05/20/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Enabling the Needle and the Damage Done

I hit the city and I lost my band, I watched the needle take another man, Gone, gone the damage done... A little part of it in everyone... -Neil Young

As a former marijuana enthusiast, I admit that drugs are alluring. Getting into a higher energy state can be enticing. However, now that I know I can energize up more authentically without assistance from chemicals, I view the whole mess as a waste of time and a very dangerous activity. I dare to say drugs are not funny, nor helpful. Much of popular culture needles us into accepting them as a foregone conclusion instead of the forbidding flowering buds and fruits they are. While certain drugs might be okay in moderation, the hard drug game goes on because of the intentional promotion of addiction, intimidation and censorship. An accord must be reached.

Healthy energy is invaluable for quashing this problem. Einstein knew energy is exponentially grown from solid, real objects. Its import is massive. Yet what many fail to recognize in his famous equation is that energy can be organically "realized," e.g. made real. We can grow it ourselves and it can work with us. This is not a New Age idea: cultivating passionate energy, along with compassionate energy, is an old idea that results in co-passion. Basically, it's will power over power-as-control.

Thinking about will power as good-old-fashioned fortitude of the heart and head is a resourceful way to obviate much more than the drug wars. It can bring peace to political corruption, religious confusion and superstition regarding reality and our place under the sun. This is making belief newly mobile in the form of self-assured action, not addiction to old ways.

Even as people who are addicted to substances (or other habit-forming behaviors, such as sex) must seek help and wean themselves off of destructive activities, the well-heeled distribution networks must be seriously investigated and stopped. We can quite easily stop the suffering if we want too. We can quite easily do anything if we push the pedal to the metal and stop letting the petals sap us of our mettle.

Since the leaders have not shown they are seriously willing to end injustice, we must act now. Since we must act, we can. Journalists, citizens, friends, families and earnest politicians need to get on the government to press for clearer answers as to why there is such a prevalence of drug abuse. The insipid drug culture we spy all around us lacks equally visible page-one, headline inquisitiveness. I am a firm believer that openness is the key to solving any conflict. Yet, using needle exchange programs as an example, we may need to wean our culture off destruction. We need to recognize that in order to reach a workable solution, we have to see that the perpetrators of abusive addiction are themselves addicted to abusive pursuits (such as greed and violence). This is a step in the right direction toward a tie, instead of scapegoating. When we can all tie one on and substantively talk about our problems, then we have less problems.

This problem is far from the frontage road of our lives. To borrow an Obama '08 line: on main street, every family or group of friends has a mainline addict, beholden to a substance. In my contact with addicted friends and family, I have learned that while there are psychological factors to the drug culture (glamor and peer pressure), there is also a reality-based network of
people who make a cash-crop of cash off it. I think it's one reason why we're in Afghanistan.

There is a fine line between freedom and justice, because they are so closely linked. I don't know the perfect arrangement to balance legalization (because there is no perfect way) yet I do believe more conspicuous attention and investigation into the specious arguments about lack of ability to contain drugs is needed. Too many people of extraordinary heart, head and will I know have been and are hooked. Too many have died filling the pockets of the corrupt.

I don't mean to preach. (There are even non-spiritual ways to dig out of addiction.) Drugs have just affected too many people I know in a negative way. And they cry out for justice under the surface. People use drugs for whatever energy they're after or hiding from, yet drugs just sap us of our energy and make waste. Sincere investigation is not stupid. Censorship and sarcasm are less intelligent and enable less complete intelligence to drag us into wars for drugs.