The drugged world

We all do it – we drug ourselves, and have done so for centuries and milleniums. We now use large amounts of neurochemicals or psychoactive substances, and people everywhere can now find and use substances that will alter their state of mind, or ordinary waking consciousness.

Behind it all is world trade, empire building, profit, power, distribution systems, taxation, restrictions – in many forms, erratic and not so erratic.

There are many drugs – as they are called – mild and strong, some medical or has been medical, some are just for fun. All can be abused, all can be made money from. They are globally available – the distribution system is efficient.

Alcohol, tobacco, caffeine are regulated and consumed most places, and used by billions of people. Income and taxes are huge. Opium, cannabis and coca are illegal in most places, but used by millions and in most countries. Income is huge, but the operation is mostly criminalised. Other substances are used too, but are not in the mainstream: kava, betel, qat, peyote.

The story of what has happened to humans in the history of drugs is not nice – many people have suffered.

Many drugs have gone from medicinal use to popular consumption, and methods of production and user interface have improved. As we were no longer physically hungry we used drugs to satisfy our increasing psychic hunger.

The power of drugs in an economic or political sense is clear: it has been and still is huge. Governments have depended upon them, and still do. The heavier stuff is now largely outlawed in most countries – and the consequences are large criminal incomes as the use perseveres.

New developments are under way – tobacco restrictions are increasing in many places. New chemical substances are entering the scene, more will come if there is profit and taxes to be had, and pleasure and food for the hungry psyche.

The story will go on – the kind of society we are building will be part of the future drug story. Those who need it can and will have it. The politics may change too. Cannabis is legalized in many countries/states, and more are legalizing it.

Cravings like these will always be met – legal or not.

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