Creator – Creativity & Drugs – National Conference

I was asked by an ex-student of mine – Mal Williamson (Film Director extraordinaire) – to do an input on creativity and drugs. The impetus of the conference was to debate whether drugs were a necessary part of the creative process.

I chose to illustrate my view using Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa. I played four tracks from each to demonstrate that Frank Zappa was just as creative as Don Vliet despite the fact that he did not support the use of drugs.

I am sure the whole audience were greatly impressed with the music.

The premise I put forward was that drugs merely blocked or opened sites in the brain to alter the concentrations and effects of our normal neurotransmitters. The effects can be induced naturally.

Having said that I am in support of the decriminalisation of drugs. I do not believe prohibition works. It puts our youngsters at risk from adulterated drugs, unknown content and dosage and puts money in the hands of drug cartels. Decriminalisation is the lesser of two evils.

I believe much more money should be put into research into the effects and risks and the strategy for drugs should be taken out of the hands of politicians. It should not be a criminal issue at all but rather a health and education issue.

The draconian drug laws have only served to alienate and criminalise a lot of young people. The approach has fostered distrust of authorities and the belief that all information is biased propaganda.

We need valid research to highlight the real benefits and risks so that people can be empowered to make judgements for themselves. We need to trust in the intelligence of our young people. They are sensible.

It is time that Health experts took charge and came out with rational views based on good science rather than knee-jerk decisions made by politicians to court votes and power. Prohibition has, and will always, fail. In my opinion we need a new Health and Education based approach.

What do you think?


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