Getting High ... Legally

by Eric Feuer, SUNY Cortland

Posted in on Friday, Oct 30

A recent article in The Guardian, a prominent British news source focuses on how a staggering number of people are getting high "legally". One of the interesting facts is that for the first time, legal drugs are beginning to make a dent in the annual survey of drug use. Whether it be using nitrous oxide to do whipets, mixing cough syrup and Sprite-Lil Wayne's drink of choice- or buying over the counter products such as salvia or Spice, which is popular in Europe and has an effect similar to marijuana.

Tom Lamont, the reported behind this article decided to go to a head shop to do some investigation into legal drugs. For those of you who don't know, a head shop is your one stop get high spot. You can buy a bong, or maybe a bowl if you want to start small. Need to clean your bong? Pick up some 420 cleaner, or perhaps you're just looking for something to mask the smell of whatever it is you are doing in your room at 3 in the morning, watching re-runs of "Cops".

Lamont, half expecting to find a bunch of products that barely work, asked the head shop owner about his merchandise. "We don't sell much that doesn't work, but some things work better than others." One of those products that does "work", is Spice. Released in 2006, it was recently under investigation by the UK's Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs, and come 2010 it will become illegal to sell or possess. This marks the first time a legal recreation of a substance has been changed to an illegal product.

Some people have even made the legal drug business their main source of income. John Clarke and Jo Hall, recent college graduates sell legal substances from their very own home. "It helps pay the bills", says Clark. "We sold to a couple in their 30s last month. It was their anniversary, a weekend without the kids, and they wanted an interesting time. I think you'd be surprised that our customers are not just 18-year-olds wanting to get high. There's an entire culture of sensible people out there."

Unfortunately I think it is safe to say, that as long as people try and find legal alternatives for getting high, the government will be right behind them at every step trying to stop them. But for the time being, if you follow the rules, why not get high?

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