GATEWAY DRUG (PART 2)
Uncle G’s Corner
The 420 Special
Topic: Gateway Drug?
Why is it no one says that drinking beer, will only lead later to drinking whiskey? Said as a warning. That a person drinking only beer, will one day certainly crave a stronger alcoholic beverage. Yet, it’s said with pot. Smoke weed one day. Shoot up heroin the next. Designed to be instituted as an automatic thought process. Not that it’s bad to scare the kids. I feel cannabis users should be at least 18 years of age. Am comfortable with them waiting till age twenty-one. Even if it don’t seem practical. Another one of those old enough to go to War and fight for our Country, but not old enough to drink a beer (which is fine in moderation for certain individuals) situations. Regardless of my experiences. This having everything to do with full body development, including that of the brain, of our younger generations. The mass message that using cannabis will lead to what I think of as real drugs, known to cause harm mentally and physically ….heroin, or crack just to use as examples, it can’t be anymore wrong.
Drinking only beer one night, as compared to only smoking cannabis, is in my opinion, the worse choice between the two. Here’s a fact. Consuming too much alcohol could lead to alcohol poisoning. Simply put, a person could die indulging in this activity. Up to that end of game move, they also could have more than likely, inflicted damage to other living creatures. Animal, or human. It’s a shame that the drunks don’t only hurt themselves. Just saying.
Smoke a lot of cannabis, and odds are you would be too stoned, to even get up out of the chair you were sitting in. At least for a while. And when finally getting up to walk to the bathroom, don’t make a wrong turn and accidentally find the kitchen. Beware the munchies! You’ll never leave that room. On top of this, it’s virtually impossible to smoke oneself to death. I like that. Score one for pot.
It’s true. I consumed a ton of weed in all the time I’ve been smoking it. Two other guys and myself once tried smoking a quarter pound of grass. At one sitting. Method of consumption; bong. Regular pot. Columbian. Girls we knew got wind, and crashed. Just as well. Lesson learned by me that evening was that a person can only get so high, smoking weed. Once you hit that plateau, it’s a waste of weed smoking it anymore. Nowadays with weed having higher THC counts, only a small amount of it needs to be consumed, to get that medicated feeling.
Reefer will help to stimulate your senses. It’s like your brain going zero to sixty within a few seconds. Once the THC is in your bloodstream, away you go. Accounts on the person. If in good health, and having no issues, cannabis should increase the odds of having a good day. While under the influence, let’s say you watch a movie. The popcorn tastes better. The movie is more interesting to follow. Alcohol is a depressant. Too much, and your body starts shutting down. Oops. Let the cat out of the bag. It’s true. Certainly sounds like fun (said sarcastically of course). Am sure I came close to that several times.
At age seven, my Mom passed away. Alcoholism. Not a quick death. Whiskey drinker. In the hospital mainly the last few years of her life. Yellow jaundice. Hepatitis. Wet brain. Whatever other problems. I always remembered her. She didn’t at all times remember me. Speaking of memories, most are not pleasant. One would think going through the experience, that I would stay away from the bottle. Didn’t happen that way. I was drawn to it.
My own alcoholic like journey, started right after Mom was buried. My Dad, who was a heavy drinker himself, rushed me into the Catholic religion. I was baptized. No more public school. In the third grade, it was now a Catholic education. Saint Mary’s of South Amboy, New Jersey. Here came communion. I became an altar boy. One benefit of this, was that I was able to be alone, behind the altar. Preparing for the mass. A little wine for the priest. A little wine for myself. I still remember the warm feeling in my tummy, it would give me.
Between ages seven and eleven, my Dad raised me. Mostly in bars. Coke and potato chips were my favorite. I dunk the chips with the bubbles in it, in the glass of coke. The chip bubbles would then fill up with cola. Right in my mouth it went. Delicious! Wise Potato Chips. Yummy! Bet it’s still a favorite of pot heads up North. While also at the bars, I got into music. Played CCR on the jukebox. My memories are filled of the 1960’s top ten pop songs.
