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Read the previous chapter Risky Business

Unchaining the Human Heart
— A Revolutionary Manifesto
A Book by J. Neil Schulman
Chapter 10: High Times

Let me start out by saying: I don’t do drugs.

What a fucking liar I am!

I just had a travel mug of high-grade coffee. Okay, I cut it. I mixed dark Sumatra beans with decaf French roast. I do that because if I keep the amount of caffeine down per mug of coffee, I can do two or three mugs per day. But make no mistake. I’m mainlining the maximum amount of coffee each day that my body can tolerate without giving me heart palpitations, insomnia, indigestion, lower-intestinal distress, leg and foot cramps, and bouts of hyperventilation. I take both calcium and potassium supplements daily to balance my electrolytes and counteract some of the most harmful effects of caffeine.

But make no mistake. I’m a java junkie. The Mormons have caffeine alongside alcohol on their list of prohibited stimulants. And let’s not forget George Carlin telling us that coffee is the low end of the speed spectrum.

One of the reasons I tend to believe that Native Americans may be the Lost Tribe of Israel is that we have in common not having a lot of tolerance for alcohol. I think I’ve been drunk only two or three times in my life, because my first drink makes me sleepy and a second drink just puts me out.

But I do enjoy drinking.

I like sipping twelve- or eighteen-year-old single-malt Scotch, or the better Jack Daniels called Gentleman Jack, or Tullamore Dew, or Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey, or a decent Cognac. But this is a rare pleasure for me these days, because these are empty calories and I’m on a constant diet, and because alcohol is a contraindication for the oral Diabetes medications I take.

When I was writing my second novel, The Rainbow Cadenza, I had an almost-year-long writers’ block after completing only the first three chapters. I received a letter from my editor — who had paid me an advance and was awaiting the manuscript’s delivery — that read, “Your lateness is no longer amusing.” I knew I needed to find a way to get past this and turned to drugs. I got into the habit of beginning to write late at night, and started each night’s writing session by making myself a Kahlúa and coffee. The coffee woke me up. The Kahlúa anesthetized my fear of writing.

I finished the novel in less than three months.

When I was sixteen I was prescribed Ritalin by a doctor to help me with weight loss. All I remember is that a Ritalin and a cup of coffee was the greatest high I’ve ever had. But Ritalin also gave me excruciatingly painful leg cramps so I quit taking it pretty quickly.

Of course I’ve tried marijuana. I never bought any but I was in groups where joints were being passed around and I toked when it was handed to me. It was mildly pleasant but never really did much for me, and it gave me a hangover. I certainly don’t need any more reasons to get the munchies. So I can’t say, personally, that I’m a fan.

Years ago I was offered all the cocaine I wanted. I never tried it. I knew what drastic effects caffeine had on my metabolism and didn’t feel I needed anything that would dump noradrenaline into my system any faster.

The only opiate I have any experience with is codeine. It never got me high but I still think Terpin hydrate with codeine is the most effective cough syrup my parents ever gave me as a child.

I’ve experimented with cognitive enhancing supplements like L-Phenylalanine — and the Omega-3 fish oil I take is supposed to balance out my serotonin levels — but the effects are so mild, and onset so slow, that none of them really belong in a chapter about getting high.

And that’s all he wrote for my personal experience with mind-altering and mood-altering drugs.

Zoologists tell us that many animals consume plants and other substances that alter their behavior. Anyone who’s lived with a cat knows how catnip works. If we lived in anything approaching a sane society, alongside the book Everybody Poops in the children’s section of Barnes and Noble there would be another book called Everybody Gets High.

Getting high is, when broken down to basics, the pursuit of feeling good. There are people who either don’t want anyone to feel good, or only to feel good with their permission.

If — at no time in your life — it has never crossed your mind that you need to go to a doctor to get a permission slip in order to buy a product that you will use on your own body, then it’s my sad duty to report to you that reading this sentence, right now, is the very first time you have ever encountered the concept of freedom.

If having been awakened to that missing thought you are inclined to make excuses for that lapse of knowledge, or argue with me that it is in any way justifiable, I’d also like to suggest to you that you have been thoroughly brainwashed.

Or you may be one of the brain washers in which case, go fuck yourself.

Freedom starts with ownership of your own mind, body, and soul. Unless you are a child, incompetent, or convicted criminal who needs a keeper, anyone who stands in between you and your right to have absolute control over what does or does not go into your body is attempting to be your ruler.

Are there risks to taking drugs? Of course there are. Read back a chapter about risks and benefits. The question is not whether there are risks of bad outcomes from ingesting mind- and mood-altering chemical substances.

The question is who decides — you, or your Master.

Now, one of the things about having a mind that is subject to effects from living within a physical body is that the mind’s ability to make decisions can be chemically impaired. Decisions made while impaired may well be irrational, irresponsible, and dangerous.

So what? There are lots of people who I’d trust drunk or stoned to make decisions that might affect me before I’d trust lucidly conscious people who are simply evil. If they represent a threat I suggest self-defense, in the same way one would protect oneself against an out-of-control machine or a wild animal. But a non-specific possibility of danger is not a sufficient reason to deprive adult human beings of their self-dominion. There needs to be an actual threat.

So, yeah, I don’t have a problem with taking the car keys away from a drunk. But bringing back alcohol prohibition because there are drunk drivers isn’t a solution you get from mothers. It’s a proposal made by motherfuckers.

One shouldn’t need a permission slip from a government-board-certified physician to smoke marijuana if you think it will help you survive chemotherapy, or help with your eyesight.

If you’re in pain, the management of that pain shouldn’t be in the hands of a doctor who’s scared shitless he’ll be the one making the perp walk if he gives his patient enough narcotics to make the pain go away.

If you believe Peyote or LSD will help you see the Face of God, no Narc should stand in your way with a devil’s pitchfork.

And if meth labs were legal in industrial districts, we wouldn’t have houses igniting neighborhoods in the suburbs.

Drug prohibition is responsible for empowering organized crime domestically and a Narcocracy on the United States’ southern border so foul that the stench of corruption and death reaches hundreds of miles north. Then we wonder why Mexicans will endure unbelievable hardships just for the chance to exchange their bedeviled country for ours.

But I’m not here just to make a case for the freedom to take drugs.

I’m also here to make the case for the freedom not to take drugs.

Nobody has the right to drug you without your consent and I believe that is one human right extending even to children. We have a priest class calling themselves psychiatrists who instruct parents to drug their children with psychotropics that have never even had clinical trials on children. Of course experimenting on children would be evil — so let’s just give them the drugs untested, huh?

Then we wonder why some kids go crazy and try to kill as many people at their school as they can get in their sights.

Tyranny has at least as many dire consequences as freedom. That may be a hard comparison to make because freedom has so rarely been tried.

But that’s one clinical trial, as far as I’m concerned, which is long overdue.


Next in Unchaining the Human Heart — A Revolutionary Manifesto is Chapter XI: Man and Superman

Unchaining the Human Heart — A Revolutionary Manifesto is
Copyright © 2010 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved.

My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available for sale or rental on Video On Demand. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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