Thoughts for a holiday weekend

People often ask me how I feel about drugs. My stance on this is a little bit controversial. I like drugs. I think they’re good. Fair enough, not heroin. And not cocaine or crack or crystal meth. But soft drugs, like marijuana and hashish, and the psychedelics, like LSD and peyote, I think are really beneficial both on an individual level and a cultural level. Frankly, I think marijuana is what got us out of Vietnam.

In my own life, drugs have played a huge role not only in helping me relax and unwind and have a good time, but also in being able to open up my creativity and see things in a new way. Without marijuana, I can almost guarantee you, there would have been no Apple Computer. Certainly there would have been no Macintosh.

As I see it the problem began with Nancy Reagan and her “Just Say No” campaign. Yes, it was stupid. But it worked. They’ve succeeded in scaring an entire generation away from drugs. You should see the kids who come through here for interviews. Ask them if they’ve ever done acid and they give you this look like you just asked if they’ve ever been abducted by aliens.

This shunning of drugs has produced a generation of conformists. Look at all these new companies in the Bay Area, all these supposed “tech” companies. God knows what they do, but it’s all some variation on the same theme and they all have names like Zizzl and Drizzl and Bizzl, so you can’t tell them apart. Can’t these kids think of anything original? Apparently not. My theory is it’s because they’ve never used psychedelics.

Thank you, Nancy Reagan. Thank you, Christian Right zealots. You’ve ruined an entire generation. It’s bad enough these kids grew up with parents who were terrified to let them go outside and play without being supervised. Then they got to school and got hit with the AIDS education stuff, and I know it’s important to teach kids to fuck safely, but come on. Let’s be honest. The subtext is they’re using this to scare kids about sex itself. And it’s worked wonders. It’s very effective. These kids are terrified – of drugs, of sex, of each other.

Kids, I’m sorry, but the truth is, a few evenings spent sleeping with strangers and tripping your brains out on peyote or some really clean blotter acid would be the best thing that could ever happen to you. Forget trying to get a job at Google or trying to raise venture funding for some startup. Go down to the Mission and score some weed. Buy yourself a bong, and fire it up. Then go think of an idea for a company.

Which is all a long way of saying that the first thing I did when I got home last night was put on some Leonard Cohen and fire up a bowl of some fine reddish buds. It’s mellow stuff, Seventies style weed, not this wacked out paranoia-inducing hydroponic stuff that they grow today, this stuff that makes you want to crawl under your bed and hide. I have my weed specially grown for me, up in Oregon, by a grower who knows how to keep the THC content low. Really, really nice. I highly recommend it.