Drinking and Drugs

Running for an elected office gets harder every day. Your entire life is on public display. I am quite sure that is has amplified over the centuries and decades just like secrets and privacy is becoming more difficult but that is the name of the game.

Michael Gove, a senior official in Britain, is running to replace Theresa May as the Conservative leader and Prime Minister. He admitted to taking drugs in his younger years, supposedly cocaine, and called it a mistake. Really? A mistake?

I know people who have never touched anything because the abuse of alcohol that runs in their family. They have witnessed first hand what addiction looks like and want to make sure that it never happens to them. I seriously applaud them as it is pretty damn hard to go to a party in college and choose to opt out of recreational activities. It takes courage that most do not have.

Call me crazy but I know less than a handful of people at my age who have not tried some type of recreational drug in college. Most of them all unwind at the end of the day with a drink. Then get into Gen X’ers and Millennials and the realization that cannabis will be legal across the globe sooner than later, most have taken a puff or two.

Do we really care if the politicians running for office have done drugs in their past? Took mushrooms? Did acid or MDMA? Or do we wonder why they didn’t? Did Michael Grove think about his future candidacy at 20? Doubtful. Will we see more politicians saying this or more just being honest about reality.

I’d like to younger people running like AOC. Whether you like her or not she is out spoken and asks a million questions vs spending time on the podium talking about herself. Refreshing at least. I am concerned about voting for someone who never partook. I could care less about what type of drug use people did in their youth if anything experimenting at that age is an added bonus in my book.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Erin

    I like this candidate for your country- Marianne Williamson. She just rolls her eyes at the drug question. (32:21 in the video below) https://youtu.be/ap9mMSd5axs

    1. JLM

      .Her recreational drug is a vanity campaign for President. She has a negative number probability of being in the race a month from today. There is, however, something refreshing in the naivete of someone just deciding to run for President out of the blue.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Erin

        Did you watch it? She’s so refreshingly smart. Wise.

        1. JLM

          .She loses me completely when she begins to talk about immigration when she suggests there is no crisis at the border. I live in Texas and have seen it for years as it builds and builds. Nancy Pelosi realizes there is a crisis at the border. That’s why the House got off their duffs today and passed the Senate funding bill.I don’t think she’s very good on realpolitik or policy.Nice delivery, articulate, sounds smart, but has a very shallow view of the issues and no real solutions other than liberal shibboleths.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Erin

            I would say her solutions are literally ANYTHING but shibboleths. Isn’t she pretty radical? Which is what the US needs? Border issues aside, I think she knows more than Trump on how to apply wisdom and people skills to situations that might actually …bring people together?

  2. William Mougayar

    Funny we were discussing this with someone yesterday, joking that drugs are the new alcohol. Recreational use of some psychedelics, mushrooms etc is on the rise as a brain and performance booster. I’m reading Game Changers by Dave Asprey and he talks about that a lot.

    1. JLM

      .We have seen this movie — look up Timothy Leary. A bit before your time.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. awaldstein

      Microdosing is everywhere, legal or no.Iayahuasca retreats are common place, a big deal in the wellness community.Legal in Denver btw.And of course you know there is a large semi-underground market for cannabis infused wine coming out of California, sold mostly into the medical marijuana segments. Winemaker showed up from Cal a month ago and was pouring his infused wine for the regulars up the street. Not my thing but interesting nonetheless and a moneymaker for the perpetually struggling natural winemakers esp in Cal.

      1. Gotham Gal


    3. awaldstein

      Big fan of his podcasts and a frequenter of his labs when in LA.

    4. LE

      Recreational use of some psychedelics, mushrooms etc is on the rise as a brain and performance booster.Sadly this creates a situation whereby my saying ‘you can only be as honest as the competition’ applies. (If, as an example, students are taking ADHD meds (to enhance performance) or stimulants then it means students who don’t are at a disadvantage and are pushed perhaps into doing the same…)There is no question in my mind that many creative things that I enjoy (music, film etc) were driven by drug usage. That is good for me but personally not good for society (partly because of the impact on others). My wife and her sister suffered greatly by her parents (teachers) drug usage and experimentation.The thing is you can’t separate people that use those products with little impact to themselves (and others) and those that use them whereby it has an impact on their family, friends, career etc.

