I have returned to being addicted to drugs; that’s to say, talking about them. I’m always looking for reasons to readdress the topic, and now I’ve found two – a couple of visions of that I consider erred with regard to this issue. One I found in the civic education textbook for the course taught here in Cuba at the secondary level; the other one came from a comment about my diary entry in Havana Times.
Browsing through my niece’s textbooks, one day I found the book that they gave her at her junior high school. I began to look through it out of curiosity because during my student days there didn’t exist a similar area of subject.
It’s a very interesting textbook that tries to prepare adolescents for adult life, its problems and responsibilities. It also touches on the issue of human rights, (which is surprising given that until very recently, even mentioning that word here on the “farm” was a delicate matter).
The book is written with a basically moralistic tone, and it is as blind to the errors of the Cuban political system as it is fervent about pointing to such failings abroad. Nevertheless, I consider the book a first step worthy of praise.
Or perhaps I should say that it’s commendable up until it deals with the question of drugs, though I find it good that it attempts to tackle that issue. However, it reproduces the lies that are ordinarily present in official discourse concerning these substances. For example, the sole distinction it makes is between drugs that don’t affect one’s behavior, such as coffee and tobacco, and those that do – all others.
The consumption of these latter ones, says the text, “…enslaves people, ruins their health, destroys families; generates extreme violence as well as murder, suicide, organized crime; and generally destabilizes society.”
This is false; not all drugs produce these calamities. There exists a group that stimulates consciousness and love (biological genera containing psilocybin mushrooms, the peyote cactus, the virgin seed morning glory plant, LSD, and others: in short, entheogens). Notwithstanding, their other effect is to the contrary, though there are also the intermediates between these extremes.
Consumed responsibly, entheogens are generally innocuous and do not produce dependence since coming to awareness is often harrowing. This does not mean that no risks are involved, but they are minimal in relation to the benefits that are offered.
The anonymous authors of this nonsense have been sufficiently honest to say that “since ancient civilizations humans have incorporated the use of different drugs in their social systems.” Nonetheless, they lack the courage to conclude that is not consumption in itself that generates such disasters, but consumption that is irresponsible and uninformed.
In a previous diary entry, which was also about drugs, a person commented about the official position: “To begin with, it doesn’t make distinction between chemically processed drugs and natural plants that increase consciousness, because while the former ones can have harmful physical effects, the second type doesn’t. While hard drugs were created by the system itself in its search for new mechanisms of dominance, psychotropic plants that come from nature have been of tremendous support to human beings throughout history.”
I agree that certain substances can increase consciousness if they are dealt with appropriately, while others make people sleepy, but I disagree with all the rest. Not all “natural” drugs increase consciousness, nor is chemical processing realized by people something negative per se.
Not all drugs (I don’t know if some) obtained artificially have been “created by the system in search of mechanisms of dominance.” Such generalizations could confuse those who wander down this dangerous path.