I must begin this post by stating my fervent belief in individual self-determination. I don’t mean this in the Ayn Rand / Gordon Gecko manor of greed being good and sticking it to one’s fellow human as a desirable matter of course, but rather in the vein of personal responsibility. I don’t feel it is one’s duty, or even within one’s rights to tell another what he or she may or may not do with his or her own life.
I don’t believe any drug or act should be illegal if the only one to suffer the consequences is the one who partakes of it. Cigarettes, heroin, alcohol, and all the rest bring about their own punishments. If one drives recklessly or commits some terrible act while high, the crime is the act, not the intoxication.
One’s personal freedoms should have no limit save the point at which they impinge upon another’s. Should one choose to use or abstain from intoxicants, it is his right, and his use or avoidance thereof signifies nothing as pertains to his personal character.
That being said:
There are several rarefied feelings of which I am very fond. An opiate high while sick is one of them. I have been ill for more than two weeks at this point, long enough for me to break down and see a physician, something as someone who spent several bad years in and out of hospitals, I am loathe to do.
After feeling terrible for so long the current counter-feeling, the complete physio and psychological relief come of the codeine cocktail dissolving in my stomach is close to what I imagine Nirvana or the self-assuredness of the totally unquestioning might feel like. The blanket of disconnection from reality born of the the cold remains, but gone is the suffering of the body, replaced by comfort and happiness. I am the immaterial pilot of a pleasant cloud. I can function again, if only in a diminished capacity.
Because I am ill and someone in an office wrote me a note, I am legally allowed to ingest opiates. As an adult, I’m legally allowed to purchase alcohol or tobacco. None can argue honestly that these, especially these together, are safe for any human to consume regularly or in large doses, yet there’s no legal injunction against doing so. Marijuana, on the other hand, is expressly illegal, even having never killed anyone. Before I’m accused of being a nothing more than a pothead motivated to advocacy by self-interest, let me assure you that I have no personal stake in it. I’ve smoked weed before and found it wholly disagreeable. But my enjoyment of it doesn’t matter, I still think anyone who wishes should have the right to use it. I don’t like vanilla ice cream, does that mean no one should be allowed to have it? One could argue that people would be healthier if they didn’t eat ice cream, but one could also make that case for alcohol and fatty foods, two things not only legal but of highly accepted social standing.
This is the beginning of a much longer argument, one which I intend to approach on and off over the coming weeks. My initial intent for this post was to write a note containing little more than “I feel better because I’m on drugs, wee” but as with most things about which I write I have strong opinions and I wished to share them.