For decades, parents have worried about dangerous substances being put into what their children receive while Trick or Treating.
On Friday evening, HBO's Bill Maher actually called for people to "put drugs in the Halloween candy" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL MAHER: New rule, this Halloween stop fretting that some stranger's going to put drugs in your kid's candy and put the drugs in there yourself. Come on, this is America. Acid will be the healthiest thing they eat all day. Do it, put drugs in the Halloween candy. Now I know what you're thinking: Bill Maher, what a thing to say. We all know that too much of any drug can cause permanent damage. Just look at Rush Limbaugh. You can't just decide to give a bunch of innocent, drug-free kids some sort of psychedelic. What if it interacts badly with their Wellbutrin, their Abilify, their Adderall, their Ritalin, and their monster energy drink?
The kids are on drugs, all right. The problem is they're on the wrong drugs. They're on a combination of processed sugar so they can be mini coke fiends and mind narrowing pharmaceutical crap like Ritalin that doesn't open up their minds. It levels and controls them. These drugs are all about keeping bratty children in check, or as we used to call it. parenting. Oh, see now you have to think about it.
Adderall is the drug of choice these days on campus. Oh, what fun. I don't know what I would enjoy more, the extremely focused parties or the highly detail oriented sex. But here's the thing, when Steve Jobs was young, the drug of choice was acid and Jobs told his biographer that dropping acid as a young man was one of the best things he ever did because when he took it with his girlfriend, the wheat field started playing Bach. Which is pretty unbelievable – a computer nerd had a girlfriend?
Now, maybe there's not a connection between LSD and genius, but it's something no great American ever said about a Kit-Kat bar. If it weren't for acid, you might not have an iPod and you definitely wouldn't have some of the best music in your iPod. Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA while on acid. The Beatles made “Sergeant Pepper” while on acid. I made “D.C. Cab” while on acid, and the list goes on and on.
And it's not just anecdotal. In a study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine last month, scientists found that a single dose of psilocybin, which is the drug in mushrooms, created a quote “long-term positive personality change in most patients.” People improved in the areas of sensitivity, imagination, and broad-minded tolerance of others. In pharmaceutical speak, psilocybin is known as an asshole inhibitor. And couldn’t we use a little more of that? Have you seen a Republican debate lately? If ever there was a group who could stand to take a sensitivity pill and employ broad-minded tolerance of others, it's these people. This nation faces enormous challenges and the biggest idea we've heard from them so far is let's build a fence that electrocutes Mexicans.
Steve Jobs literally learned to think different. And if he can get that, that insight from LSD or mushrooms or for that matter from licking a toad, then bring me Kermit the Frog and I'll stick my tongue right down his throat.
To begin with, Crick admitted to taking a variety of drugs, but it's at this point an urban myth that he was actually on LSD when he discovered the structure of DNA.
As for this Johns Hopkins study, it found the "psychedelic drug in magic mushrooms may have lasting medical and spiritual benefits." Since this is a new study, it's way too soon to conclude this is long-term.
But most importantly, it is preposterous for a man to be advocating on national television people put drugs into Halloween candy three days before October 31.
Regardless of the comedic intent or the point Maher was trying to make about the supposed benefits of hallucinogens, it is totally irresponsible to do so days before millions of America's children will be knocking on doors taking candy from relative strangers.
If one child anywhere in this nation falls prey to this Monday, I sincerely hope Maher and HBO are held responsible.