Unclear as Crystal

Drug Cultures in America

Mass Incarceration in the United States

America has 5% of the world's population, 25% of the world's inmates. They are fathers, brothers, sons, mothers, sisters, wives. They are people, not statistics. They are members of our community. So much for the land of the free.  How... Continue Reading →


Weed is Weed isn’t Weed: Comercialization of a Backyard Craft

From April 17 - 22nd, the American Culture Program packed our bags and flew from small-city Virginia to Denver Colorado. There we talked to marijuana genome researchers, hemp seed developers, politicians and regulatory agencies, not to mention some marijuana entrepreneurs and got... Continue Reading →

The Cost of MDMA and Ecstacy

As the War on Drugs has cracked down for several generations, yet a visible, colorful, and animated drug-centered economy is on the rise. The Electronic Dance Music (EDM) genre has exploded into a $20 billion industry, according to Toronto Life.... Continue Reading →

Invisible – Crack/Cocaine and Methamphetamines

Throughout this blog, the question of why we choose to use drugs has continued to come up. We use drugs in social situations, to attain a religious or transcendent experience, as symbols of status, to help us reach fitness goals or alleviate stress... Continue Reading →

Heroin, Cocaine, and the “choice” to use

Why do people use drugs? Why do people continue to use drugs?  For such a simple question, the answer is far from straightforward, even in the context of a single drug. Take heroin as a case study. The use and... Continue Reading →

Sports and Doping in America

It's old news that Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories between 1999 and 2005 following a team-wide doping scandal. The significance of this case goes beyond a seven-time Tour de France victor being required to forfeit... Continue Reading →

Prescribing Perfect and the Drive to Take Drugs

"The ubiquity of drug use is so striking that it must represent a basic human appetite" - Andrew Weil, The Natural Mind: A New Way of Looking at Drugs and Higher Consciousness From cough syrup to cocaine and coffee to oxycontin,... Continue Reading →

LSD: Othering A Drug of Privilege

Drugs that do not fit in with the "American way of life" are distanced from the normative image of productive America. Drugs that are perceived to fit in with a work-hard-play-hard mentality and allow users to be productive members of... Continue Reading →

Drugs and Leisure: Play hard, work harder

Growing up, both in a small college mountain town and later in the Denver suburbs, my parents, mentors, and peers advocated a life of work hard-play hard (so long as the play was responsible). This approach to life hints at... Continue Reading →

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