Is that you?
I bet you identify with them at least a little. Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke is rightly hailed as classic comedy that really, for drug users, never gets old. (In case you haven't seen it, here's the original trailer on Youtube.) And I think part of the reason we are so enamored with Cheech and Chong and their ilk (like Pineapple Express and Knocked Up) is the mouth-watering depictions of the truckloads of drugs they always seem to have. But we also laugh, almost nervously, when they get pulled over by the cop and have to dispose of the drugs-- by swallowing them. We've been there. Possibly in the unfortunate situation of getting busted, but more optimistically that first-trip anxiety. When Cheech first figures out that what he swallowed is LSD, he panics and babbles, “It's going to make me freak out, man. I've seen those guys that had too much acid. Their heads look like a pumpkin, man.” Hopefully, we know what we're taking, but we can never be truly prepared. We drug-users laugh along-- we love these movies because, despite the lack of realism, we understand the characters and their desire for awesome drugs.
But unfortunately, Cheech and Chong are also a perfect example of the negative stereotypes attached to drug users. They are portrayed as bumbling hippie vagabonds who smoke weed like it's their job-- because they don't have one. Are stereotypes like these valid? Occasionally, yes. However, drugs like marijuana, LSD, and shrooms also attract successful and intelligent people, from writers and artists to Harvard scientists. Have you seen or read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? The author, Ken Kesey, was inspired to write his classic novel by a peyote trip, and now it's read in English classes. And one of the prime proponents of the hallucinogenic movement of the 1960s, Timothy Leary, was a highly educated psychology professor. That's not even including the many musicians, like the Beatles, who decided to enhance themselves with substances. (I'll go into furthur detail about these important figures in future posts, because they're some of my heroes.) An underrepresented group continues to trip in the same spirit of these pioneers, but this is something the world seems to have forgotten.
I know I'm not the only person that feels this way about hallucinogens. We, as users, have been portrayed as wacked-out and brain damaged, but I disagree wholeheartedly. So finally, we have arrived at my statement of intent. I'm writing it for the smart people who appreciate the artistic and visionary potential of hallucinogens, who expand their brains instead of dulling them. Topics will include pertinent science, laws, literature, music, and other fun stuff for smart hippies.
Until the next time I post, have fun and happy tripping!