Standing in the pub after drinking enough to loosen my rationality from its moorings, I find myself prone to being offered a line of really shit quality coke. The sort of stuff I would sneer at sober, in my right mind would I want to sniff laxative or some other rubbish, with a few weird yellow bits in which are probably speed if I am lucky from the cistern of a pub toilet through a filthy bank note.
Thousands of Londoners find themselves doing this every weekend. Many of them walk back into the saloon bar of a shit pub, with their feet sticking to the carpet and buy a round of drinks that cost far more than the cocaine did and puts them over their overdraft limit. This is something I have done many times.
Alcohol and stimulants are a wicked combination. If I drink too much I cannot sustain much activity and generally just go home and sleep. Alcohol removes my good sense and I might like to do lots of things I wouldn’t want to do sober including taking stimulant drugs. The stimulant drugs make me feel really confident and prepared to talk all the shit the alcohol bubbles up inside my head and allows me to consume more alcohol.
Ouch! Is how it feels in the morning and sometimes two days later. Cocaine and alcohol swilling round in my body produces cocaethylene which damages my liver. If the cocaine is not cocaine and another stimulant drug that is longer acting I might drink more and that would damage my liver anyway.
Discussing the prospects for a more liberal approach to drug control with fellow intoxicants, I often find that we come to an addled agreement that it would be very dangerous to allow people easy access to stimulant drugs. We will all agree that a regulated market in cannabis, LSD even heroin would be no problem at all. As we stand at the bar rubbing our noses and pouring lager down our gullets we will all agree that cocaine is a whole other matter.
Cocaine the dangerous drug, yes the really dangerous drug. The drug that even habitual cocaine users think cannot be legalised. Is it the beer talking?
Or are stimulant drugs that intrinsically dangerous for human health and happiness. It is their moreishness their never endingness their disinhibiting expensiveness.
How could a regulated market in stimulated drugs actually work?