I had a sudden awakening as I was laying down on the cold hard bathroom floor at 5:30 A.M. clutching my stomach next to the toilet: I SHOULD STOP DRINKING ALCOHOL! IT’S POISON! WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF?!
There was no doubt in my mind in that moment of clarity that I had been drinking poison most of my life. Poison straight from the old country, Tuscany to be exact, in the form of red wine. I had drank a bit more than half a bottle several hours earlier, along with a pizza. If you have ever been a regular consumer of alcohol then you have probably had a few nights like this over the course of your life. Many of us have been known to pat someone on the back like they were an old warrior as they nursed a hangover at a greasy diner the next day. It’s all part of the romanticization of an addiction that some of us fall for. Like when I thought it would be cool to smoke because of product placements in my favourite childhood movies. Thanks John Travolta!
Like myself, and a large percentage of my friends, you have probably worked in a business where the consumption of this poison is vital to the livelihood of many people. Comedy, rock ’n’ roll, festivals and sports all rely on this poison as income. The city’s economy and government needs us to drink this poison! It’s encouraged!
I would not say I was ever an alcoholic. I truly respect those with addictions who have bravely taken steps to conquer something that has taken over their lives. I am not that brave. Nevertheless, it has been a large part of my life. When I was doing The GUILTY PLEASURES PODCAST I was enjoying beer with my co-hosts, romantic red wine every night with my wife and always a bottle of tequila on the go – my personal fave. I had visited places where they had made all of these drinks and I had fallen in love with them in a strange way. That was probably the closest I came to actually having a problem. Especially when I discovered alcohol could drown out the loud and obnoxious neighbour I used to live next to.
During Lent last year I just decided to give up alcohol for 40 days and nights. It wasn’t a religious thing. I was just curious to see what would happen. At the time I had been having strange disturbances in my gut. I had done every sort of test you could think of and a couple of emergency rooms visits where nothing turned up except that I was perfectly healthy. By the end of that 40 days without alcohol the strange disturbances in my gut had largely subsided. I did not miss drinking at all during this period. It was surprisingly easy to let go of. Much easier than cigarettes.
I began to question if I ever really liked it that much? The taste takes some getting used to. As they say, it is an acquired taste. I thought alcohol was revolting when I first tasted it. Were my taste bud’s initial rejection to booze my body’s way of telling me that alcohol is sour, disgusting and may kill me? My stomach is having a harder and harder time processing it. In the end it has given me nothing except a beer gut that doesn’t seem to want to go away.
So how did I end up drinking at all? I believe it was socialized into me. Growing up in the 80s alcohol and cigarettes were legal drugs – as they still are. Even though we knew back then – as we do today – that they both cause terrible health problems that can often lead to addiction, impaired driving and death. When the government allows this, taxes it and benefits from it you can safely say it is a government condoned drug. The other drugs we allow are the ones that doctors say are okay: opioids for instance. Opioids can lead to lifetime addictions and death. It’s the drug that killed the world’s most accomplished musician just last year. It is a terrible killer and these addictions start with Doctors prescribing them legally. Thanks Doctors!
Why do we accept these terrible drugs in our society? Is there a better alternative? Why are we still doing things we know are wrong from the last century where almost everything humanity did was misguided and treacherous to the planet?
Back in the 80s when I was growing up in Calgary there were lots of other drugs swirling around. Cannabis was the main alternative. However, it was illegal and was almost impossible to get a prescription for. The same as today in Canada. Ah progress. There was a part of me that thought that cannabis must be a really terrible drug. If it was “illegal” when cigarettes and alcohol were “legal” then it must be worse than those two things, right?
WRONG! In fact, the opposite is true.
Like most things from last century that were legal (like segregation and pouring led into the atmosphere) alcohol and cigarettes are terrible mistakes from a dark age before science took over. Everything we were doing back then was wrong (except some of the music).
In this century we are slowly coming to terms with the mistakes of the past. One of the biggest mistakes was misjudging cannabis – which is basically as harmless as a cup of coffee and has important medicinal properties. Anyone who has studied the science can see that it should be put into a different category than cigarettes and alcohol. Yet it is still unfairly demonized by an ancient “reefer madness” culture that prefers the disabling properties of alcohol, rather than the enhancing properties of marijuana.
One major example of Canadian hypocrisy in this area is our love for brain destroying games like hockey which they keep telling us makes you a real Canadian. Not surprisingly drinking beer goes along with this brain destroying sport. When you damage your brain in hockey one of the best medicines you can take is an oil extract that comes from marijuana. It literally protects the brain from trauma. But oops! The laws of the dark ages still prevent people from taking the very medicine they need. But the sport that damages the brain is allowed to continue. “I AM CANADIAN!” is what you are if you get drunk and watch the patriotic hockey brain-destruction games.
One important lesson I have learned is to stop believing what the government, police, media and medical community have to say about marijuana or alcohol. They have no idea what they are doing in this area and they have openly taken us down a path that has led to grandparents being addicted to opioids. Justin Trudeau’s legalization plan is just a reorganization of prohibition. It still punishes cannabis users in harsher ways than alcohol users. They have it all backwards. They like to pretend that marijuana and alcohol are equivalent drugs when they are not at all. One is a human medicine and the other is a human poison. The balance needs to shift the other way around. Alcohol needs to be limited and marijuana needs to be decriminalized completely. The victims of this 90 year prohibition need to be made whole again and their records cleared.
Still brainwashed? If you have evidence of someone throwing up violently into a toilet at 5:30 AM because of marijuana then please present me the evidence. I’ll be waiting. I now lead a new life where I feel better and I am saving money. That is all the evidence I need. I have made the right choice. Good riddance alcohol poison. Good riddance!
P.S. Now I’m addicted to Coca-Cola! Send help!