Hello, my name is Bruce. And I’m a drug addict. I’m 51 years old, and this is nothing new to me. I’ve tried just about everything under the sun at one time or another. The only truths I can tell are that I’ve never put a spike in my vein, I’ve never done heroin, and I’ve quit everything illegal up until now.

I first smoked pot at 13 at camp.  That’s something that going to a Jewish summer camp gave me, anyway… and that was the start of my long trip down a narrow road. Marijuana does not lead to harder drugs, but it does get you in the door. I really only did pot in highschool, but that would change. I never liked to drink. I would just get stupid and become an asshole who had to pee a lot. So, alcohol fell out pretty quick.

On my 18th birthday, I saw the Grateful Dead and got hooked. I didn’t drop any acid at that show, but I did the next time I saw them, a year or two later. Following the Dead turned me on to many drugs: LSD,cocaine, speed… the works. Touring was hard, and you looked for help coping wherever you could find it. The tour also introduced me to my first monkey, MDA, eventually changed to MDMA, and better known as ecstasy. I loved the feeling I got from the drug. No terrible hangover the next day.  More controlled than acid. Life was good. No one told me that one day I would pay for playing.

With the early 80s came punk rock and downers. Nothing better than banging around in the pit, feeling no pain. And through it all, I still had pot. I did cocaine, but that was cut short in 1986. I had a head-on collision in my VW bus.  I should have never made it out alive.  But no broken bones, just black and blue all over. A few stitches and a lot of pain. Thank G-d, no drug testing or I would have done some time. When I got out of the hospital, I got a ride to the scrapyard to see my bus. My glass bong was still in one piece, and my stash of weed was between the two seats.

I decided someone up top was looking out for me and that I’d better do my part. I quit everything I was doing — except pot. Pot was from L-rd. I stayed pretty clean from ‘86 till ‘89, when I moved to Florida. Florida is a police state designed for the old and rich. I was neither. I was a White Rasta with long dreads, just looking to have fun. We played hard and I partied hard, doing just about any drug I could get my hands on. Weekends were spent at the local college, and I was a 27 year old Guru to the college kids. But having too much fun came with a lot of police harassment. They didn’t like my type: “No long-hair hippies welcome here!”

That scene got old, and I moved back up North, working and partying, partying and working till things got too heavy and I decided to quit everything and get away. I headed to Israel to be clean and try and find myself.

I stayed clean for the first six months, but I couldn’t take the loneliness of being the only American with 30-plus Russians in my ulpan. I went looking for marijuana.  It was so cool.  I could smoke again, and relax and enjoy life. That worked for a while, until I decided to head back to the States to see if the grass was really greener.  But something had come awake in my soul. I tried to make aliyah when I got back. But with no help from anyone, I turned my back to it all. Moved to Detroit and back to my fun.

I got a job at an art supply store, and was the long haired freak so life was good. Living cheap in the hood. With money for pot, what else do you need? I had cut ties with most of my old friends for different reasons, but that was ok. I had my weed. Then one day, I met a guy named Dan, a bouncer at the local bar. He got me turned back on to coke. His stuff was good. He also worked raves and after-hours clubs on the weekends. I started working with him, selling laughing gas. Couple hundred a night, plus all the coke and gas I could handle. One Sunday I woke up, and the TV was on. The news was reporting how the club I was working at got busted the night before. Again, someone up top was looking out for me.  Time to do my part and get clean. Quit everything but my pot. That’s from the L-rd.

Fast forward. I’m clean except for weed. I met a girl and we get married. I find out I’ve got three slipped discs in my upper back. The Doctor in the States gives me vicodin. Helped a bit. Took the edge off. But the pot helped me relax and chill. Then comes our big move to Israel. I had to quit smoking pot. Just didn’t know where to get it here .The Doctor is giving me some bullshit crap that don’t do nothing. Then one day I get out of the shower and slip down a stair. Now, I’ve got a fourth slipped disc in my lower back and sciatica issues. Again, the trial and error process goes on with meds. Now they have me on OxyContin 40mg a day and assorted other goodies. This actually worked but the side effects are for the dogs.

So I come up with a great idea. I’ll grow my own MEDICAL MARIJUANA. Not to sell. For my own personal use. I start doing my research, got some books and learned as much as I could. Now on to step two. I get all my supplies and order seeds and I’m now a farmer. Pretty amazing. I grew some of the best pot I’VE SMOKED IN A LONG TIME. I could smoke a joint and relax. I could smoke a joint and sleep at night. It’s doing what they said it would. Time to start the next batch and get off these hard core prescription drugs.

Then comes my big mistake. I order more seeds online, and I’m waiting for them to come when one day, there is a knock on the door. The mailman with my package. That should have set off bells. They don’t deliver to our door. We have post boxes by the store. Two minutes later, another knock. Six plain clothes cops rip apart my whole house, and take my garden, my pot, and me off to the station. All the times I shoulda, woulda, coulda have gotten busted, and this is how it goes down. I spent the next eight hours in custody answering questions. Explaining how I’m on the OxyContin for my back and was just trying to help myself. Over and over, explaining I was not selling. Giving a statement explaining about everything.To make things worse, I have to call my Rabbi to come sign me out, and then the next day somehow find 3000 nis to post bail. Boy, have I screwed up this time.

I listened to what the police officer told me. I went to the Doctor, first to get a letter about my ailments, and second, to find out about getting legal MEDICAL MARIJUANA. My doctor sent me to the Pain clinic which says WE ONLY GIVE IT TO CANCER PATIENTS but here have some more OxyContin.


So now, after too many years of this, my Country that I love has me addicted to narcotics, but won’t let me smoke a joint that is from the L-rd.