Boy, I am really torn on this one, folks.  A judge has decided that it’s legally OK to take drugs if you believe in the god of an Ashland, OR church.

By now, readers of this blog are quite familiar with my views on both religion and drug legalization.  Why the world had to go and combine these two bits of fuckery is beyond me at the moment, but, ah shit, c’est la vie.

So, let me get this straight – if I espouse to believe in god, and show up at the doorsteps of the Church of the Holy Light of the Queen, I can get some tea laced with dimethyltryptamine?  Damn, almost sounds like it’s worth signing up for!

I read in the Oregonian that  “[t]he church, which blends Christian and indigenous religious beliefs in Brazil, uses tea brewed from the ayahuasca plant in their services” and “the tea is the central ritual and sacrament of the religion where members believe ‘only by taking the tea can a church member have direct experience with Jesus Christ’.”

Yeah, we’ve heard that type of shit before, right?  From your favorite pot-head friends?  “Dude, this shit helps me, you know, think and stuff, expand my mind and shit.”  Don’t misunderstand me – the drug laws in this country should be swept out the door, which would allow your favorite pot-head friend to get high at his own leisure without unnecessary fear of retribution, would clean up the jails and would free up the police to pursue real criminals, like pedophile priests.

So why should the religious wackos get to have some hallucinogenic fun while us non-believers get busted for buying, selling or possessing the same shit?  On the one hand, I am thrilled that the courts are seeing a reason why drug laws should be circumvented (we non-religious devotees have been screaming this from the hilltops for years).  But on the other hand, we’re seeing that, because we’re all so terrified to stand up to religion, we just bend the rules, hand out a free pass and call it the Religious Freedom Restoration Act so that the Native Americans can have their peyote and these hippy dippies in Oregon can have their Daime tea.   Fine, let ’em have it, I say, but I also say, let us all have access to the same mind expansion without having to believe in gods and spirits and other imaginary creatures.  One Oregonian reader’s comment to the online story stated that the only hallucination here is a separation of church and state.  Amen to that.

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Drugs should be legalized. Period.

I’ll tell you why they should be legalized, and then I’ll tell you why we’re still waiting.

I can’t buy a dimebag of pot, which won’t harm anyone – in fact, it will, at most, stimulate my appetite, make TV-watching much more entertaining and perhaps arouse anti-government sentiment and conspiracy theories – but I can pick up a six-pack of Bud pounders, the main ingredient of which is alcohol, a drug which has most likely caused more death, destruction and misery than all narcotics combined. Funny that ol’ Uncle Sam should give his blessing to alcohol – a downer that dumbs you down when you consume any amount of it. But all the drugs that expand your mind and your perception of reality – marijuana, LSD, cocaine, heroin, etc. etc. – are available only by willful criminal activity. The last bastion at the moment is salvia divinorum, a hallucinogen with which I’ve had only a handful of experiences but has produced an expansive and euphoric awareness that I’ve very much enjoyed. So far, it is still legal in most places – only because Big Brother hasn’t caught on to its true essence yet. Mark my words – the days of illegal salvia are coming.

Drugs should be legalized for the purely economic reason that if they are regulated and taxed, then the subsequent revenue could easily wipe out state and national debt. But in the spirit of wanting the average John Q. Taxpayer to arrive home from a day of laboring for The Man and be able to enjoy the expansion of his own mind by chemical means, then I can see no stronger argument for legalization.

Now, I’ve argued with folks before about this theory, to which I always hear the “what about alcoholics?” argument – meaning, of course, that the drunk’s drug of choice is a readily and widely available legal one and that the legalization of these other drugs would make them similarly available, thus producing a society riddled with addicts – to which I say: society is already riddled with addicts – not only due to your typical ennui, but also due in some significant way, I’m sure, to the very demonization assigned to illegal drugs which is meant to frighten us away. Put simply this way – have you ever told a child not to do something and then the child goes and does it anyway? Every parent knows by heart the fact that admonishment of this sort doesn’t work. You vilify something, you say “Don’t touch” or “Don’t do this” and it makes the idea of doing that much more exciting and dangerous and desirable. Sure, drugs are addictive – so are coffee and chocolate and nail-biting and relationships and masturbation – anything is capable of forming a habit in the human brain. As long as there is a psychological need to be filled by some substance, the nature of the substance itself is immaterial.

I think we’ll be waiting a very long time for Rite Aid brand marijuana because as long as the masses are kept busy with things that dumb us all down – alcohol, cigarettes, baseball, NASCAR, CNN, American Idol, etc. etc. – then we won’t revolt and demand something better and more stimulating.