If you follow me on Twitter, you might have caught that I’ve been writing a book.
It’s true, although I am no longer writing it. It’s finished now and I will be self-publishing it next month as an eBook.
My book is entitled “Personal Use” and it chronicles in vivid detail, my 35 year history of recreational drug use.
It’s a drug mémoire, if you will.
I’ve been using drugs regularly and responsibly for nearly my entire adult life. I started with tobacco and alcohol as a child, moving on to cannabis and other substances as a young adult.
I am still a daily cannabis smoker and I continue to have an affinity for magic mushrooms. And along the way, I’ve dabbled with mescaline, LSD, cocaine, benzos, prescription opiates, MDMA, and ketamine, to name but a few.
Basically, I’ve taken a lot of drugs over many years and they have enriched my life in countless ways. My experiences with drugs have been overwhelmingly positive. That’s a view you don’t hear often, and one that deserves a much louder voice.
I would like to be that voice.
I’ve worked in the media for 30 years, mainly as a journalist for some of the world’s largest news organisations. I’ve never kept my drug use a secret and just about anyone who knows me in real life, knows I like drugs.
It’s cool, the media is awash with substances, so it has never been an issue.
One of society’s problems with drug use is that the media only ever cover the bad side of drugs and that’s not fair or accurate. Actually, it is more than a bit hypocritical, since many of the people I know, who cover the news, are as prolific as I am when it comes to getting high. I know, because I get high with them sometimes myself.
The majority of people who use drugs are like me, and they also use them responsibly, with no adverse effects on their lives. That’s the most common drug experience of all, and it is given precious little attention. That needs to change.
My hope and aim with this book is to let people know that there should be no stigma attached to drug use. And more importantly, that there should not be any criminal sanctions either.
Our outdated, silly and cruel drug laws are not fit for purpose. Criminalising people for altering their brain chemistry is wrong. Our drug laws cause more harm to society, families and individuals than the actual drugs every could.
My book starts in the late 1970s in America, and goes right up until present day, London, where I am now. I cross the globe more than once and take you with me to such diverse locations as Somalia and Bosnia, along with many others. And yes, I got high everywhere I went.
But it’s not just about taking drugs, it’s also about finding drugs too. An awful lot of time is spent looking for drugs, or waiting for someone to turn up with them. From my very first ever weed dealer, through indoor cannabis gardens in the 90s, right up to the darknet markets of today, I try to explain what it’s like to be a regular consumer of all the good substances that have been foolishly prohibited by law.
I’ve let a few people I know read the rough draft and they have found my book entertaining and informative, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I?
I’d like more people to read it, before it is published next month, so I will be making digital copies available, free of charge, to anyone who wants one. If you would like a copy, just ask. The answer will be ‘yes’.
And when it goes on sale, I will keep the price very low. In the interest of transparency, I’m aiming to make a pound (GB) a copy myself, but I don’t have the final retail price worked out yet. It will be cheap, and the only way I will make any real money is through volume.
I don’t expect to make any real money, my sales expectations are very low. My joke is that I am aiming to sell one million copies. I know I won’t, but that’s the goal.
It’s good to have goals.
I’ll be plastering info on Twitter and Reddit over the coming month, as I will need your help too. I need all the help I can get. I’m useless on Facebook and don’t even have an account, but if you would like to share stuff there, you would be doing me a huge favour. Just let me know if anyone liked it!
As an anonymous and unknown writer, I know it will be an uphill battle to get people interested in my book. But I have faith in the strength of my product. I know that if you read the book’s “Forward”, you will be hooked and you will want to keep on reading. I’m kinda counting on that!
I am hoping to have the final, retail version, in the ePub format, before the end of this month. So if you get a free copy, you can be sure you will be getting the exact same version that will go up for sale.
So that’s it. I’ve set out my stall. And in about a month, there will be one product available on my virtual shelf.
I look forward to bringing you “Personal Use” and I hope everyone who reads it, enjoys it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
Years ago, I had a tag line that I used on my website, that I hope will apply to my book as well:
“The northlondonhippy – he will make you laugh, he will make you think, and he will make you wish you were a hippy too!”
Let’s see if I can live up to my own hype.
3rd August 2016