Before SHTF I tried marijuana one or two times, and my alcohol experiences were connected to parties just like young folks everywhere around world.
In our political system people who used drugs of any kind were strictly separated from normal way of life, so in our city circle of folks who used any kind of drugs were stigmatized and definitely outsiders.
Nobody really talked about these people. So normal folks knew there are drug users, but what kind of people and drugs and any other details were not known much. Those kind of folks were just wrong kind of people and thats it. Period. That was before the war and total collapse of normal society.
My first contact with drugs during the collapse
When SHTF, I went with my friend to some guy because word was that someone sees him going out from military storage in the first days of chaos with few RPG. So we just want to check the guy and see can we trade something for that weapon.
After hours of finding right connections with people and digging trough the rumors we finally find the house of the guy. Man who brought us there went first in front of the house to call him, and he tell to me and my friend to take cover somewhere until he is done negotiating, because guy inside is heavily armed (from military storage) and he usually shoots first and then checks the remains of who was outside.
Finally we were cleared to go inside house. First floor looked like big animal fight with other big animal. Fight must have went on for few days. Everything was upside down, and common things were mixed with strange things. So you could see refrigerator taken upside down with bullet holes, and next to that there was traffic light severed from pylon.
First floor was not in use, guy made something like medieval fortress from his house. Second floor was in use and we climbed up there trough the hole in ceiling and some kind of navy stairs (ropes). His stairway was burned down.
We did not make any kind of trade for that RPGs because he fired all of that as he said. But I saw 5-6 full trash bags in one of the corner, and I asked him what is that? He said:“check it, be my guest“ .
Every bag was full of marijuana. There was small mountain of it. I never before saw so much of that stuff in one place.
I guess guy was dealer before the war, instinctively I was paralyzed, flashbacks of police, jail, courts, and folks point at you went trough my head. Man noticed that and laughs to me and say “do not worry, just take it and smoke it, that sh!t is our smallest problem now“. He was right and I was there to get a RPG but in shock in seeing drugs.
Why drugs matter during long term survival
I make myself unpopular here. Sorry, I just say what I experienced. Reality is not all clean and good or politically correct.
First I have to say we talk about long term survival scenario here. Few days of fearing for your life is problem, few weeks is crap, few months and more can easily take all will for survival from you and leave you empty.
It is hard to imagine and I never saw one of the “TV survival experts” do anything really long term.
Nobody who is sane probably does. I didn’t choose, I was thrown into this.
When the world breaks down around you, you want things to be normal. Even if you had bad life before in normal times it will feel like paradise to nightmare that happens outside or around you when you fight for your survival.
I do not do any drugs (besides coffee) and think drugs is for weak people… but if life slaps you around like it is hard to imagine, everyone becomes weak at some point.
So during the war marijuana was used to disconnect from horrors around you. When you find yourself with few friends in some safe building, basement, and if you have few cans of food, someone brings guitar and few bottles of alcohol and marijuana, you can start to feel an hour or two like nothing is wrong, people do not get shot outside, women do not scream in distance, peace is there again, at least for few hours, and for that small group of friends.
And when someone pass you small jar with hash „bubbles“ you can imagine almost that Jim Morrison came alive that night in that particular basement, in that small and unimportant city in Balkans, in the middle of civil war, and that he is gonna spend that night with you discussing about ridiculousness of life, and then play „The end“ song.
It also had some sort of therapeutic importance. When one of the member of our friends group died, we sit with someone close to him, for example with his brother and drink and smoke for a while, until he gets „numb“ from drugs. Only then we could tell him news about his brother. Everybody did that.
I can say that normal folks (something closest to today understanding of normal average folks) did not drink or smoke marijuana because they were curious what is like, or because they want something different. They did it in order to survive everyday life in new world.
You might think now, I never would do this. It is against my principle. When you see everything breaking down around you a lot of what you think now is principle falls away too.
So very soon some things that were wrong in normal times became natural. Folks started to smoke marijuana, even people who never heard for that, or even people who thought that is completely wrong to use it.
People started to trade for seeds, dealing advice how to grow it, dry it, what parts are best and son on. I am talking here about people who did not have clue about anything about that just few weeks before. Few weeks before it was completely wrong to know about these things.
Whenever I felt bad, or way too bad, or got some chance to sit with my friends I smoked marijuana. Older folks smoked it, grandpas smoked it. Joints made from newspapers, jars full of hashish, or bottle smoking.
It was so much of that stuff that even did not have some big value, I mean you could trade it but it was not very valuable because lots of folks grow it. When it is not illegal then it is completely other thing. When I told Jay while recording my course about this he was surprised. Seems like not many people knew that so many people start growing marijuana during the war but this stuff was everywhere.
Lots of the folks had it for few joints in their pockets always.
It was a pain medication too, when my cousin took out his infected tooth with electrical pliers, all of the „medicines“ he had were couple of joints before procedure, and half liter of heavy alcohol. Alcohol was for his wound and his stomach too.
Whatever you think about alcohol and drugs, you need to understand that they were important in that time, and they gonna be important again.
Gangs still had access to them but of course, most of the real drug addicts, heavy drug addicts disappeared very soon. It was bad time for detoxification from heavy drugs when you had not time to stay in bed and throw up all day.
Of course people did some stupid and wrong things under these drugs too.
It was not time when you just can go out and drink and party. You needed to be alert most of the time.
It was wrong to drink a lot or get high before some hard jobs, like going out to find and trade things, because you just needed to be completely ready for anything. Anything that clouded your judgment and reflexes was wrong, and very dangerous.
I knew a guy who go out in wrong moment and gets shot in head, just because he thought that he hearing some music from the distance, his favorite song or something like that. He smoke too much, yes.
With all urban myths about how alcohol can keep you warm, or can give you more strength of course wrong things happened.
But for me, in some moments when it was very hard for me, alcohol and marijuana helped me to go trough some things. For all of you who still resolutely say that you are not gonna use alcohol or / and marijuana, just try to be prepared for a fact that those two things gonna be important when SHTF.
Don’t do drugs of course, but just like painkillers, some things have its place when things get really hard no matter if legal or illegal. Even if you can not imagine some things, part of being better prepared then next human who has to deal with same situation is to have a more flexible mind. To be ready for whatever gets thrown in your way.
As you know, soft drugs are controversial topic right now, especially in the US. Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana, legalization can cut cartel profits but maybe also create more smokers. What are your thoughts about marijuana?