I bet most of the non-Swedes reading this believe that Sweden is a liberal, reasonable and logical place. And in many ways it is – child care, free hospitals, a hysterical regard for fairness. But when it comes to one little word with five small letters, the country becomes a rabid dog, howling, clawing and trying to bite your leg off.
That little word is Hasch. Yes people, HASCH, and even my spell-checker in Word refuses to acknowledge that it exists. The vast majority of Swedes will tear you to pieces if you attempt to insist that hasch, maybe, is not so dangerous as it is made out to be. It will give you a psychosis, they will insist. It leads you on to heroin, they howl. A SINGLE PUFF CAN RUIN YOUR BRAIN FOREVER, they will scream until their lips turn blue.
I don’t know what happened in the 70s in this country, but anybody who went to school between 1975 and 1985 is bizarrely anti-hasch. And this is very rich indeed coming from a country with rampant high alcoholism, despite a state-controlled alcohol market. And even more hypocritical from a land where they have invented a new way to absorb nicotine, the ubiquitous snus.
Swedes take a dazzling variety of pills, for any ailment you can name, but refuse to believe that ANY hardcore narcotics they get from a chemist could be as bad as hasch. They suck, drink and brew anything you could name, but a plant that makes you a bit dizzy and peckish is the devil itself.
Okay people, calm down, and look at some facts and myths:
– Most heroine addicts started on hasch. Well…actually most heroine addicts stared on alcohol and cigarettes. And hundreds of millions of people take hasch now and then and are not heroin addicts.
– Hasch gives you a psychosis. Vast over-use might in fact do that, but then again alcohol most definitely can give you one.
– Hasch leads you on to other drugs. It might, but that is mainly because you have to go to a drug-dealer to get hold of it.
– Hasch makes you think you are a bird and jump out of the window. Oh wait, that was another one, wasn’t it..?
Get this into your thick heads, people – alcohol is vastly more dangerous than hasch. The only difference is that it is legal. Well, so was raping your wife, once upon a time, but that didn’t make it right. And the first country to legalise, license and sell hasch in the way that cigarettes are sold today will make a fucking fortune, as well as have tonnes of hemp to make ropes and uncomfortable new-age clothes out of.
Hasch is a fantastic painkiller, with very few side effects; it gives huge relief to MS sufferers, among others; and – God forbid! – it allows people to get a bit high, forget their troubles and giggle a bit.
How many documented deaths from hasch? None.
How many hit-and-runs from hasch? None.
How many beatings, fights, shootings or stabbings caused by smoking hasch? None.
And how many great books written or great songs composed after taking a spliff or two? Well, take a look at your bookshelf or CD collection, and start counting.