Its a long long story. But when I went to court for my mushroom bust, I was ordered to go to Assabet Human Services for a drug treatment evaluation. Since then I've gone through a load of shit with them. I'm to tired to explain it now, but I would like to post this document that I just drafted. It is rather self explanitory. I hope to do chapter 2 this weekend.
Thursday, January 15, 2004
To Whom It May Concern:
There has been a fair deal of disagreement lately regarding my proposed treatment at Assabet Human Services. I would like to make my position clear. First off, I do not want to be in conflict with the terms of my probation, and if it comes to that I am perfectly willing to attend 12 treatment sessions under a fair and specific contract, free of ambiguity. That being said, I have one objection to my treatment in general, and there are two specific disagreements between Assabet Human Services and myself. My general objection is that the idea behind this treatment is that it will benefit me in some regard. I very highly doubt that it will have any affects that could be considered positive by either the court or myself. The two specific disagreements between Assabet Human Services and myself revolve around their evaluation of me and the contract that I must sign in order to attend the treatment. I will discuss these three issues below.
The first points that I would like to discuss are the doubts that I have as to whether the treatment provided by Assabet Human Services would benefit me in any way. I am assuming that that is the purpose of the program, helping those enrolled in it. Now, I have obviously never attended a counseling session, but I assume that they provide two kinds of service; they help with any difficulties experienced while attempting to live drug free, and they provide education as to the dangers and effects of different drugs. I am in need of neither of these services; the last time I used an illegal drug was three days before I was arrested. Since then I have not experienced any ill effects from my lack of use with the exception of some transient insomnia, and I have not had any difficulty remaining illegal drug free. (I am including alcohol in illegal drugs, as it would be illegal for me to consume it.) I am also not in need of education on the dangers of drugs; I attended DARE as a child, and I have spent dozens of hours researching the effects of drugs. But, since I'm sure that the obvious reaction to my past illegal drug use is that I don't, or at least didn't, know the true dangers of illegal drug use, marijuana in particular, I will now go over a selection of the marijuana information provided by http://www.freevibe.com/ (which is sponsored by The Partnership for a Drug Free America) in an effort to provide enlightenment into my level of knowledge.
"What does it do?
The effects vary from person to person depending on how strong the marijuana is, how it's taken and whether other drugs or alcohol are involved. At first, pot can make people feel relaxed, in a good mood and even silly. Users will likely experience dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, some loss of coordination and poor sense of balance, and slower reaction times, along with intoxication. Blood vessels in the eye will expand causing the red-eye effect. NIDA
Smoking marijuana may impair short-term memory while people are using the drug. This happens because all forms of marijuana contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana, which alters the way the brain works. After a few minutes, paranoia or anxiousness may set in, then intense hunger (a.k.a. the munchies). Finally, sleepiness. NCADI For some people, marijuana raises blood pressure slightly and can double the normal heart rate. This effect can be greater when other drugs are mixed with marijuana."
I object to nothing from the above text; I accept it as fact.
"...Over the long term, smoking pot can cause you to lose interest in how you look and how you're getting along at school or work. NCADI It can also be much worse for your respiratory health than smoking cigarettes; the amount of tar, carbon monoxide, and cancer-causing chemicals inhaled in marijuana smoke are three to five times greater than that inhaled from the same amount of tobacco smoke. (NIDA Infofax)"
Aside from the fact that I am currently ranked 3rd in my Senior class, I would also like to point out that while I certainly don't know enough to refute the claims made by freevibe, I looked through the NIDA Infofax on marijuana, and they made no mention of the tar, carbon monoxide, or cancer-causing chemicals in marijuana smoke. It reminds me of the television commercial run by the same people that run freevibe. It claims that marijuana "joints" usually contain about 5 times as much cancer causing tar as cigarettes. Once again, I do not know nearly enough about the subject to refute these claims, but my meager of knowledge of the dangers of tobacco cigarettes (I know enough to have never smoked one) tells me that tar is just one of dozens of carcinogens. Although, by the same measure, anti-tobacco advertisements overemphasize the chemicals in tobacco. They list cadmium, and then follow it with (found in car batteries). By the same logic I could say Water (The primary coolant found in atomic reactors). I also find fault with the advertisement that says that one in three reckless drivers tested for drugs tested positive for marijuana. I object to this not because I don't think that marijuana impairs reflexes necessary for safe driving. I don't think that anyone should drive under the influence of inebriating drugs or alcohol. I never have, and I hope that I never do. But I find fault because the advertisement, like many other anti drug advertisements, are geared towards influencing people that don't stop to consider cause and effect. That advertisement never actually makes the argument that marijuana causes reckless driving, but it seems to. I submit that the reason so many reckless drivers use marijuana is that usually only reckless individuals are so willing to break the law as to use illegal drugs.