      1. William Mougayar

        That trend is intriguing. Some high profile people apparently are doing this as their best kept secret to boost their mental performances. Brain science is fascinating, yet still prob the least understood part of our body.

        1. LE

          Well it’s flipflop of the saying ‘suffer now enjoy later’ in this case it’s ‘enjoy now suffer later’. Impossible to think that taking certain drugs will not impact the brain. (N=Several people) I know this to be the case. Nobody says that there isn’t an upside to it. But the downside is either their or it’s unknown.Another thing that I have noticed, and I think you possibly know some of the people that I am referring to, use of certain enhancers or ‘crutches’ leads to a mental weakness that makes it less easy for someone to cope. In other words they cause brain change that weakens you. Once again yes there is an upside but very very generally things like that are typically bad since you can’t account for all of the things that could happen as a result of use (or what other consequences they may lead to).

        2. awaldstein

          yup.what dave asprey is doing/approaching has nothing whatsoever in common with the leary/tune in drop out/ ramdass/osley world that I came of age at the end of here in the metropolitan area.biohacking is fascinating.

          1. awaldstein

            nope.he has a few labs in la that i usually stop in for cryo sessions when on the west side and check out his interesting assortment of gear.my connections to that segment come through Lianna who works in wellness on the nutritional side and sends me a series of podcasts (asprey and others) and of course develops food products, and my son who is kinda on the cutting edge of product development at the intersection of liposomes/cbd/thc/herbs/legislation/lobbying out of colorado.i can only say that i attribute my current state of health to luck, genes and the contributions of both of them to my health through nutrition/supplements and meditation strategies. i believe in it and for me, it really works.feel lucky and fortunate to be sustained by these professionals.(as well interested and watching what my friend nicole bradford is doing where data and software touches mental and emotional well being and potential in the transtech segment.)have a great summer my friend!

          2. William Mougayar

            Cool. I’m getting more and more interested in bio-hacking and using personal health data for feedback.

  3. pointsnfigures

    What about no judgement at all? If they aren’t abusing them currently then no problem. I have seen people’s lives get totally screwed up by Cocaine. It’s almost as if there is no middle with it. You are all in, or you don’t do it.

  4. JLM

    .The investigation of any politician’s behavior goes to the issue of judgment. It seeks to answer the questions, “What kind of judgment does this person have? How will that judgment suit the demands of this job/office?”It is a fair question and an illuminating one.There is much to be said for understanding people’s behavior at early points in their life. It may be a huge error to suggest that one’s youthful indiscretions — say age 18 and thereafter — are not precursors of their adult behavior and fair insights into their reservoir of judgment and its application.There is curiosity, but after curiosity there has to be a concern as to “why” does a person pursue such behavior? A lot of drug usage and excessive alcohol abuse is rooted in deep self-loathing and a desire to be someone other than who a person believes they are.One of the saddest days of my life was the memorial service for the grandson of a billionaire who died of a first time use of heroin brought about while under the influence of marijuana. This kid had everything going for him. Lovely parents. Unlimited potential.In a moment of travail, he sought something more potent than marijuana and the opportunity was in front of his nose.A second of bad judgment. No more. Just one second. A huge waste of talent and potential.I doubt there is a larger destroyer of human potential than drug and alcohol abuse.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      and a desire to be someone other than who a person believes they areOr as my comment suggests someone that they are not cut out to be ‘exceeding their capabilities’.

