Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Pot and Nicotine: A Balanced View


You want to do everything that is reasonably within your power and ability to protect loved ones from the ghastly effects of dangerous drugs. We also feel the same way.:) But there is one solid principle that must serve as a boundary-creator for me in the work of nonreligious spiritual education, and that is this: As much as I might sincerely care for students, I cannot afford, for many good reasons, to try to "parent" them.

Those who are beyond their early twenties, and have good and fully functional minds, must make independent adult decisions in their lives. They must further do so without my playing the part of "daddy" to their "little girl or boy." So, for the sake of their mental growth and spiritual independence, I do not, will not, "impose" rules and regulations upon them-- or anyone else. I will serve as only advisor and consultant if needed in those capacities. So, although I will also try to protect them when that response is appropriate, that role is also limited. They do not need, or want, my "protection" as little girls or boys would want and need it.

The second part of this response is that some mild psychotropics, when used with care and moderation by adults, threaten no harm. It is far too easy for people such as we (pisces), who might have a special vulnerability to certain drugs, to label them all as "evil." In a silly extreme, used only for effect, this implies that a person who uses aspirin is indulging in "evil."

If a person has a job, relationships, and other responsibilities, and is handling all those responsibilities, fulfilling them all in a responsible way, and chooses to use pot once a week, or otherwise infrequently, this might not be harmful at all. Of course, we must balance this perspective with the recognition that, for another, the use of pot only a single time could have a destabilizing, even devastating, effect! Some people should never touch the stuff! For them, only a single use can be disastrous!

Re the source of your worry, the nicotine patch: As was mentioned at the group-gathering, we were discussing using only a quarter of a patch, only once or twice a week, to aid dream-recall. This low dosage does not threaten any toxicity to the system. And it clearly does not threaten addiction. We agree that cigarettes are highly, terribly toxic and very dangerous, but we were not recommending smoking them at all. I have, in fact, tried this experiment myself, with no residual addiction or cravings. So, your reference to smokers, who are in great danger, is a matter of comparing "apples and oranges."

To be clear, for the record: We never, under any circumstances, recommend smoking tobacco regularly, or the regular use of pot; both can have extremely dangerous consequences. In fact, we strongly recommend against the frequent use of any mind-dulling or mind-affecting drug. For this would be spiritually arresting, and might even reverse any spiritual progress. But we also feel that the use of a fourth of a nicotine-patch, used perhaps only once every few days, will result in no damaging effects. It is very good that you asked about this matter, for it gives me an opportunity to clarify it, with crystal lucidity, for other students and clients; this info will be used in our infosheet, "The Universal Love Digest," and will further explain the issue to others.

So, thanks very much for your inquiry; and thanks even more deeply, and sincerely, for your obvious concern for our dear friends. If you have any further questions, or if there is anything that needs expansion or clarification, please do drop another line or two to us.

No comments: