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I created this page because I am really fed up to daily see peoples destroyed by tobacco. Not grossly physically destroyed as with heroïn, alcohol or cocaïn, but subtly destroyed in their mind by this perfect «Big Brother» poison: still able to lead a «normal» life, such as pursuing egocentric strategies, hearing at rap «music» or building nuclear plants, but just the little spark of understanding of life, poetry and happiness is missing! And I am especially angry when it is persons to whom I consecrated much efforts and sacrifices, who are perverted by «youngsters» or «buddies»!
The westerner democratic societies all forbad drugs, for the reason that the freedom to use drugs can only lead us to suffering. However alcohol and tobacco are exceptions to this forbidding, as they are an old custom in these countries. But they arise the same problems as the other drugs:
This tolerance to dangerous practices make difficult to protect ourselves, and especially to protect children. This is paradoxical, when there is a heavy repressive arsenal against la marijuana, however no more dangerous than tobacco. For this reason I created this page, to make available all the arguments and considerations against tobacco and alcohol, in a co-ordinated manner.
When we speak about forbidding tobacco and alcohol, then some do not miss to shout «fascist» and «intolerant». In reality in this case it is the forbidding which is a warrant of our freedom: without smoke nor alcohol, we are free to think and to live cleanly, and especially we are far more easy to tolerate... for the others! Before shouting that their freedom is threatened, the supporters of tobacco and alcohol should show clever and responsible enough to first behave in a way respectful of the freedom of the others! Especially while not attempting to make new adepts (especially among youngsters) and while not imposing to the others the consequences of their conduct: passive smoking, violence, accidents, bad family ambience!
Otherwise, so bad, but there would remain no other solution than the TOTAL FORBIDDING, applying to tobacco and alcohol the laws already in use for the other drugs. Before going so radical, emergency and immediately efficient steps should be:
Some may think, about forbidding, to the negative precedent of the prohibition in the United States, which favoured gangsters more than a sane living. In reality the failure comes from the fact that this prohibition was founded on unhealthy puritanist motives, and experienced like a restriction, and not as a protection of our freedom. Anyway any efficient political step always fired up a fascist or populist reaction, thus requiring enough intelligence and political will not to be trapped into these miserable arguments.
Some hypocritically proposed to legalize drugs, to limit consumption! In reality what is forbidden is always less practised than what is authorized. In forbidding all without discrimination at least the attitude of the society would be coherent and really motivating.
The drug users point at some so-called «moralists» defend the forbidding with in fact hypocritical motives, such as fighting a way of life different of their. But these antisocial motives do not deprive of any value the arguments against drugs. On the contrary, as I myself observed into several «alternative» movements, drug created here as much havoc as into the «normal» society, and it was among the main causes of the failure of the Hippy movement. So anybody who claims to defend any «advanced» social view has much more reasons to refuse drugs, including tobacco and alcohol.
Some users of tobacco, alcohol or other drugs, think that the forbidding has a putitanist motive, such as condemning pleasure. I think that this argument is very relevant, and if this unhealthy puritanian motive was the only one for condemning drugs, so we would have to defend the freedom of using drugs. But unfortunatelly using drugs gives an immediate pleasure only at the cost of much more suffering and havoc in the future. So we can validly renounce to drugs, in the name of the search for happiness and a really long lasting pleasure. Il this struggle for life, we can condemn drugs without any need to make any association with these puritans. Anti-pleasure puritanism and anti-consciousness drugs are just two evils which seem to fight each other but which in reality collaborate.
Peoples living in Muslim countries where alcohol is forbidden, should see there a chance, rather than an obstacle, as it is really the forbidding of alcohol which guaranties us the freedom to live with all our human faculties, without this pan attached at our tail. The aspiration of peoples for freedom is right, but when the first freedoms obtained are smoking and drinking, then they only exchanged an enslavement against another. And those who think that westerner countries are paradises where everything is permitted, should try to come here with their tanned face and unemployment card, just to see how things really go on.
The physical effects of tobacco are well known: lung and throat cancers, breath troubles, unfavourable action on many diseases. These effects are serious enough to call for forbidding. But these physical effects must not hide the psychological effects, as much serious or more, and as serious as that of other drugs.
To say that tobacco has large psychological effects may surprise some. The problem is that WE DO NOT PERCEIVE THESE EFFECTS, as we are IN A SOCIETY OF TOBACCO USERS: all the psychological or intellectual standards were established by tobacco smokers, or on their example. But if we were in a society with marijuana as the common standard, in turn its effects would go unnoticed and the effects of tobacco very obvious. Simple matter of perspective.
But for everybody not already conditioned, the effects of tobacco are really obvious.