What is my point? First, I know a lot about illegal drugs, and not just radical information. I am well acquainted with the information provided by organizations concerned with the drug abuse in this country. And second, I carefully analyze every piece of information I receive. Because of this, the few pieces of information I might receive from Assabet Human Services that I have never heard before will be immediately filed (in my brain) as being inherently biased and in need of proper supporting evidence. I would much rather read medical journals on the subject.
In conclusion of my fundamental objection; I don't need help not using drugs, I probably won't learn anything from Assabet Human Services, and as Assabet Human Services main concern is keeping me from using drugs, anything I did learn from them I would automatically, without an conscious effort, discard as being inherently biased and self serving.
On to the subject of my disputes with Assabet Human Services, the terms of my probation state that I am to be evaluated by Assabet Human Services, which I have done, and then to comply with the terms of the evaluation. This does not seem unreasonable to me, despite one problem; I have never seen my evaluation. It does seem unreasonable to me that I can only know what conditions I must meet by learning of them via proxy. I openly admit that I am not a lawyer, and I don't have much knowledge in this area, but both my lawyer and myself feel that Assabet Human Services' evaluation of me should be considered one of my medical forms, and I should consequently have the right to a copy of it. Although, since I have never seen my evaluation, perhaps I am confused as to the nature of its content. While at Assabet Human Services at the meeting where I was supposed to sign their treatment contract my father and I asked to see my evaluation. Although the Assabet Human Services employee with which we spoke would not let us see the evaluation, when we asked to see it she did read us off a fair deal of information. The majority of which was just the drug use that I had admitted to at my evaluation session, followed by the recommendation that I submit to 12 treatment sessions. Perhaps I am confused in my expectation that my evaluation contains more than just a regurgitation of my words followed by a quick recommendation rather than a close examination of how my particular history warrants further action. Whatever the content of my evaluation, I feel it unfair that I am expected to comply with a document that I have never seen.
So far, my arguments have relied on my opinions, and as much as I would like to be able to impose my will on others, I don't have a legion of armed, blue clad, badge wearing soldiers to back me up. Realizing this fault, my third objection is based more substantially in logic and fact than opinion and rhetoric. One of the terms of the evaluation, as my proxies have informed me, is that I must sign a contract regarding my treatment. The intended activity of my most recent trip to Assabet Human Services was to do just that. Most of the terms of the contract were completely reasonable, but then we got up to the term that said that I couldn't use any non-prescription medicine before coming to the treatment sessions. I asked the Assabet Human Services employee if she could explain that term more clearly. She said that it meant that I couldn't use drugs like NyQuil before coming to the sessions, because it contains alcohol. I then asked if I could take an ibuprofen before coming to a session, in case I had banged my knee or something. She said that that would be fine. I then asked if I could drink coffee. She replied that food and drink were not permitted inside Assabet Human Services. I then asked if I could drink coffee before coming inside. She replied that it would be all right. I then replied that that would be a violation of the contract as written. After a little more of this discussion, she told me that she would not change that term of the contract, and that I could take it up with the court. Why make such a large deal out of such a little term on a contract? I am not willing to expose myself to:
A) Such draconian terms. Assabet Human Services has no right to tell me whether I can consume Tylenol or coffee before attending my treatment sessions. But the contract clearly says that I cannot use any non-prescription drugs before attending a treatment session. Furthermore, were I to pass someone smoking a cigarette outside of Assabet Human Services and inhale as I passed by, I would be in violation of my contract by being under the influence of nicotine. If someone would like to suggest that inhaling second hand smoke does not constitute drug use, then I will be quick whether inhaling the smoke of someone smoking marijuana could be grounds to default on my prohibition. Because I'm not entirely anal, I won't go so far as to point out that "before" extends backwards in time infinitely.
B) A contract that is ambiguous at best and expected to be selectively followed a worse. If I am not to follow the terms of the contract to the letter, then I can only assume that the terms are to be selectively obeyed, using my powers of selection. The Assabet Human Services woman expected me to use "common sense." Now, I ask in jest, I did illegal drugs, can you really expect me to have any common sense. But on a more serious note, no one should be expected to sign a contract whose terms are to be selectively obeyed. And no one should give out a contract expecting its terms to be selectively obeyed. Such a situation offers such a blatant and substantial abuse of power as to nauseate me.
As always, please post comments. I know I don't advertise this journal, but hopefully my fans are at least reading it.