In the early 1970’s, my Dad had a stroke. Paralyzed one side of his body. He was a tough one. Still got around. When I was eleven, one day he had another stroke. Paralyzed from the neck down, this time. A massive heart attack that night, did him in.
Now in Manasquan, New Jersey, and after my Dad’s death, I moved in with an Uncle & Aunt. By age twelve, I drank enough alcohol one day to get totally drunk. I remember coming too in a shower, my friends Mother was giving me. Good thing she was a nurse. I was sick for almost three days.
Had weed by now also. My Uncle & Aunt had two boys, older then me by a few years. The oldest one smoked pot. I would steal some of his.
Hanging out with older kids now. Drinking more. Kicked out of my Uncle and Aunt’s place, and then my first foster home. Second foster home threw me out as well. By the time I’m fourteen, I’m into the fourth home since my Father’s passing. Living in Long Branch, New Jersey. Regularly smoking weed. Drugs entered the picture.
This newest foster home seriously didn’t care. Only about the monthly checks. No adult supervision. Jail. Detention centers. Way more then one. Had my first probation officer when I was age twelve. Lasted till I turned legal, which back then was eighteen. Time on probation kept getting bumped up, with every new thing I did. I survived the experience. As I stated before, peaks and valleys. Am sure it reads like a horror story. It wasn’t all that bad.
Sometimes I got lucky. Was forced by court order, to visit Rahway Prison in New Jersey, so I could participate in the Scared Straight program, a week AFTER they filmed the movie. Like Maxwell Smart would say; missed it by that much. So close. The documentary was hugely popular, and frankly I would have hated to have to been in it.
As luck would have it, I was yet again arrested after completing the Scared Straight proceedings. Imagine that. Not scared straight. Frightened sideways perhaps? Fleeing from a runaway stolen car. That’s what they call a car after everyone inside it, bails out while the car was still proceeding, forward. Judge suspended sentence. Was warned if I was ever in front of the courts again, that I would have to do the time for what the charges were in this case, and whatever other time for whatever else I did. Oh, in a maximum ADULT security jail. Seeing how I was like seventeen then. A social worker I had advised me to take a tooth-brush with me before the trial. Close one.
A saving grace was that I always was a hard worker. Specializing in semi-skilled labor. Passed on college. Marriage number one, was a total failure. Was a foster parent. The kid called me the male provider. We never bonded. No relationship. She liked my ex-wife better. It was really when I was in my early thirties, that I started to pull my head out of my ass. Cannabis stayed with me off and on, till I quit everything back in ’92, and got to know myself better.
Looking back now, out of everything I did back then, cannabis truly, hurt me the least. Matter of fact, I was only smoking that when I decided in the early nineties that I’d try to turn my life around. Yet again. Failed a few times before that. Didn’t matter. Was disappointing putting pot aside. I wanted the totally straight effect. Knew one day grass would be back in my life.
I wonder to myself. I said; self…..has my experience with pot shown that it was a gateway drug? Answer being; nope. Booze and drugs were. Both opened lots of doors. Alcohol seriously releases the inhibitions. Made me search for other highs. Pot never did that. It always made me feel somewhat content. When smoking pot, I’d hang around the ones shooting coke in their arms and always say; no thanks. Nice folks that they were, they always leave me a corner of the bag to snort. One night when drinking, and there was no pot, I said yes to the persistent question of did I finally want to try it the right way.
In a field. In the Carolina’s someplace. At night. A group of us gathered around the headlights, so we could see. I said yes, and they came down like vampires. Acting all happy. The needle was prepared. In it went. Was the best high ever. Experienced in a field, in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful dark night sky. Lots of stars. The weather, and temperature was perfect. As I already knew it would be. That’s why up to then, I didn’t try it. That’s the problem. It’s a new game now.
