Not the side effects of the cocaine
The other night, your unreliable narrator and a lady friend, who will be called Monella in this piece to protect her anonymity and because she hates being called that, were canoodling in the lobby of an apartment building trying to avoid the satanic cold that is currently besieging Southern Ontario, when a young pub and property manager asked the two of us to leave because we clearly did not live there. It was a fair request, but being right sauced, it us an ungodly amount of time to register the request- the young man angrily estimated “45 seconds”- before we politely agreed to leave. In a snap, he was screaming at us in a highly agitated state, which led Monella to say the worst possible, but really most accurate, thing to him: “Please calm down. You’re acting like you’re on cocaine.”
At this point, the bar owner, who we will call Dust Man to protect his anonymity, turned into the drummer Animal, screaming obscenities at Monella and threatening to call the police, after we were now already outside of the building, presumably for suggesting that he was on cocaine and not simply a raving lunatic; however, if you’ve ever worked in a pub, you know that the manager could well be either a coke head or a lunatic, and is most likely both.
Which brings me to the point, such that it is, of this story: I can’t stand people who are on weasel powder. Singing in a band and having accidentally become a cook, I am frequently around people who powder their noses and then proceed to behave like hair-triggered, he-men chatterboxes until I fear they will either start throwing punches or, even worse, never shut up. It’s unfathomable to me that people think conducting this sort of expensive psych experiment makes for a good “party”.
I believe that narcotics, like marriage, are something that everyone should try at least once in life to see if they like it. However, every time I’ve tried cocaine, I just wondered who in their right mind would spend that much money to get sober. Coffee’s cheaper and acting like a motormouthed imbecile is pretty much free. Throw in paranoia, nosebleeds, making fairly poor decisions that seem like the-most-amazing decisions, sexual problems, and in some cases having a heart attack or becoming Mayor of Toronto, and you think, my gosh, perhaps Mötley Crüe was wrong after all!
It’s perhaps part of our modern comedy of manners that one feels compelled at this point in condemning drugs to also clarify that they’re not providing cover for the War on Drugs, which seemingly everyone who has given much thought to the topic, left or right, agrees has been a vicious, stupid evil and a colossal failure. In a sense, the advocates of narcotics decriminalization have it easy in that they really need to do nothing but state the obvious about a militarized legal apparatus that, in many cases, serves only to punish addicts for punishing themselves.
However, we could all stand to speak more openly about why and how so many people misuse narcotics, along with seemingly everything else. I’m not convinced that we really understand what spiritual voids are filled by addictions, much less why some people develop addictions, others do not, and quite a few misuse various products to the point of being dysfunctional, but not yet addicted. This seems to be the big unanswered question: what about those many drug users who are not chemically or psychologically dependent, yet use drugs in such a stupid way that they cause just as many problems as addicts when they’re using?
The conversation seems to have stalled somewhere, even as the advocates of decriminalization gain ground. Aside from the obvious problem that these advocacy groups seem to pick the sort of spokespeople that square society is more likely to point out to mall security than actually listen to at any point, I don’t hear much from them about making a drug positive society that could work. Perhaps they could take a page from the guns rights groups, who are, after all, also advocating for the responsible and legal use of products that pose serious dangers if used incorrectly. The National Rifle Association and other groups teach responsible gun use. Perhaps the drug decriminalization people could create a course to teach young people how to use narcotics without becoming lunatics, addicts, or intensely annoying.