We are made sick in this world. Fed on garbage and medicated on fear, our bodies are reaching their toxic limit physically and psychically. Who could tell us not to get fucked up, when we have to deal with genocide, factory slaughter, and the perpetual betrayal of our democracy and freedom. When the tortures of capitalist society circle our heads like a bloody carousel, where is there relief? This article will examine briefly the relationship between alcohol and marijuana and revolution.
We find solace in the effect of altering our perception and the routine of addiction. Alcohol is one of our favorites, of course, and we get drunk and act stupid and laws get put on the books and the drunks go to jail. It’s subject to absurd levels of social control and cultural stigma so that we have a hard time breaking from the mind numbing routine—drinking at a bar or a house flirting, hooking up and feeling strong/not-so-strongly about the experience.
It is a tool of and in some cases a pillar of patriarchy and a sustainer of the status-quo. Frederick Douglass said, “When a slave was drunk, the slaveholder had no fear that he would plan an insurrection… It was the sober, thinking slave who was dangerous, and needed the vigilance of his master to keep him a slave.” Major brewers and distillers target their products at the poor and restless to calm us so, ultimately, alcohol retards spiritual/anti-capitalist growth.
Marijuana is a whole other story—the Weather Underground stated in their Declaration of War against the United States: “We fight in many ways. Dope is one of our weapons. The laws against marijuana mean that millions of us are outlaws long before we actually split. Guns and grass are united in the youth underground.” The supposed benefits of bud are thus two pronged—the smoker is included in a revolutionary form of civil disobedience at every toke and their participation in marijuana culture connects them intimately with other underground elements.
Legalization would defer this underground fervor, but like the Prop 8 issue in CA, these are merely token gains for a disenfranchised community. The same situation applies to marijuana legalization. Although the state can now capitalize on (and thus influence) drug use, there will be no more steps taken towards stoner values of peace and sustainability. This is why token legalization must be avoided. We want a new society, not one that absorbs and compromises our values but maintains economic exploitation through imperialism.
On a similar note, psycadelics distribution in general—whether it be marijuana, LSD, psilocybin, DMT, or any other organic or inorganic little-addictive hallucinogen—is an excellent source of revolutionary fundraising. On top of the obvious benefits of expanding the minds of the people around you (and we need it, don’t we?), distribution can raise considerable amounts of under-the-table cash. This can be helpful if you’re trying to stay off the radar or if you don’t mind subverting the institution with a contraband hustle.
Popular media and even revolutionary media have been quick to support use of marijuana. That is because marijuana allows us to contextualize the metanarrative we’re in and at least brings us closer to a social truth than the capitalist’s reality. M-1 and Stickman often emphasize the importance of enjoying marijuana recreationally as well as remaining responsible and aware. They also elucidate how marijuana is used to alleviate the multifarious stresses of the capitalist living condition (class/wage struggle). Diving into substance easily muffles the pain of watching our brothers and sisters fight sometimes futilely. Despite these opiates we have to continue to struggle, sober or not for our tangible liberation and peace of mind.
– Jaguar Press