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May 4, 2014 | by  | in Conspiracy Corner Opinion |
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The Mores of Perception

Despite their commonplace use in society, drugs will always be seen as a mysterious ‘other’, simultaneously fraught with wonder and danger. Nonetheless, it is no secret that the first-time user tends to be a Columbus to the mysterious continent of drug culture; you may think you’ve hit on something new, but in truth, many, many people got there before you. But you wouldn’t know it, because of the necessity to keep it secret. And as most users know, necessity quickly turns into habit.

The conspiracy I see weaved about drug culture is how often drug users perpetuate the mystery behind something they want to see made mundane and non-stigmatised. Unfortunately, this cannot be helped. There are those who legitimately want to obtain their vegetable or mineral of choice legally without wasting 20 questions on the dealer, but the public perception, even among those who are sympathetic, continues to be marred with uncertainty as to what exactly they are promoting.

The obvious illegality of weed, LSD and their brethren created an exclusive community of those who use such substances. The rule seems to be, “If you haven’t tried, you’re not allowed in,” and you have to leap through hoops to even understand what they’re on. It’s the old catch-22 of applying for a job to get experience, only to learn you need experience to get it. I believe this is mostly due to a lack of information, something that is slowly being rectified by the ever-democratising internet.

We live in the age of the drug connoisseur. An experienced user can mix and match anything from weed and LSD to ketamine and horse tranquilisers, and then write about the experiences of their highs online. Internet communities such as those who frequent r/trees and r/drugs on Reddit have sprouted up in following these chemical chefs. For those who don’t feel brave enough to open the door, it provides a peek through the keyhole into how exactly people use drugs, and for the experienced, it gives them something new to pursue. The fostering of such communities, especially those dealing information as well as substance, would hopefully serve to educate on the dangers and safe use of drugs, preventing potential overdoses and lines to abuse, somewhere free from the watchful eye of unsympathetic authority. This joint venture ensures the safety of future generations of jokers, smokers and midnight tokers.

Of course, this is nothing new. Scientific aristocrat Aldous Huxley famously wrote of his experiences with mescaline. He believed the human mind was evolutionarily designed to be closed off to abstract thought, and that drugs naturally facilitate the “opening” of the doors to perception that all humans desire. As always, I believe the key lies in information.


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