I’m sure it’s hard for most people, to take a stand
on this issue. Whether you have any experience
with drugs first hand or second hand
from those around you, almost everyone has at least been around drugs, and almost everyone has a personal belief about them. I never encountered illegal drugs of any kind until I hit college
, where I did every kind I could get my hands on. But then, I had a sort of ethic about drugs. Some were ok, like pot
, and hash
, but others, like coke
, and crack
, were not. When someone started doing the un-cool drugs, it was like they had passed over some boundary that we had, as a circle of friends
, loosely maintained for our own safety. Which is why I didn’t learn until years later that at graduation, all my male friends slipped away to do a few lines of coke before walking at commencement to get our diplomas. They knew I disapproved of coke and hid it from me out of respect. My ex, when I came to visit him in New Orleans
before moving here, neglected to mention his new regular use of coke until I was right in front of him. I ran down the street after finding out about this, picked up a pay phone and called the only person I thought of, Dylan
(one of the ones who did coke for graduation), who was no help to me. He said, “I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s not like he can get addicted. He doesn’t make enough money.” With tears streaming down my face in broad daylight
on a street I had never seen before that moment, I was not comforted with this consolation at all. Being able to afford
it was not the point.
It wasn’t long after that before I myself became addicted to coke. While it is easy to blame my ex for that, since he was also the gateway for every other drug I tried, I blame only myself and my very confused stand on drugs. Once you have allowed for any illegal drug, it is that much harder to have ethics on other illegal drugs based on severity. Most people, I’m sure, are better at it than I was, and they can be strict about one drug over another. Now that I consider myself drug free despite a handful of relapses that are pretty much few and far between, the time has come where I have to make up my mind about what I believe. My past experiences have made that hard, since I feel I will always be biased toward seemingly harmless drugs like pot or psychedelics. When I smell pot in the air, it triggers happy memories. I can’t help but look at my college days as being relatively enjoyed ones. I still own Cyprus Hill and Everlast albums, and then I own Consolidated albums that denounce drug use of all kinds, among other things.
All I do know is that when I quit doing drugs, I pretty much stopped having friends who did drugs. I changed my environment as much as I could, and I avoid those places in the city where I may be tempted to fall back into that pattern of living. In general, I keep the opportunities away so that I do not even have to make a choice either way, because even if I go for the next 20 years without so much as coming in contact with drugs, I will always be susceptible because I know myself and my tendencies.
As a Christian, I am expected not only to abhor drugs, but to adamantly oppose them as a platform on which my beliefs stand. But in the fallen world I believe we live in, it is hard to not adapt the lesser of two evils theory with things of this nature. I believe that the best witness for whatever you believe is your own life as its example, and I’ve never been prone to evangelizing to anyone that my beliefs are any better than theirs; I let them decide for themselves and try my best to be consistent. All I can say is that I believe that anything illegal is wrong in itself, since it always puts you at risk for punishment, and that, like it or not, the laws are in place for a reason and I will do my best to adhere to them. I am not likely to judge or condemn someone for their choices as they differ from mine, but I will voice my concern, since I have been there myself and I care about their welfare, as any human should. And, for my own safety, I’ll likely note their drug use and perhaps keep myself at some distance, not out of distaste for their person but due to my own known weakness around drugs. But I wouldn’t lord it over them, either. I would like to think that anyone who has heard my story would respect and understand that, if they respect me at all.
Reading Steven Soderbergh’s quote from the article I noded as traffic about human desire to alter perception has left me a bit nonplussed, because I too have craved that and found it in drug use. I think in general, the altered perception we get from drugs is the kind we would rather get through other means, which we are often unable to locate or seem too far out of reach. In my life, there has never been any drug that has given me what my relationship with God and other sentient Christians has, but that comes only through submission and obedience, things often looked upon as infringing on our rights as humans. My choice of lifestyle has not given me all the answers, to be certain, but it has given me a peace with which to work upwards, a foundation I can stand on with confidence.
For others, I think that their opinion about drugs can be directly related to their opinion about purpose, meaning, and nature of origin for us as a human race. If you do or do not believe in some higher power than yourself, I think that that plays into your beliefs on every other aspect of your condition, and your actions indicate your thought pattern. And I am no different, based on my experience with drugs. When a friend tells me he’s done coke, I stiffen; if he tells me he smokes pot, I humor him. If I had kids, I don’t know how I would feel if I caught him doing either. I will simply take that when it comes.
I’d been wanting to write this for some time because I thought that the perception of Christians, both on this site and in the world, might benefit from my story. We are not all judgemental, crass, cold hearted, two-faced, narrow minded goodie goodies. Some of us are just like me.