For instance, IQ tests indicate the capacity to logical reasoning, but not of other forms of intelligence, intuitive, non-conceptual, sensitive. It is precisely these forms of intelligence which would be attacked by the alkaloids of tobacco. With its exciting action, it favourizes the dualistic intelligence, the domain of activity, of self-defence, of action and its means, and inhibits the non-dual intelligence, intuitive, the domain of sensitivity, of contemplation, of meanings and of purposes. This is very visible in the case of the defenders of nuclear power, very at ease in complex engineer calculations, but unable of simply considering the simple reasonings and human friendly motives of the opponents.
Neurology tells us that the various brain circuits are activated or inhibited by neuromediators (chemical substances assuming a messenger role), thus activating or closing the corresponding consciousness faculties: relfection, emotions, calculation, sensitivity....But at every moment we keep the freedom to use any other consciousness faculty, and immediatelly neuromediators activate the required brain areas. Drugs act in usurping the activity of the neuromediators, activating certain peculiar brain areas, and thus systematically blocking others. WE LOSE THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE WHICH CONSCIOUSNESS FACULTY WE USE, ONLY A PREDEFINED CONSCIOUSNESS REMAINS. And we do not realize this, exactly as when driving a car we do not see an obstacle hidden in the dead angle of vision.
More accurately tobacco would reduce affective capacities, sympathetic or subtle, favouring the strategical, dualistic or conflicting aspects. The tobacco user only has an intellectual experience of affection, of subtle emotions, of aesthetics, when he does not simply completely miss them. Also he has only an intellectual understanding, or simply no understanding, about the great choices of life, such as being altruistic or egocentric. I remember that, in the social meetings I attended in the 1970', that the thicker the smoke fog was, the more abstracted and far away of happiness the debates were. These smoke-enslaved leftists were only able to turn a merry altruistic ideal into an intellectual strategy problem.
But the most common trouble I noticed among tobacco users may be the loss of free-will: even knowing that his behaviour arises concerns, even if he can do something about this, the tobacco user has troubles to change his problematic behaviours (all his behaviours, not only tobacco). Even if we see him take decisions and commitments, he cannot follow them, he even forgets them, in a matter of months, and even of hours. I think that this oblivion of our very own consciousness realizations is the most recognizable symptom of tobacco use. And certainly the most frightening.
These problems certainly have serious consequences on the personal happiness of the tobacco user, who perceives life through a haze which hides him all subtlety, all poetry, al significance of life. But there is also a social hazard, when thinkers, scientists, politicians, teachers, corporate leaders, trade union leaders, and even psychologists and sociologists, all perceive life through this screening fog. So how could we be astonished if the decisions of all these peoples so often miss of elementary human sensitivity!
We could assess that all the great reductive ideologies, capitalism, rationalism, scientism, materialism, fundamentalism and pharisaïsm, are only possible with the narrow-mindedness of tobacco. As a matter of fact, all the dictators favoured the use of tobacco. For instance the Chinese fascism introduced it in all the colonies of this country, together with alcohol, prostitution and gambling.
At last all the tantric masters state that tobacco forbids the great yogas only able to actuate our full human potential. To obtain such a dreadful result, there must really be a profound alteration of consciousness.
The physical effects of alcohol are well known: cirrhosis, heart diseases, coarse and redish face, unfavourable action on many diseases, bad smell.
But these bad physical effects of alcohol must not hide the psychological effects, as much serious or more, and as serious as that of other drugs.
While favouring coarse feelings, physical, strong and meaty tastes, alcohol unfavourises the world of the feelings, sensitivity, whithout speaking of the subtle poetry or transcendances, which become unreachable.
The psychological effects of alcohol at the time of a crisis are well known (unbalancing of emotions, confused mind, motion troubles, ridiculous behaviour). But the psychological effects of the dayly intoxication with «small» doses are also known, at least better than that of tobacco: materialism, triviality, bad temper, aggravation of conflits, loss of will, loss of the responsabily sense...
On the countrary of tobacco, these effects are known enough to be considered as an offence in divorce cases, or when driving vehicules or machines. As a matter of fact, at time of drinking the individual is aware of the possible consequences, and thus responsible.
Alcohol at low dose in rare or unique occasions, however has a psychedelical effect which made it advocated in many religious ceremonials (from the Dyonisos cult to the catholique mass) and in some tantrical initiations, for purposes of uninhibiting feelings or sensuality. However, one must keep to a really very occasional consumption: only some doses are enough to destroy this psycheledical effect, which is anyway not waranted, nor clean, and never indispensible. This initiatic effect thus forcibly implies an... initiatic use!
My opinion is that we could classify drugs in three categories:
Drugs of the first two kinds, whatever they are «soft» (without destroying effects visible in the short run) or «hard», are all to abandon, as they have no real interest. Only tea can be accepted, as its moderated effect favourises concentration without occulting anything else.