You chase that first high. It was that incredible. At first I controlled it. Silly drug addict. Coke controls you. Still, I kicked that and alcohol back in 1986. Almost died doing so. Detox was horrible. The itching from all the needle holes healing in my arms, drove me crazy. I would have dreams, seeing myself shoot up. So vivid. Took a couple years getting Lady Cocaine out of my system. I stole for her. I’d help steal window air conditioners, and sell them for coke. Me and a guy who had one fake leg, and one real one. Stealing kept me on three day binges. Weirdest thing is going to bed on Wednesday, and waking up Friday. Almost went to jail for that drug. Glad I freed myself from its clenches. One of the worse mistakes I ever made, was getting seriously involved with cocaine. One of the best things I ever did, was getting it out of my life.
See what happens with no parental guidance. Today, I’m cool with everything. I took responsibility for all my actions. Got rid of what some might call, the nasty habits. Read a BIG book. Tried to salvage some of my religious experiences. At least make sense of them. Found a good woman. Came to terms with really heavy issues. One was I decided, that my Mom was sick. Nothing personal. She didn’t drink herself to death, because she hated me. A little boy will think that. Regarding my behavior; I brought the bottle to my lips. The pills to my mouth. The needles to my veins. Nobody’s fault but mine. From then on, I dealt with it. Took full responsibility for my actions. Carried on. And it’s been a work in progress, ever since. The last time I displayed self destructive behavior, was around 1992. The time before that, was way worse. Mid 1980’s. The cocaine days.
And now in 2011, I just smoke pot. Medically speaking; helps with stress….helps me relax….helps me have fun. Helps me sleep. Medical benefits. And sometimes, I just enjoy getting high. The older me, having fun is staying at home with the wife, smoking a couple bowls, and watching television. Having a nice dinner. Enjoying each others company. If circumstances are different, and I’m home alone, I can keep myself entertained. I like listening to music. A BIG part of my life. I write, using the computer. Keep myself busy. I imagine the man with everything, continues to crave more. Like an obsession. I’m of course striving for better, but content having what I do. Cannabis is an asset in my life. Not a liability.
Here’s a big question. As bad as I was in the past with booze and drugs, why is it pot isn’t motivating me to go back to using them again? In August of 2009, or sometime close to that, I decided to continue my use of cannabis. Smoking pretty much daily, ever since. Why no gateway effect? I certainly qualify. If anything, I’m the damn red flag. “Warning Will Robinson!” I’m not even smoking cigarettes. People figured if I smoked weed, that I would pretty much automatically go back to smoking cigarettes. In a previous entry, I mentioned this. It has not happened yet. Still cigarette free. Since November of 2007 (what the hell — worth mentioning again).
I think it’s because, pot don’t really do that. A side effect of cannabis isn’t that you’ll predestined to advance your use of other substances. Drink screwdrivers all night long, and then on the way home, contract a Sexually Transmitted Disease. Pot don’t do that.
People get confused. They socially smoke cannabis. Then go out drinking. The effects of the weed disappear. The effects of the alcohol take over. In some cases, here comes whatever other drug, like cocaine. Later on coming forward is a good-looking lady in a black rubber suit, with a long whip in her hand. Pot don’t do that. My experience is that sex is enhanced when under the cannabis spell. So it could make that situation at least, somewhat more entertaining. And finally, my conclusion is that this gateway talk, is pure nonsense. A tactic used to help keep pot use controlled, and or illegal.
Don’t be afraid to debate this. Do the research yourself. Remember the difference between someone like me remarking from experience, and someone who only knows what they read in books. Question where the so called facts, come from. Apply your own logic. The next time you hear about how using pot will certainly lead it’s users to other illegal drugs down the road (notice how there is never any concern about the legal ones), tell them to knock it off. Shout when you say; “Uncle G thinks you’re full of crap. Nonsense I tell you…NONSENSE.” Laugh, turn around, and then walk off. Logic never seems to work with these people. Maybe irritation will?
Onward Through The Fog,