35 miles…

I did a fairly quick 35 mile ride today. It took me about 3 hours, which is much faster than I need to be moving for my ride. I certainly am not setting any landspeed records but it was still a fun ride. I think if I can knock out 45-50 mile rides several times a week and a “long” ride once a week during April I will be on a pretty solid path towards being physically ready.

I have come to realize that I get a lot of thinking done while riding but sometimes forget my thoughts by time I stop. Taking a break and writing things down is pretty inconvenient so I may purchase a recorder and body mic that I can activate easily and dictate my thoughts. Overall the ride was good and it made me realize that I need a little bit more equipment for these moderate rides, namely lights, microphone, and a bell. There were a lot of people on the trails today so I may start using weekdays to ride as often as possible.

On Drug Use and Legalization

So, that video is a 30ish minute recording of the panel I was a part of during the SSDP conference in Denver. I actually haven’t watched it so I am unsure what was removed from the 75-minute session. This session (and the posting of this video) did get me thinking about why I support drug legalization, generally support drug use, and why it is such an important issue to me.

The primary reason I support it is a philosophical belief in self-ownership. I believe your body, your mind, and your labor belong to you and you are free to do with it as you wish unless you infringe on the body, mind, or labor of another. Doing something that society perceives as self-harm is not reason enough to use violence or threat of violence to stop the action. It must be understood and clearly stated that any and all government action is violence. There may be times when violence is justified but to prevent what some consider self-harm is not one of those times.

When someone tries to prevent a someone else from harming their own body or mind what they are saying is that the body and mind does not belong to the individual. Instead, these people (who often have the best intentions) will state that the body or mind belongs to “society”, god, or family. In reality they are exercising control over another person’s body and mind against their will which is the same as a weak form of slavery. Beyond the philosophical view of self-ownership there are also pragmatic reasons to support drug legalization, experimentation, and use.

One of the reasons closest to me personally is medicinal use. The idea that a politician or a bureaucrat could decide a substance has no medicinal value and is highly addictive without any evidence backing it up should disturb every person in this society. Besides marijuana (whose potential medicinal use has been heavily documented and put into practical effect in many states) MDMA, LSD, and many other drugs have many medicinal uses and lack any relative addictive potential. As just a few examples MDMA has been used to treat PTSD, LSD has been used to help with alcoholism at a rate 5-times Alcoholics Anonymous, and both have been used to treat end-of-life pain and psychological stress. Basically, the people who hurt the most in society could have their suffering ended by these drugs but it is nearly impossible thanks to decades of mis-information and political desires. MAPS in particular has been doing great work in this area.

In addition to potential medicinal uses the cost of prohibition is just too damn high. The social and economic costs have ballooned so much that resources are being flushed away to enforce very minor offenses. Every dollar and man-hour spent investigating and arresting drug users is a dollar and man-hour not spent investigating and arresting rapists, murders, and thieves. Priority should be given to fight violent crimes, not vice crimes.

On the social side of things we need to ask ourselves if criminalizing drug use is the best thing for the family and society as a whole. Is a family better off if their drug using parent is getting medical help for addiction but still able to work or at least be with their family, or is the family and society better off with the user in prison? When non-violent offenders go to prison they are surrounded by violent offenders and they receive the stigma of being a “con” which allows for legally authorized discrimination. A family and society is not better off if drug users are treated like criminals, they will be separated from their kids and families, and be unable to provide for their families as effectively in the future leaving everyone worse off. I think everyone would agree that jailing someone for addiction or misuse of alcohol would not help society, but we treat less dangerous drugs differently for some reason.

The last two reasons are somewhat intertwined but I feel are important for our limited time here on earth. I believe drug use can help us each reach our potential and they are incredibly fun. People like Steve Jobs attribute their success and creativity to LSD, Michael Phelps regularly smoked marijuana, and countless other athletes, artists, musicians, philosophers, authors, and economists have used drugs to expand their minds and to just enjoy life. We do lots of crazy things to get the most out of life, some people skydive, some travel, some fish or hunt, some put on pads and run into each other, and some use drugs. Leisure and pleasure is a valid reason for drug use, for without it we would be doomed to a dull and possibly painful existence. These two reasons are why I not only support legalizing drugs, but also recommend people try drugs they are interested in as long as they act safely.

To this day I have not heard a good argument grounded in research to keep drugs illegal. There certainly are logically consistent arguments if people are honest with each themselves though. If you feel that damaging your body through certain drugs is bad because your body belongs to a specific god and some people represent god then it does logically follow that them outlawing drugs is okay. If you believe the current power structure where politicians control lives, imprison peaceful people, lie to the populace, and destroy families and individuals is good then yes, drugs should remain illegal. These arguments may be sound but they are not arguments that represent any concept of “good” that I recognize.

A quote that caught my eye…

“We realize that by always orienting ourselves toward future achievements, we have never lived in the present and, in a sense, never really fully lived at all. The larger the scope of various existential crutches we have managed to accumulate, the more we have to let go of, and the harder the process of dying will be for us.”