The case of drugs of the type of marijuana is more complex. It is quite obvious that some must be forbidden, as very dangerous (LSD, ecstasy). Peyotl and psilocybin would not have known secondary effects... because there are no studies on these rare substances!
A strong tendency in the 1960-70 was to ask for the freedom to use marijuana, and even LSD, for their supposed potential of positive transformation of the human mind. Alas experience yelded quite few positive results: the transformation of our minds can only result of a long run psychological work A little psychedelic kick can be helpful, but is not really indispensible. Anyway, without perseverance into concentration and dayly spiritual work, it will lead nowhere, it will be only a glimpse without consequences, a visiting card received from paradise, but without the address of the sender. This can even produce a «spiritual dependency»: to prefer an illusory realization in smoking than a real profound work. There can even very easily be a psychological dependency, and I met peoples who were really unable to be happy without their joint, and even peoples who became unable of the most basic social behaviour. At Katmandu, at the great epoch of the hippies, it is said that the king has asked to his Lamas to test marijuana, in order to understand why all these westerner youngsters went to Nepal to consume it. «We obtain the same effects with meditations for beginners» they told. Perhaps the king laughed, but since marijuana is forbidden in Nepal.
Worse, recent studies seem to show harmful effects of marijuana in the long run, which make its regular consumption not advisable. What I whitnessed incites me to think that these nasty effects may appear with only some joints. After, with a mechanism similar to that of tobacco, the marijuana smokers would lose the freedom to choose which consciousness faculty they will use.
Anyway smoking marijuana arises the same cancer hazard and respiratory diseases than tobacco, as there are the same cancer agents in hemp smoke than in tobacco smoke. And even much more, as there are no filters to joints! (Confirmed by Pr John Henry of the Imperial College School of Medicine of London, who states about ten of thousands killed by cannabis smoking.)
But the more idiot is certainly to associate marijuana with... tobacco! As the effect of these two drugs is opposite, they cancel their «advantages», but without forgetting to additionnate their nasty effects!
More recently, the hip-hop-punk movements ask for the legalisation of marijuana and even of more dangerous drugs. The problem is that these hip-hop-punk movements do not look at any expansion of consciousness, but on the countrary its degradation. Anyway no lesson was retained of the hopeless failures in the 1960'! About French presidential elections in 2002, most of the candidates clainming to be «progressists» (left, extreme-left or «greens») asked for more freedom to smoke marijuana. So we can absolutelly not be astonished of the result of these elections, and even not to regret it. It is clear that these peoples are intellectuals who never had to assume a friend or children dependent of hemp smoking. These revendication are, at best, demagogic, giving a very bad image of freedom and democraty, populist, laxist and relativist, which would have loss any notion of protection of the citizens. As for myself, I did not voted anti-democraty in the second turn (which opposed the right wing to populist extreme-right), but I also had not voted for marijuana supporters in the first.. Ah if these peoples had read the part on logic of my book «General Epistemology», they could have understood why revendication seen as «progressist» thirty years ago are today perfectly reactionnary!
The above peoples also state that to legalise marijuana would control the proliferation of traffickers and limit health hazards. This is perfectly false: legalizing alcohol and tobacco never eliminated the health problems they created, and to eliminate traffickers in this way, we would have to legalise all the drugs!
So the supposed advantages of marijuana do not balance the real hazards of a regular or wild consumption, out of any spiritual guidance. For this reason, my opinion is to legalise nothing. At best we can tolerate some traditionnal or spiritual uses: -Peyotl in a chamanic context -Alcohol at small unique dose, or symbolic dose, in the mass or some tantric practices. -Marijuana, in some tantric practices of Hinduism. But the danger of a legalisation in these cases is to see these authorisations diverted by sects (nasty or fake spiritual groups) or transformed in pretexts for a non-spiritual consumption. For this reason I propose only tolerances, which would have to be established (or cancelled) by organisms in charge of monitoring sects or authorizing religious congregations.
Using drugs for medical purposes is regulated by procedures for authorizing medecines. There is nothing to say, except that some prejudices may have, or still can, produce delays very harmful for ill persons. For instance, morphin was forbidden for a long time, when it is the only real cure against strong pains (and without danger, at medicinal dose). Another example, an homeopathic medicine based on cannabis was forbidden in France... even if was required to consume thousand tons at a time to have a noticeable psychological effect!
The industrial use of hemp by-products, advocated by some ecologists, still suffer from interdiction or suspicion on the real purpose of this cultivation. To stop this, its promoters would select varieties without cannabinol, as it was done with colza without erucic acid.
