1.19.2011

Day 3: Drugs and Alcohol

I've seen so many different faces of drug and alcohol use. I've seen what it does to people that are completely dependent on the substances and I've seen what it does to people that abstain entirely. That being said, I fully believe that there is happy medium that is somewhere between both extremes. And while the thought of abstaining from drugs and alcohol doesn't necessarily seem negative, it's the unhealthy prejudices and biases against drugs and alcohol that are detrimental.

I like to believe that I lie somewhere in the center of the spectrum. I'm sure all of you know by now my infatuation with wine, though it hasn't and hopefully never will, turn into a dependence. There is so much more to alcohol than just consumption, and I think that's where my interest comes from. It's the entire culture of wine; the natural beauty in the process behind growing and producing it; the fact that it can be enhanced by how you drink it and what you eat with it. Truly, wine is a culture. It has its own language and history and rules. It's a hobby, not unlike viewing a beautiful piece of art or creating an exquisite meal to share. In its purest intention, I fully believe that there is nothing negative about enjoying a good glass of wine with dinner every night.

Other alcoholic substances don't necessarily have to be dissimilar to the description of wine that I just gave. There are plenty of breweries producing exceptional beers that can be enjoyed in much the same way. The same goes for liquor as well. It's when people begin to abuse these things that the problems begin to arise.

I don't want to say that I have never enjoyed more than my fair share of alcohol. I'm sure my friends can tell you of plenty of times where we have gone out with the sole purpose of getting inebriated. Drinking, if done in moderation and with a group of trustworthy individuals to keep you in check, isn't necessarily a negative thing. Binge drinking with the purpose of blacking out and/or sleeping with strangers, on the other hand, may not be such a positive thing.

The topic of drugs is one that I am not personally familiar with, though I have seen the effects of drugs on individuals. I don't judge anybody for anything that they do, but that's not to say that I wouldn't rather people enjoy life without substances before succumbing to the temptation of an altered {some might say enhanced} experience. However, it's a personal choice, and I have already made my choice. As long as the actions of the individual aren't harmful to others, I can't impose my personal viewpoint.

I did, however, vote no on Proposition 19 {legalizing marijuana in California}.  My rationalization is this: we are already aware of the negative side effects of alcohol and cigarettes, though it took years for us to realize the extent to which both can be hazardous to our bodies and to others. Why would we legalize another substance without knowing the full effects? There is so much disagreement regarding how marijuana affects people that the truth isn't clear. And I don't want to legalize it now and then find out in twenty years that it is shown to contribute to some rare form of brain disease. It's a can of worms that I just don't want to open. Authorities {in California, at least} are already so lax with rules regarding marijuana; we should just keep it that way, and criminalize those that use the drug in a way that negatively impacts others.

So, those are my thoughts on drugs and alcohol. Thanks for listening.

xoxo,

7 comments:

Mrs. Bee said...

Perfect explanation. My views exactly. So.. when I decide to do the 30 day challenge you will let me copy verbatim what you just wrote for my day 3 right? ;) Great job. I can't wait to read more

Love,
Erin

Joelle said...

No! I want to hear what you have to say, in your own words, even if you think the same :)

Thanks for being such a wonderful follower Mrs. Bee.

xoxo,
Joelle

Rebekah said...

We have the same views! I think alcohol is ok as long as it's not overly consumed. I grew up with people that said any alcohol was bad, but I just think that if you're responisble and you don't over drink, it's fine.

Drugs, however, I'm completely against. I couldn't have said it better! I didn't know that it was so lax here in CA.

Megan said...

well said love. well said.

Beka said...

Definitely with you on that one.
I'm against drugs, personally. Painkillers are as far as I'll go, and softcore ones at that. (Vicadin creeps me out! haha)

I'd love to try wine someday.

Lyndsay M said...

I agree with you about the wine :) my hubby is a wine distributor, and through him, i have learned much about the growing process, enhancing the taste with food, the different regions it can be made in and how that can alter the taste, etc. We might have a glass of wine 6 days a week, but i think that's still moderation :) We enjoy it because it's delicious, not for the altered state effect!

andrea said...

I agree totally. And I love your reasoning behind voting no for Prop 19 - I had never thought of it quite like that, but you have opened my eyes. Well put, Joelle. Thanks! :)