"A itrug is :i snhstnncc that, when injeeled into n i |u<")(.)iiccs ;i scientific paper."
Tliis book is a natural outgrowth of five years of publishing High Times. The magazine's first promotional effort claimed itself "the only magazine dedicated solely to getting high ... really high.!" But the concept of the "high" in High Times was always an elusive one. We didn't want to be a magazine of things you put in your mouth. So where do you draw the line?
Certainly hang-gliding is a high. It must be quite a rush to reach the summit of a rocky peak you have spent all day scaling. Dr. Andrew Weil is fond of describing the antics of a town stoned out after witnessing a solar eclipse. Imagine how high the astronauts who reached the moon must have felt.. Stamp collecting. Bowling. Some people even get off on being tied down and whipped till they bleed.
The same question was raised by our editors while planning the essence of this hook.. We were sensitive to the possibility this type of hook would further reinforce the very confining dope image we were trying to dispel.. Especially at a time when High Times, itself, was visibly expanding its focus into that of an overall cultural/lifestyle format..
But one reoccurring realiij that has haunted us since (he inception of High Times is the fact that there is no one place to turn for the accurate dope on getting high. When we started looking for this information ourselves in researching arlicjes and answers to readers' questions, we found it necessary to track down obscure tests, knowledgeable professionals, photographs and drawings, laboratory results and intelligent writers with an understanding of the dope scene. One of the prime reasons for the rapid growth of High Times was the need for the public to have access to unbiased, intelligent information about the substances that they put into their body for pleasure.
Most of the books we found on the subject were rather dry and hard to finish. They would stick to one topic and milk it for all it was worth. No wonder one of the most frequently asked questions of our staff is, How much can you say about getting high?
"Far some minutes [the Caterpillarj puffed aw.iy wiihtwt sptukins. but at last ft unft-lded its arms, look Iht hookah out of Its mouth again ami said, So you think you're changed, do you?'
'I'm afraid I am. sir." said Alice: 'I can't remember things as I used-and I don't kcq> thu snmc size fur Un minute* lejtethorf
'Can't remember who! things?' said the Caterpillar."
—Lew:« Carroll, Alittf'x Adiwilurw in Wnndftrtiind.
The fact of ihe mailer is thai ihe use of supranutriiional substances to change one's j consciousness is a fascinating subject.. Not just because of ihe current outlaw my si i que: Scholars have been writing about getting high for as long as ihere has been ihe means to write. It is one of the single most mentioned pastimes in liistory next to love, which is obviously another manifestation of getting high.
We chose to limiL the discussion of highs in ihis book lo ihose that are commonly known as drugs. It is an exercise in frustration to analyze ihe dictionary definitions of "high" and "drug" because they are oul of dale. New terminology is not only needed; it is already coming into use. Much of it is present in this book. What seem colloquialisms are actually the scientific jargon of getting high.
Since under certain definitions of "drug" one could argue for the inclusion of such things as religion and television, we purposely narrowed the scope to include only those substances occurring organically or through chemical synthesis which, when introduced into a human body, changes the person's feel ¡jigs for the better. The inherent subjectivity of the notion "better' is where we gel ihe concept of high. You can only be high relative to something else. Relative to a low? Relative lo a normal? If she feels belter straight than I do after I "get high," have I actually gotten high? Has she? If a tree falls in the forest You see the problem.
It is exactly this type of confusion that permeates all aspects of the lopic. The illicit, aura that stilll sunounds many of the highs this book deals with has in the past stifled the collection of information as presented here. A change in contemporary attitudes and the acceptance of High Times has made it possible for the compilation of much of the knowledge this book contains. In our. short publishing history we have been in contact with virtually every dope expert and archivist, both aboveground and underground. We have succeeded in locating ihe most knowledgeable writers in the field (though by no means could they all. be represented in this one volume). The success of High Times also enabled us lo invest ihe money and energy necessary for this undertaking.
We wilL inevitably be accused by someone of promoting drug abuse. It is the same mentality thai assures hiding homosexuals in the closets will, help lhat particular human desire to go away. As is clearJy chronicled within, a desire as deep-rooled and basic as the desire lo get high will, never disappear, as little or as much as we talk aboul it. Ii is the essence of civilization. To sweep this type of information under the rug and hide from i.l is to increase misunderstanding and misinformation. It is misinformation that promotes drug abuse. This book, aside from its graphics, anecdotes, histories and one-liners is meant lo save lives.
Highs in themselves are rarely dangerous. When coupled wilh a lack of knowledge and a lack of moderation they can become deadly. Drugs are not the problem, people are. Drugs do not addict, it is that human weaknesses sometimes become overpowering for an individual and a way out is sought, consciously or not,. The need can be small. or large, as can the solution. Some people find the answer in work, some in relig-ion, some in unhealthy associations wilh other people, some in gambling, some in nicotine, some in alcohol.. Each one is an escape. Each one can kilL you.
the high times encyclopedia of recreational drugs is meant as a complete overview of getting high. We present the potential fun and the potential harm. Although we present the facts and statistics, we try not to lose the humor and irreverence of the situation. After all, they're called highs for a reason. As complete a compendium as we would like to feel this is, many books can be, and have been, written on each single chapter contained herein. A suggested reading list is indnded to direct you to some of the better works available on each subject^.
Just because getting high is noi a bad thing, it is not automatically a good thing either. We have noi tried to make value judgments as much as we have tried to present the whole stoi-y from a multitude of perspectives.
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