. Not to mention the millions spent each year in lobby groups to separate alcohol & drugs in literature.

 

It is all big money in the end, morality is marketed to fuel whatever big money causes there are. Thats my opinion of course.

 

Does pot make someone become a slave to addiction? It can, but someone can become addicted to food too. We are the fattest country in the world, which is pathetic. Demonizing pot is worthless unless you are willing to demonize all of the other things that are wrong with society.

 

Anyways, my 'spin' on it. I hope nobody gets pissed!! Hehe

A lot of what you say was, at one time, true. Alcohol was, once upon a time, the most destructive drug in the U.S. (probably in the world if the truth were told), however, it has been replaced. Now crack cocaine and crytalline methedrine are, by far, the most destructive. They are responsible for more ruined lives, death, and violent crimes than all the others combined. They are much more physically addictive and destructive than heroin. The leading cause of serious adult burns in the Southeastern part of the U.S. is meth lab explosions.

 

Yeah, people can get addicted to all kinds of things...food, drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling...hell you can even get addicted to nose spray and laxatives. To understand why alcohol is a "socially acceptable" drug, you would have to go back through the history of alcohol and mankind. If it weren't for tobacco, there wouldn't be a United States (at least as we know it). We've learned to sort of co-exist with those two. Many of the illegal "recreational" drugs are far too destructive and dangerous to realistically even consider legalizing or decriminalizing. Marijuana would be the only one I can think of that might be a candidate for decriminalization, but I don't think that would be a smart move. Yes, we have our social problems with alcohol...no doubt about it. But I fail to see how legalizing or decriminalizing another drug or two is going to help that...seems to me that would only add to the problems. Another HUGE problem that people don't really talk about much is prescription drug abuse...hydrocodone, oxycodone, dilaudid...all very dangerous and very abused drugs.

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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