– The Ultimate Journey, Stanislav Grof

“One Day” by Kottonmouth Kings

Love.

 

 

“One day I am going to invent a new drug disconnect from the system just unplug.
Buy a pop gun; shoot a peace love drop a love bomb and give the world a hug.
One day I won’t have to fear a cop, or a security guard what a dope beat drop.
One day I want to body surf a rainbow, swim through a room of clouds blow an end-o.


I want to elevate and unify mankind. Everybody is just walking in the sunshine.
One day there’ll be a block party for the world and I’ll never have to be away from my girl.
One day I plan a cherry orgasm infiltrate the atmosphere so everybody has one.
Come together, a global climax, just imagine a universal sun splash.”

Why “Wandering Oak”?

The title of this blog is Wandering Oak, which really doesn’t make much sense so I wanted to briefly explain it. The roots of this phrase (forgive the pun) really can be traced back through my entire life but here is an annotated version of the story.

My name is Peter, which means “rock”, and my whole life I have consciously and subconsciously tried to live up to my name. I worked to be a foundation for my family, my friends, my country, my school, and everyone I encountered. I wanted to be the person that was turned to when things were at their worst, to be that unmovable force of stability.

Unfortunately, even the rockiest foundations crack and is an unliving entity that can be destroyed by the smallest of plants. Even a fragile blade of grass can grow and bust up the toughest rock. In the same way I found that my strength and solid foundation was also a weakness, I was unable to adapt and felt like I was sacrificing my identity as a living being for my identity as a strong foundation.

Shortly before Burning Man I was pondering what I wanted out of my trip to the Playa. The theme that year was “Rite of Passage” and I decided that my simple attempt towards healing and growth was to write a letter to the Temple to be burned on the final day. Part of that letter dealt with this tension between what I had desired to be in the past and how I wanted to move forward into the future. I realized that I wanted to be more like a tree.

As a tree I am still a strong, solid force… something that can provide shelter and support for those I love but I am also a living being. I can adapt and adjust the the world, I can be hurt but also heal. Even the most stable stone will eventually be worn away by the pressure from a tree.

The Wandering aspect is a bit simpler to explain. I am fairly nomadic at this point in my life. I want to see many places, experience many things, and just travel with no purpose. So, that’s the name of my blog and kind of what I am shooting for in my life right now.

Meeting the Judge

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 13th Annual SSDP Conference in Denver. I was invited to speak on a panel about surpassing political boundaries to change drug policy. Well, the conference was amazing and I was able to hang out with a ton of people who I felt naturally comfortable around. Anyway, that’s not what this post is about…

The conference and a book I received from MAPS (The Ultimate Journey by Stanislav Grof) had me thinking about my first real healing vision. It happened about two years ago after a long night of MDMA use and talking with close friends that helped me with my PTSD. After hours and hours of talking, dancing, and emotional release we were starting to wind down and decided to use some nitrous.

I was laying on my back and took a hit of nitrous and had the following vision:

I found myself walking down a dirt road, it was daytime but the sky was dark and a storm raged in the distance. I could smell the storm coming and lightning flashed in the distance to my left. There was no real wildlife to speak of except for a few dead trees that sparsely lined the path I was walking on.

I continued walking a short time and statues started to appear on my left and right. They were nearly identical except the ones on my left were red and seemed to glow and pulse like fire. The ones on my right were blue and seemed to glow and flow like water. The statues themselves were both men and women and stood about 7 feet tall and wore armor and held swords in front of them blade resting on the ground.

They didn’t seem to be alive but I could tell there was a presence in them. I passed 12 statues on each side when a larger statue stood in front of me on the path. This statue was white and seemed to pulse like fire and flow like water. Instead of a sword he held a scale in his hand. This statue, the “Judge”, was neither male nor female and spoke to me.

The Judge said that my future was unsure but it was risky to travel it alone. After that brief message thunder cracked and a slight drizzle of rain started to fall. The statues all went dark and turned pale gray.

I soon came back to normal consciousness. I don’t claim to know what all of it means. I don’t even know if it was anything more than my subconscious addressing some of my issues at the time. I was very unwilling to love or even feel emotional attraction to anyone because of some past pain. MDMA has helped me with a lot of that pain but this experience feels like more than just an ecstacy roll and it has stuck with me.

Since that time I have had a couple more experiences when I meditate and use salvia but they were nowhere near as meaningful as this first experience.

An Introduction

I guess all blogs and websites need a bit of an introduction, so here is mine.

I have been planning on starting a blog for a while now but with a certain adventure coming up soon I figured it was time to set the groundwork. I will be travelling across the United States on a bicycle in about 75 days and need some sort of website to share my pictures, videos, and thoughts with those who care and for myself.

I also plan on just blogging about any random thing that pops into my head or to flush out ideas. If you stumbled upon this site and don’t know who I am more information about me can be found in the “About Me” section. I am always chasing a new story and my targets can be found in “My Bucket List“. Finally, details about my current adventures are here.

Well, I hope you find some value out of my ramblings and adventures. Thank you for viewing my site and I hope you go in peace and love.