  5. LE

    I seriously applaud them as it is pretty damn hard to go to a party in college and choose to opt out of recreational activities. It takes courage that most do not have.Also a group such as my self who simply had the will power and common sense (and discipline) to not go down that road. If not entirely clear I am bragging here. People would say to me ‘try it you might like it!’ and I said ‘that is what I am worried about actually’. Guess what? I didn’t care what people thought I was not running a popularity contest to be liked by doing what others did. Both of my sisters did the typical amount of drugs in high school (so it wasn’t a family brainwash thing). Neither of my parents had any substance problems at all (unlike my wife whose parents did drugs all sorts of them and are paying the price now I might add). How much liquor was in our house growing up? Almost none. Jewish holidays etc.Call me crazy but I know less than a handful of people at my age who have not tried some type of recreational drug in college. Most of them all unwind at the end of the day with a drink.I don’t want to put all people in the same boat however if someone is so strung up at the end of the day that they need to ‘unwind with a drink’ then something is out of balance in their work life or their life. Now this doesn’t mean that that’s their fault. And note that I say ‘needs to’ not that if they do so on the surface that’s an issue. But in many cases those people have simply done what I call ‘exceeding their baseline limits’. That is they are (very important) trying to do what they are not capable of doing. They are pushing themselves to hard and are not cut out for what they are doing or trying to do. (I think this used to be called ‘keeping up with the Jones’, right?).I am concerned about voting for someone who never partook.Why would you hold it against someone who did not do drugs or try them (pot or otherwise). What would be the reasoning that you would hold it against them? I can see how you wouldn’t care if they did (and I don’t take a particular issue with that even though I didn’t) but it’s like you are saying they are weird for not trying and not succumbing to peer pressure. You know how many battles I have won by not giving a shit what other people think of me for trying (a particular idea or action)?

    1. JLM

      .The reason weak people hold it against others is because they want the behavior of others to validate their own weaknesses.Weak people surround themselves with other weak people.JLMwww.themusingofthebigredcar…

      1. LE

        What is really sad to me is how the entire drinking culture impacts people at the lower level. For example a black man came to our house a few times (a plumber working for someone else) to do repairs. Both times he had ‘his friend’ driving for him. The second time I noticed that he was missing teeth. Both me and my wife decided that he must be an alcoholic and lost his drivers license. He was as decent guy and did good work. But he got sucked into that spiral and unlike many others (with more money and resources) has not gotten out. My wife deals with a large patient population that is drug addicted and drug seeking (several have threatened her when she didn’t comply with their wishes for pain killers).My father employed an alcoholic in the 70’s who was a great worker. This is where I learned what ‘pyorrhea of the gums’ was. His wife used to show up to get his pay so he wouldn’t spend it at the bar ‘Miss Vicky’. Often he would come back from lunch after going to get a drink. When he went to setup the NY Giftshow we had to put him up in a hotel (Henry Hudson, flophouse back then, luxury hotel now) and keep an eye on him so he wouldn’t go out the night before and not show up. Was a struggle. (We means my Dad and his Brother my Uncle). He left at one point to work for UPS. He was fired and came back and they gave him his job back. Bob was also missing teeth. Great worker and nice guy. Used to suffer all sorts of racist statements from my Uncle. (In Yiddish though). But guess what? He was given a job and earned a living. True story. Not like my Uncle was nice to me though. Just the way it was back then. Would doubt that unlike drug use or alcohol abuse anyone is giving passes for that, eh?

  6. Semil Shah

    I think the mores around this are changing very fast. One or two more presidential cycles here in the U.S., and we will be over it.

    1. awaldstein

      Hopefully sooner.

    1. Gotham Gal


  7. jason wright

    Gove was a cocaine snorting journalist in his *thirties*. He subsequently became Secretary of State for Justice under David Cameron, launched a high profile crack down on drug dealers, criticised London’s chattering classes for their recreational weekend lifestyles, and has now been exposed as a massive hypocrite. He was dumped out of the leadership contest 8 days ago, losing out to Jeremy ‘i’m still searching for a personality’ Hunt in the contest to challenge Boris (“I’m a native New Yorker”) Johnson for the top job in the govcorp..Back Boris, back Brexit, back Britain. Not that i trust ‘BoJo’, but the EU is just a managing agent for Europe’s dead weight elite. It does little for the people. Times change, as they should.

  8. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I’ve never understood why the experience of learning some lessons the hard way is disqualifying in our politics. Perfect people are at a higher risk of not being able to relate to the rest of us.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Well said