In a more general way, addiction can happen with many other things than with noxious substances, it can happen with TV, games, money... A basic trend of the human mind is to go toward what produces pleasure, so we can be addicted with anything pleasant. And we can forbid noxious substances or activities, but not pleasure! The general solution here does not come from law, but from individual psychological/spiritual work and understanding. Often going toward the immediate satisfaction brings more pain in the future, for instance when we indulge in having a sexual intercourse with an unknown person, despites the hazard of serious diseases. So seeking only the immediate pleasure is awkward. The skillfull approach is still to seek for pleasure, yes, but with a much larger view, where one builds a real long run happiness from gathering its real causes and mastering desires and emotions. This is more difficult, but at least we do not need to ask to legalize this!
Considering the seriousness of the effects of tobacco, many peoples already wonder if it is really honnest to sell it. Are all our small retailers scruppleless dealers? Certainly not, but about great international compagnies, reality could pass over our wildest expectations. So we learn (French Yahoo actualités, november 1, 2002) that the European Union sued several great tobacco compagnies (Reynolds, Phillip Morris, Japan Tobacco) about an incredible smuggling network, concerning tobacco, drug, weapons, even involving saddam hussein and the PKK terrorist organisation!! Several procecutions are going on in the USA. Large scale mind control are also used, especially with the well organized falsification of science results on effects of tobacco. Let us point at Ragnar Rylander, a swedish «independant» hygiena teacher in the University of Geneva, who published «studies» claiming the innocuity of passive smoking. In fact he was funded since thirty years by the cigarette maker Phillip Morris, and numerous other cases are under investigation. (French review Sciences et Avenir, n°2667, May 2001, Page 38)
If such informations are true, so there is no difference between tobacco traffickers and the other drug traffickers, nor in their methods, neither in their nasty effects on health and society.
Forbidding tobacco and alcohol will certainly foster the loss of «very popular» «cultural traditions». I think that it is not really a pitty: there are many other ways of relaxing, chatting, meeting, than around a drink or choking in smoke. And ways really affordable for everybody, not only for «adults» or «among men»!
The disappearance of trades linked to tobacco (planter) or alcohol (wine grower, oeno«logist», dealer...) can be considered by some as a serious problem. However, it would not be the first time in mankind history that technical of custom improvements make disappear whole parts of society! But a strong forbidding would really bring great sufferings to the producers. For this reason a social approach seems better: to allow for a reconversion for all these peoples, or to start other activities. Especially wine grovers could easily produce grapefruit juice, which misses today. In the case of cocaïn or opium, it is now well recognized that the key is also in the reconversion of farmers, not in gasing the last wilderness regions.
If we are hooked to tobacco or alcohol, or to any other drug, we must consider very seriously this situation, and prepare ourselves to a sustained effort. Some peoples success, so it is possible. But there is alas no miracle remedy, and whoever was one day addicted to any kind of dependency is for the remainder of his life weakened toward relapses. So a constant vigilance is the only possible way.
The first cigarette, the first glass ARE THE MOST DANGEROUS! If we accept them, then we are compelled to accept all the others and we renounce to the freedom to stop! As a matter of fact, it is far more difficult, painful and uncertain to stop any drug that to refuse it...
It is far more interesting NEVER TO START. The difficulty of not starting is NOTHING AT ALL compared to that of stopping!
The peoples at their first cigarettes or first glasses often have the illusion that they are not hooked. So they go on... until they discover that they are really hooked!
At a pinch, maybe shall we taste once smoke or wine, story of «not making of this a taboo»: this experience must vaccine us definitively against this horror.
We must clearly understant that:
Some intellectuals are asking for the legalisation of all the drugs, including the most dangerous, under the pretext that it would be the interdiction and the «war against drug» which would cause the problems. In this sweet vision, legalisation would magically end dependancy, transmission of AIDS, road accidents caused by drugs, and violence caused by trafficking...
I allow myself to stand against this intellectual swindle: in the name of freedom, we should let ourselves become slaves of one of the most cruel forms of dependancy in existence, and remove already insufficient legal protections?
We however have a blatant exemple right under our nose: the legalisation of alcohol never suppressed the problems, and alcohol remains one of the great causes of car accidents, disputes, divorces, mistreatments of children, etc.
This argument remains an argument of sophistics, where the opinion of a (supposed) majority would become «legitimate», independently of any ethical concern or scientific evidences...
To take drug will always remain a masochist self-destruction process, a refusal to accept the free consciousness and the marvels it allows us to enjoy. To offer drug, or to encourage it, will forever remain a fascist and totalitarian aggression.
I do not like war, but I feel in solidarity with the soldiers who expose their life to fight the fascists trafickers, whatever they are narcos, FARCs, talibans, etc. This war may last long, but it will last only as long as there will be people to imagine that drug is something good.
The true solution is here.