… one simply seeks among a multiplicity of personal levels to find that wich is best for a given setting, a given frame of mind in the given Cannabis experience. There is nothing you must do, no chemical imperative. If you rise to a creative level, it has always been there, accesible. You have probably been there before, but maybe not; maybe this level's existence within you will be a major discovery. Maybe, too, no such level exists within you. Such a fear is always justified, but is no justification for failing to search.
If you fall into a non-productive, non creative, non meditative state, the drug has no put you there. You have found that level yourself, and you have passed up the alternatives.
All of this pre-supposes that the individual has some hint of the tecniques of interior travel, the search for self and for thoughts & perceptions; or that the individual will, like a young animal tossed into water, instinctively make the appropriate movements when he first discovers himself in the enveloping, unfamiliar substance of the mind. Many people are past this easy, instinctive stage in skills of the interior journey. A child grown beyond infancy will often go rigid and helpless if tossed into water –he must be taught to swim or, more precisely, must unlearn all of those things which make it impossible to act naturally in a natural medium and so survive. So a grown human must unlearn all of those things which render him helpless & panicked when confronted by the deep, unfamliar spaces & levels of his mind.
But if the man is frightened and acts unnaturally at being faced with the internal, he cannot with justice accuse Cannabis of having created the dilemma. Cannabis is not a creator, and what frightens, mystifies or exhalts a man in his mind is not built there by the drug. Neither can the search for cause finally rest with Cannabis as a guide or transport; there is no more responsive guide, no more dependably versatile mode to assist a person on his interior journeys. When you take on a guide to something with which you should be so intimately famliar as your mind, the guide should be absolved of all responsability. That responsability reposes instead in the person who needs & selects the guide –he may choose well or poorly. If he chooses out of ignorance, his guide will probably be of bad characther –it will mislead, create false aspects and dimensions alter the physical context of the body & brain so that the journey becomes warped. There are far more such agents available than there are the opposite, the dependable guide, non-interfering but available to asssit: drugs such as Cannabis are rare and, because of the perversions of the institutions rising out of or altered by warped minds, usually difficult to acquire.
Be that as it may, men will always seek the interior self and whether that state is generated through sleep, stupor, euphoria, pain, silence, concentration, hallucination, sensual experience, sensory stimulation or a host or other medium, the search will prevail. There are more natural agents in this world which bring about, generate or cause each of these states than could ever be eradicated by decree, and men will find each of these in turn.
To pass laws to prohibit Cannabis es ignorant; to believe that legalization is the issue is ignorant. To fear yourself and so oppress others is ignorant, to attribute credit for self to a false source is ignorant. To choose destructive drugs and ways of living is ignorant; but so is to fail to appreciate the limits of any drug, destructive or beneficial.
Perhaps the only antidote to ignorance is experience, and to the open person the experience of others is often a good source of discovery as personal trials. The purpose of this book is largely to reveal some of the experiences of other cultures, other periods, with Cannabis and to compare them with our contemporary experience.
William Daniel Drake Jr.: The Connoisseur's Handbook of Marijuana
Straight Arrow Books, The Book Division of Rolling Stone, 1971, San Francisco, California.